Central America Not Leveraging Geothermal Energy

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, the geothermal power generation potential of the region is 20 times higher than the current installed capacity.

Monday, September 4, 2017

The main reason behind the low utilization of geothermal energy is the high cost incurred in the initial stages of exploration and evaluation of available resources. However, once that stage is over, it becomes a more economical source of electricity than others, such as fossil fuels, according to studies by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

Gurbuz Gonul, Interim Director of Country, Support and Partnerships at IRENA, commented at an event on renewable energy held in El Salvador that geothermal "... "Is one of the least costly renewable energy sources available, cheaper than other conventional energy options," emphasizing that it can supply domestic, commercial and industrial sectors with affordable electricity.  Despite this, its use is not yet widespread. "After decades of use, its growth has been only 3 to 4 percent per year, much slower than other forms of renewable energy," the IRENA expert lamented. 

An article by Deutsche Welle states that "...In the case of Central America, countries in the region have geothermal energy potential which is 20 times greater than the current installed capacity. Therefore, countries have more than 650 megawatts (MW) distributed in Costa Rica (207 MW), El Salvador (204 MW) and Nicaragua (55 MW)."

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