Geothermal energy continues to receive renewed interest in Canada. As a global energy leader lacking in its geothermal development, the industry is poised for a breakthrough.
A recent article published by Radio Canada notes where Alberta stands in relation to geothermal. Noted by journalist Tiphanie Roquette, “Some see it (geothermal) only as a niche source of energy, while for others, geothermal energy is about to live its heyday.”
As mentioned by the Canadian West Foundation (CWF) on the potential for geothermal energy in Western Canada, “unlike solar, wind, and some hydroelectricity that are subject to volatile weather conditions to generate power, geothermal energy does not suffer from intermittency: it is generated at a predictable rate regardless of external variables.”
Mark Scholz, president of the Canadian Association of Energy Companies, notes that the industry continues to see geothermal as a niche market, “This new industry for Canada and its potential is not really understood.”
Geothermal has been under the guise of clean energy advocates for decades. As a result, geothermal technology has made significant advances while continuing to be under appreciated in Western Canada.. Noted by Eavor’s president and CEO, John Redfern, “It’s been a long battle, but I think we’re winning it.”
Nick Harris, professor of geology at the University of Alberta, believes that the catalyst for the industry in Canda is a successful commercial project. “If one of these projects can demonstrate its viability, I think that will tip the scales and signal the start of an acceleration of development”, say Harris in the Radio Canada article.
Alberta has seen recent developments as a result of the Province of Alberta proclaiming the Geothermal Resource Development Act (GRDA) into law. A move that would hope to support new projects in the province.
While Canada continues its slumber in advancing geothermal, Redfern notes that deals outside of Canada provide a significant opportunity to prove the commercial viability of Eavor’s technology while supporting countries such as Germany to continue honing their energy security.
With US senators calling for increased funding for geothermal, and the European Geothermal Energy Council (EGEC) calling on energy stakeholders to sign their support for geothermal, It has been proven that the necessary resources exist in Canada, and still lags behind other developed nations. Without substantial support and funding to develop its first commercially viable project, in addition to accelerating the approval process, will continue to play catch up behind the US, China, and many European countries.
“We have seen a huge increase in interest in our business and even more in the last year with the situation in Ukraine”, said Redern.
With the starting line a difficult barrier for many geothermal companies, Razor Energy Corp. in conjunction with a wholly-owned subsidiary of Razor, FutEra Power Corp, announced it is entering a definitive agreement and closed senior debt financing of its Co-produced Geothermal Power Project in Swan Hills, Alberta. While this project is funded by Razor and Arena Investors LP, a New York-based institutional asset manager, this is a bright light for Canadian geothermal.
Noted in the Radio Canada article, Vanessa White, director of Alberta Innovates predicts a breakthrough in the next decade. “On the road to carbon neutrality, our assessment of project profitability and energy consumption will change. With the issues of carbon pricing, sustainability thresholds and clean technology, I expect geothermal to grow much faster in the province.”
Read the full Radio Canada article, Will geothermal energy make its big breakthrough in Alberta?.