Bulk power system based on fossil fuels becomes less reliable and stable in economic terms, technically more labor-consuming and harmful environmental impact. These problems have led many countries to find ways to supply the electricity from a green and sustainable energy source. The electricity derived from renewable energy sources such as hydro, solar, wind, biomass and geothermal refers to as green and sustainable energy. Geothermal energy is not only utilized for electric power generation, but it is also exploited to generate environmentally friendly heat energy. As of the end of 2018, geothermal global cumulative installed capacity exceeded 13 GW, generated an energy of about 630 peta joule (PJ). This chapter presents the geothermal energy resource in terms of the types of power plants, principle of the electricity generation and current world status of geothermal resource utilization. The issues such as advantages and disadvantages of geothermal energy economically and environmentally and means to overcome shortcomings are also considered. The main barriers for the development of geothermal industry include high resource and exploration risk, overall high development cost particularly drilling, and inadequate financing and grant support. The global averaged cost of electricity for the geothermal facility is nearly 0.072 USD/kWh as compared to 0.056 for onshore wind and 0.047 USD/kWh for hydropower. However, the technology is rather competitive to other renewables such as concentrating solar power (0.185 USD/kWh) and offshore wind (0.127 USD/kWh). Meanwhile, further research and development is critically needed to eliminate the non-condensable gases (NCGs) associated with the geothermal power generation.
Part of the book: Geothermal Energy