Geothermal Energy with Mark Ballesteros and Martin Pujol, Directors of the Australian Geothermal Association

2 December 2019

In this presentation Mark and Martin explored the potential applications of geothermal energy for heating and cooling; whether geothermal heating of water is already competitive against gas; and whether geothermal generation can provide baseload power and match demand. We heard about who is using it and where, and what is in store for the Australian geothermal industry?

Mark and Martin have worked extensively in the geothermal and groundwater industries, and have taken on the role of geothermal educators for a variety of audiences. 

Mark outlined the key benefits and challenges of geothermal electricity generation, gave a brief history of geothermal exploration in Australia and discussed how geothermally generated electricity could fit into the Australian energy mix. Note that ARENA reported that geothermal electricity can provide one of the lowest Levelised Costs of Energy in the right circumstances.

Martin outlined the geothermal resources that exist in Australia and the role that direct utilisation of geothermal energy and Ground Source Heat Pumps can play for Australia’s energy future. The presentation will include an overview of the Perth’s geothermal projects (including pool heating).

Summary and Conclusions

  • Geothermal provides clean, renewable energy
  • Cost-competitive with fossil fuel generation
  • High capacity factor = base load power generation
  • Technology improvements improving economics
  • HSA offers best short-medium term potential
  • Good potential for remote areas eg. electricity generation in Queensland
  • Variety of applications from large scale electricity generation to home heating
  • Direct use/GSHP a significant and growing industry in Australia

For a copy of the presentation follow this link .