15 July 2014
The Board of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) today endorsed the International Geothermal Expert Group’s report on the barriers and opportunities for geothermal energy in Australia.
ARENA Chair Greg Bourne said ARENA convened the group to analyse the geothermal sector in Australia and present the Board with options for realising the potential of geothermal in the coming decades.
“We brought together internationally recognised experts with practical experience in geothermal drilling, reservoirs, geology and energy economics,” Mr Bourne said.
Chair of the International Geothermal Expert Group, Professor Quentin Grafton, said that the report provides a robust evidence base.
“The International Geothermal Expert Group also invited input from stakeholders, and commissioned CSIRO to prepare an in-depth report on geothermal energy in Australia,” Professor Grafton said.
“It finds that the upfront costs, particularly the high costs of drilling before a resource can be proven, are a major risk for investors.
“The report sets out the steps for developing an innovation roadmap for harnessing the potential of geothermal energy in Australia.”
The ARENA Board has endorsed the recommendation for a ‘reboot’ of geothermal investment in Australia.
“There is a need for a fresh approach to developing Australia’s geothermal potential by building on the successes to date and restoring investor confidence,” Mr Bourne said.
“The IGEG report and supporting studies establish a robust evidence base that should inform the design of future policy and programs to support the long term commercial development of geothermal energy in Australia.”
“This will ensure that geothermal energy is developed as a viable source of energy on a sustainable, commercial level without long-term subsidy.”