Beating the diesel challenge with geothermal power

ASX-listed geothermal energy developer KUTh Energy began its operations first targeting the hot rock geothermal potential of Tasmania. The company implemented an impressive exploration program to identify two sites that showed potential for large-scale geothermal development. In addition to its interests in Tasmania, the company also holds permits for exploration in Queensland, where it has reported that initial reviews were encouraging.
“The geothermal sector has suffered from the uncertainty surrounding the debate on carbon pricing and renewable energy support initiatives and generally slow project progress,” KUTh managing director David McDonald said. “These factors have created a difficult investment environment.”
Mr McDonald said that to create balance in its project portfolio, KUTh had embarked on a strategic course of identifying geothermal development opportunities in offshore markets that combine promising resource targets and favourable market economics.
“This initially meant a strong focus on conventional (volcanic) geothermal targets in the Pacific region, where the resource potential is better understood, the drilling depths more manageable and there is access to development bank funding,” he said.
“The Pacific targets have offered us the opportunity to deploy our team efficiently while the clean energy policy in Australia settles down. Implementing projects which displace high cost diesel generated power offers a compelling business case.”
Mr McDonald said that KUTh was in the process of establishing geothermal power projects in Vanuatu and Saipan, and was exploring development potential in Fiji and Papua New Guinea.

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