7 years ago, in July 2010, The Australian government made a $32 million gamble on geothermal energy and investing in Australia’s first demonstration of geothermal electricity generation.
6 years later, the wells of the Cooper Basin in South Australia have been abandoned and filled with concrete. The company involved in the geothermal exploration Geodynamics Limited has announced its rebranding and shifting focus to biogas, solar PVs battery storage and hybrid solutions.
Although geothermal energy is a mainstay in power generation in countries like Iceland, The Philippines and El Salvador, Australia is facing a more challenging landscape. Since 2009, the federal government has funded 7 geothermal projects at a cost of more than $40 million. And just one of the 7 is still active.
In 2013, ARENA established an international geothermal expert group to review the country’s prospects for commercial geothermal energy generation. The group of experts concluded that the Australian geothermal sector faces compelling technical hurdles, and the possibility of commercial viability before the year 2030 was slim, despite more than $1 billion worth of investment from the government and private sector.