Canada Geothermal

Published
American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)

Interest in geothermal energy has been growing recently as one of the non-carbon geologic energy resource types envisioned for a sustainable energy future. Geothermal energy is unique among the unconventional and alternate energy resources represented by EMD in that it is a considered a naturally replenishing or renewable energy source. According the Energy Information Administration International Energy Outlook, renewables are predicted to be the world’s fastest-growing energy source at about 2.3%/year, followed by nuclear power at 1.5%/year https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/archive/ieo17/exec_summ.php.

Natural fumarole in the Svartsengi geothermal field, near Reykjavik, southern Iceland.
Natural fumarole in the Svartsengi geothermal field, near Reykjavik, southern Iceland.
Most of the geothermal energy resources in the United States are located in the west and Hawaii where shallow magma sources provide a sufficient heat source to tap steam from porous and often fractured hydrothermal reservoirs to turn turbines to generate electricity at commercial scales.

Across the border in Canada, geothermal resources are currently only used for heating. This is about to change with the recent approval of C$ 25.6 by the Canadian government to fund the country’s first geothermal power plant to be built in Saskatchewan province https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/14/canada-plans-its-first-geothermal-power-plant-.html. Two new conferences will be held this year in Canada to gain a better geologic understanding of the geothermal resource potential in Canada and other regions of the world.

The Geothermal Resources in Sedimentary Basin Conference will be held October 15-19, 2019 in Edmonton, Alberta dedicated to sharing knowledge into the development of geothermal resources in sedimentary basins worldwide. For more information go the conference website: http://gssb2019.com/.

At the opposite end of Canada, a group of students from the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS) are organizing a conference to be held November 21-22, 2019 in Quebec City, Quebec. This is the first conference of this type to be organized by INRS with the goal to bring together geothermal experts from academia, industry, and government to address the future of Canada’s geothermal energy. The conference organizers are currently soliciting presentations. Please visit the conference website https://canadiangeothermal.wixsite.com/cgsd for more information.

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