Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology

2012 Edition
| Editors: Robert A. Meyers

Geothermal Power Economics

  • Subir K. Sanyal
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0851-3_232

Definition of the Subject and Its Importance

Geothermal power is the rate of extraction of geothermal energy, whether expressed as heat energy or equivalent electrical energy, and is expressed as Watt or an equivalent unit. The extraction of geothermal energy, and therefore geothermal power capacity , is dependent not only on the technological barriers to this energy extraction but also on the economic barriers. Power generation from geothermal energy, therefore, requires consideration of the economics of geothermal power. This entry considers power cost as the main economic criterion rather than the power price or project profitability because, unlike price or profitability, cost is substantially independent of the corporate culture of the developer and operator, financing mechanism, local market forces, and government policies. The most comprehensive measure of the geothermal power cost is “levelized” power cost, expressed typically as cents per kW-hour power generated over the...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. 1.
    Sanyal SK (2005) Levelized cost of geothermal power – how sensitive it is? Trans Geotherm Res Council 29:459Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Entingh DJ, McVeigh JF (2003) Historical improvements in geothermal power systems costs. Trans Geotherm Res Council, 533Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Sanyal SK, Menzies AJ, Brown PJ, Enedy KL, Enedy S (1989) A systematic approach to decline curve analysis for the geysers steam field, California. Trans Geotherm Res Council, Santa Rosa, p 415Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Sanyal SK, Robertson-Tait A, Klein CW, Butler SJ, Lovekin JW, Brown PJ, Sudarman S, Sulaiman S (2000) Assessment of steam supply for the expansion of generation capacity from 140 to 200 MW, Kamojang Geothermal Field, West Java Indonesia. In: Trans World Geotherm Congress, Beppu and Morioka, Japan, p 2195Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    MIT (2006) The future of geothermal energy – impact of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) on the United States in the 21st century. An assessment by an MIT – led interdisciplinary panel, Massachusetts Institute of Technololgy, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Sanyal SK, Morrow JW, Butler SJ, Robertson-Tait A (2007) Is EGS commercially feasible? Trans Geotherm Res Council 31:2007Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.GeothermEx, IncRichmondUSA