Geothermal energy may be a less expensive option than hydropower for Canada

December 3, 2014 0 By Alicia Moore

New report highlights the low cost of geothermal power

The Canadian Geothermal Energy Association has released a report that suggests that geothermal energy is significantly less expensive than hydropower. The report also notes that geothermal projects are more beneficial to the environment and have a more positive impact on the economy. Geothermal power has been growing in popularity for some time, but several countries have done relatively little to tap into the inherent power of the planet. As Canada begins to focus more heavily on renewable energy, however, it is beginning to look into taking advantage of its geothermal resources.

British Columbia may benefit from its geothermal resources

The report from the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association claims that British Columbia has enough geothermal resources to meet the entirety of its energy needs. According to the report, geothermal power projects could provide as much as 1,100 megawatts of energy capacity, producing some 5,100 gigawatt-hours of electricity annually. The problem, however, is that the province is not likely to switch from hydropower and other forms of energy because conventional projects are already well established.

Hydropower project in British Columbia may be an expensive endeavor

Geothermal Energy - Vancouver, British ColumbiaBritish Columbia is currently building a large-scale hydropower project, which is being managed by BC Hydro. This project has generated some controversy, as initial plans for the project were rejected in 1983 and the early 1990’s. The project involves building a large dam, which would leave approximately 68 miles of boreal forest submerged underwater. Building the dam would also produce some 150,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. The dam would also cost $7.9 billion, generating electricity at a cost of $83 per megawatt-hour.

Geothermal projects may produce energy at a cost of $73 per megawatt-hour

According to the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association, numerous geothermal projects can be built throughout the province at a total cost of $3.3 billion. These projects would produce electrical power at a cost of $73 per megawatt-hour. The actual cost of these projects and the energy they produce will be heavily affected by where they take form, however, as projects being built in certain parts of the province will be more expensive than those being built elsewhere.