What Countries Are Investing In Geothermal Energy?

What countries are investing in geothermal energy?

Geothermal energy is thermal energy generated and stored in the Earth. It is a clean and sustainable source of renewable energy that utilizes heat from the Earth’s interior for electricity generation, heating and cooling applications. Countries around the world are increasingly investing in geothermal energy development and capacity, to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and meet emissions targets.

This article provides an overview of some of the top countries that are investing substantially in geothermal energy today. It will examine the capacity, future projections and notable geothermal sites in countries that are leading geothermal energy utilization and development globally. The key countries investing in geothermal that will be covered include Iceland, the United States, Philippines, Indonesia, New Zealand, Kenya, Turkey and Mexico.


Iceland produces more electricity from geothermal energy than any other country. According to Wikipedia, over 70% of Iceland’s total energy usage comes from geothermal sources as of 2020. Geothermal energy has a long history in Iceland, with the first geothermal power plant opening in 1969 at Namafjall. Since then, Iceland has dramatically expanded its use of geothermal power.

One major geothermal project is the Hellisheiði Power Station near Reykjavik, which is the largest geothermal power plant in the world. This single plant generates over 300 MW of electricity. Iceland is committed to further developing its abundant geothermal resources, with the goal of having 100% renewable energy usage by 2050. With its unique geology providing copious amounts of accessible thermal energy, Iceland will continue leading the way in geothermal power generation.

United States

The United States is the world’s largest producer of geothermal energy, with an installed capacity of 3,676 MW as of 2019. The majority of geothermal energy production occurs in the western states, especially California, Nevada, Utah, Hawaii, and Oregon.

California leads the nation with 2,730 MW of installed geothermal capacity, representing 75% of the U.S. total. The Geysers in Northern California is the largest geothermal field in the world. Nevada ranks second in the U.S. with 288 MW of geothermal capacity.

Although geothermal energy accounts for less than 1% of total U.S. energy production today, projections estimate the potential to reach more than 8% by 2050. With increasing investment and advancements in enhanced geothermal systems (EGS), the future outlook for geothermal energy in the United States is promising.


The Philippines has long been one of the global leaders in geothermal energy production. As of 2021, the Philippines had around 1.93 thousand megawatts of installed geothermal capacity according to Statista, making it the second largest geothermal energy producer in the world behind the United States.

The Philippines government is striving to regain the number two position as a leading geothermal energy producer globally, a title it previously held before being overtaken by Indonesia in the late 2010s. The country has several major geothermal projects in development, including the 17 MW Tiwi binary power plant and the 29 MW Mindanao 3 geothermal plant, which will help boost its energy generation capacity (Think GeoEnergy).

With its substantial geothermal resources and supportive government policies, the Philippines is poised to continue growing its geothermal energy portfolio in the years ahead.


Indonesia has the largest geothermal power capacity in Asia, with over 2,350 MW installed as of 2022 according to Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geothermal_power_in_Indonesia). The country ranks second in the world for geothermal utilization after the United States. Major geothermal sites are located across the islands of Sumatra, Java, and Sulawesi, which sit along the Pacific Ring of Fire. Indonesia’s government has set goals to reach 7,241 MW of geothermal capacity by 2025 as part of its renewable energy push.

The Sarulla geothermal power plant in North Sumatra is one of the largest single-contract geothermal power projects in the world, with a capacity of 330 MW. Other major plants include the Wayang Windu plant in West Java and the Darajat and Salak plants in West Java. Indonesia possesses around 40% of the world’s geothermal potential, so there is significant room for further growth in the coming years.

New Zealand

New Zealand has a significant amount of geothermal energy resources due to its location along the “Pacific Ring of Fire”. The country generates approximately 15% of its electricity from geothermal sources, one of the highest shares in the world.

According to EECA, New Zealand currently has about 1,000 MW of installed geothermal electricity generation capacity from 13 major power stations, mostly located in the Taupo Volcanic Zone. The largest geothermal power station is the Wairakei power station, which alone contributes about 10% of the country’s geothermal electricity generation.

The New Zealand government has set a goal for geothermal electricity generation to reach 3000-4000 GWh per year by 2025. This will require further development of the country’s geothermal resources. Key geothermal projects underway include the expansion of the Tauhara geothermal field and construction of the Rotokawa and Nga Awa Purua power stations.

Overall, New Zealand’s extensive geothermal resources, expertise and existing infrastructure mean it is well-placed to continue growing its geothermal energy production. The renewable source helps increase energy security and reduce carbon emissions for the country.

Source: EECA, Wikipedia, MBIE


Kenya is one of the leading countries in the world for geothermal energy production and capacity. The East African country generates over 50% of its electricity from geothermal sources, most of which comes from the Olkaria geothermal power plants located in the Rift Valley region. As of 2022, Kenya had about 950 MW of installed geothermal capacity, enough to power around 3.8 million homes (IMF, 2022).

The Olkaria geothermal plants consist of multiple phases and units, with Olkaria I being the first geothermal plant commissioned in Kenya in 1981. Olkaria IV and V plants came online in 2014 and 2019 respectively, adding 280 MW to the grid. Kenya aims to expand its geothermal capacity even further, targeting 19.2 GW by 2030 as part of its ambitious renewable energy goals (Reuters, 2023). This would make Kenya one of the top geothermal energy producers globally.

Geothermal power is an optimal energy source for Kenya thanks to the country’s location along the East African Rift Valley system. This geologically active region provides abundant reserves of hot water and steam that can be harnessed in geothermal plants to generate reliable, low-cost electricity. As a clean form of baseload power with minimal environmental impact, geothermal helps Kenya meet its sustainable development objectives and acts as a model for other countries looking to tap into earth’s heat.


Turkey has a large potential for geothermal energy, with an estimated capacity of 4 GW as of 2020 according to Wikipedia. The country’s geothermal power capacity reached 1,691.4 MW as of April 2023, with power plants located in six provinces in the Aegean Region according to Think GeoEnergy. Major projects include the Kızıldere geothermal power plant, which was the first geothermal power plant in Turkey and Europe. Turkey aims to continue expanding its geothermal capacity to meet growing energy demands.


Mexico has significant geothermal resources, ranking 6th in the world for geothermal capacity. As of 2022, Mexico had around 1,370 MW of installed geothermal capacity, meeting around 3% of the country’s electricity demand. The majority of Mexico’s geothermal plants are located near the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt in the western states of Baja California, Michoacán, Guanajuato and Veracruz.

Mexico aims to grow its geothermal capacity to help meet renewable energy and climate goals. Under its Energy Transition Law, Mexico is targeting 35% clean energy generation by 2024. To help meet this, Mexico aims to double its geothermal capacity to 2,500 MW by 2030. Key geothermal projects under development include expansions at the Los Azufres and Los Humeros geothermal fields, which could add over 500 MW of new capacity. With strong government support and ideal geology, Mexico is poised to continue growing its geothermal energy production.


Geothermal energy is gaining traction around the world as countries seek renewable and sustainable energy sources. Several nations stand out for their significant investments and rapid growth in geothermal power generation and direct heating. Iceland is the world leader, meeting over 25% of its electricity demand from the earth’s natural heat. The United States, Philippines, Indonesia, New Zealand, Kenya, Turkey and Mexico have also made major commitments to expand their geothermal capacity. With vast untapped potential, efficient technologies, and environmentally responsible policies, the future is bright for geothermal energy worldwide. Many countries are realizing its reliability compared to intermittent renewables like solar and wind. As more regions discover their subsurface heat resources, we can expect geothermal energy production to grow substantially in the coming years.

Similar Posts