ARENA International Geothermal Expert Group

The ARENA International Geothermal Expert Group was established to investigate and report on the prospects for the commercial development of geothermal energy in Australia. The Expert Group delivered the report to the ARENA Board in July 2014.

Drawing on relevant recent studies and lessons learned, the Expert Group critically evaluated the prospects for either Enhanced Geothermal Systems or Hot Sedimentary Aquifer geothermal energy to deliver cost competitive energy to Australia without long-term subsidy.

The report provides options to the ARENA Board on how it may wish to allocate and prioritise its funding for geothermal energy as part of its portfolio approach to supporting renewable energy in Australia.

Cover of the full report: Looking forward: barriers, risks and rewards of the Australian Geothermal Sector to 2020 and 2030.Report

Full report: Looking forward: barriers, risks and rewards of the Australian Geothermal Sector to 2020 and 2030 (PDF 3MB) | (DOCX 14MB)

Summary report: Highlights of the barriers, risks and rewards of the Australian Geothermal Sector to 2020 and 2030 (PDF 2MB) | (DOCX 6MB)

Supporting studies

Stakeholder consultation

In February 2014 the Expert Group presented its preliminary findings to stakeholders in Brisbane and Sydney and invited written comments on the preliminary findings.

In November 2013 the Expert Group accepted submissions to inform its study into Australia’s geothermal energy prospects.

The Expert Group visited Australia in mid October 2013 to meet with and learn from stakeholders. Meetings were held in Brisbane, Adelaide and Sydney with geothermal energy and allied technology companies, research groups, peak bodies, the investment community, regulators and government agencies.

Members of the Geothermal Expert Group

The members of the Expert Group combined extensive experience in geothermal energy, drilling technology and energy economics.


Quentin Grafton

Professor of Economics, Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU and former Executive Director of the Australian Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics

Quentin was the first Executive Director and Chief Economist of the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics, serving in that role from its formation until July 2013. He has published extensively in the area of environmental and resource economics including in the world’s leading science and economic journals.


Roland N. Horne

Thomas Davies Barrow Professor of Earth Sciences in the Department of Energy Resources Engineering at Stanford University; Director of the Stanford Geothermal Program

Roland is the Director of the Stanford Geothermal Program and past President of the International Geothermal Association (2010 to 2013). He is recognised for his work in well test interpretation, production optimization and tracer analysis of fractured geothermal reservoirs.

Michal Moore

Distinguished Fellow and Professor of Energy Economics, School of Public Policy, the University of Calgary and visiting Professor of Energy Economics at Cornell University, New York

Michal is the Director for the Energy and Environment program at Calgary and teaches energy and technology markets courses in the Economics and Systems Engineering departments at Cornell. He formerly served as Chief Economist at the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory and is a former regulator in the energy industry in California.

Susan Petty

President and Chief Technology Officer, AltaRock

Susan has over 34 years of experience in the geothermal industry in electrical and direct use project economics, optimising of power plants to meet resource conditions, reservoir evaluation, reservoir modelling, well, plant and wellfield performance data analysis, well testing and test data analysis.

Bill Livesay

Drilling Consultant, Black Mountain Technology

Bill was a pioneer of the geothermal industry. He brought to the Expert Group the unique insights and profound knowledge which he developed over thirty-five years’ experience in all aspects of drilling engineering for oil, gas and geothermal resources. Bill passed away on 4 March 2014.

Cameron Huddlestone-Holmes

Geologist, CSIRO

As the Geothermal Stream Leader at CSIRO, Cameron led research focused on integrating multi-disciplinary capabilities in geoscience and resource engineering, and applying them to develop the technologies and knowledge needed to demonstrate the technical viability of geothermal energy in Australia. Cameron provided professional technical support to the Group.

More information

For further information, please contact the ARENA International Geothermal Expert Group Secretariat on +61 2 6243 7555.