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Once running, a geothermal plant can provide a continuous source of electricity
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And it is not just New Zealand. There is renewed interest in this energy source as countries set themselves renewable energy targets, including net zero projects - commitment by dozens of nations to decarbonize their economies by 2050.

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There are around 600 geothermal plants around the world in operation or being built, with another 600 being planned, says Alex Richter, former president of the International Geothermal Association: "All major utilities in Europe are looking at geothermal in one way or another."

The number of projects that use heat to generate electricity accelerated from around 2008, but there has been "incredible" growth in plants that heat homes and businesses, he says.

"Paris has wells across the city offering heating to various districts - or look at Munich, another city betting big on geothermal. And the countries that have long been the trailblazers in this field are Italy and Turkey."
"The beauty of geothermal is its access to heat and the number of applications it can be used for," says Rosalind Archer, director of The Geothermal Institute at the University of Auckland.

She points out a key advantage of geothermal over other renewable options such as wind and solar power, which vary in intensity, is its constant availability. On a human timescale, the heat locked in the Earth's rocks will always be there.

Iceland has long been at the forefront of using geothermal energy thanks to its many volcanic regions, which form solid rock after magma passes through it, offering heat to drilling teams as those hot rocks cool slowly.

In the United States, nine purchase-power agreements involving geothermal projects have been signed since 2019, compared to the annual average of just two. pg slot

In the UK, Cornish firm Geothermal Engineering has just signed an agreement with Ecotricity - the first time that geothermal electricity will be sold in the UK. The firm has been one of the leaders in the renewables field, having built the UK's first megawatt scale windmill in 1999.

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