World Geothermal Congress 2020+1
March - October, 2021

Geothermal Industry Development in Canada - 2020 Country Update

Alison THOMPSON, Zach HARMER, David WAINER, Manjot KLAIR

[Canadian Geothermal Energy Association, CanGEA, Canada]

In Canada, geothermal energy is used for space conditioning via ground source heat pumps, and for bathing and swimming in naturally occurring hot springs and geothermal natatoriums. Geothermal heat pumps (GHP) have been deployed across the country and have seen significant growth over the last decade. More than 150 thermal springs are known to exist in Western Canada but only 48 have sufficient data for characterization. 12 have been developed into commercial hot spring resorts and spas that account for the only geothermal energy direct use in Canada with an installed capacity of roughly 8.8 MWt. The Canadian market poses several challenges to geothermal energy development. Firstly, there exists a dearth in early-stage supportive policies and funding programs, both provincially and federally. In addition, several provincial and territorial jurisdictions have failed to develop regulatory frameworks for geothermal energy development. This creates an uncertain environment for investors and makes it difficult for developers to advance projects beyond the exploration phase. However, the general sentiment in Canada towards geothermal energy development has improved in recent years as a result of a growing appetite for clean energy sources, a rising cost of carbon and CanGEA’s continued public outreach efforts. More avenues for funding have been developed at the Federal government level, as well as new tax incentives made available to geothermal developers. There are several electricity generation projects currently underway, at various levels of progress. Current industry initiatives include maintaining the Canadian National Geothermal Database, provincial/territorial geothermal favourability mapping, energy literacy initiatives and various advocating efforts on the part of the Canadian Geothermal Industry Association to build provincial and federal policy support for the geothermal industry.

        Topic: Country Updates Paper Number: 01026

         Session 6A: Country Updates 6 -- Americas [Tuesday 13th April 2021, 10:00 am] (UTC-8)
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