Geothermal Hotspots

Geothermal power comes from the heat of the Earth. Tapping into this energy source – which doesn't require the burning of fossil fuels – is a clean, renewable way to produce electricity.

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© Wild Wonders of Europe / Inaki Relanzon / WWF

A geothermal future

WWF’s Climate Solutions anticipates that by 2050 geothermal energy could account for around 58 million megawatt hours of electricity per year.

If used to replace electricity from coal, this could avoid approximately 60 million tonnes of CO2 emissions each year; the equivalent of more than 25% of emissions from today’s electricity generation.

An ambitious geothermal development programme also rapidly reduces costs – down from US$150 per MW hour (pilot plants less than 10MW) to US$90 per MW hour (commercial-scale plants).

Tapping the Earth's energy

Hotspots for geothermal development include the “Ring of Fire” in the Southeast Asian Coral Triangle region, the African Rift Valley, and places in Latin America, Japan and the US.

In the Coral Triangle, geothermal energy currently supplies 17% of the Philippines’ electricity needs. Other countries in the region, like Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea, could join this trend by tapping into their geothermal potential.

By 2050, Enhanced Geothermal Systems could reduce Australia’s emissions by avoiding approximately 25% of today’s electricity generation emissions while creating over 17,000 jobs.

Experience has shown that geothermal energy also complements forest protection because of their symbiotic relationship – geothermal steam fields need good watersheds to be viable in the long term.

WWF strongly supports large-scale geothermal power plants and is working with partners to further research and development throughout the world.
 / ©: Tongi Corveler / WWF
Geothermal activity at Rotorua, North Island, New Zealand. The yellow colour is due to the presence of sulphur.
© Tongi Corveler / WWF
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Geothermal power station of Olkaria, Kenya.
© Philippe Oberle / WWF

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