Geothermal power is energy that is generated by heat stored in the earth, or the collection of absorbed heat derived from underground, the atmosphere, and oceans. The resources for geothermal energy fall in between shallow ground and molten rock miles below the Earth's surface.
There are many advantages of geothermal energy, including low emissions, no purchase of fuel, power plants unaffected by weather conditions, and a sustainable source of energy due to comparatively small heat small extraction and natural replenishment.
Over the past few years, public geothermal companies have begun to spring up due to the recognition of geothermal energy as a valuable source of energy.
Below is a list of currently publicly traded geothermal companies:
Polaris Geothermal Inc.(TSX: GEO.TO) is a renewable energy company developing technology to harness the San Jacinto Tizate geothermal resource in Nicaragua. Since 2005, Polaris has been online with with 8.5 MW at the SJT plant, and is on schedule to realize its Q1 2010 target of 72 MW of output. Recently, newly tested production wells have showed excellent test results. This includes the steam and pressure characteristics, which are sufficient to produce an estimated 16 MW and 22.8 MW respectively.
U.S. Geothermal Inc. (AMEX: HTM) was founded in 2002 and is based in Boise Idaho. It is a company working to develop geothermal energy resources for electrical power and direct uses. Through its subsidiaries, HTM engages in the acquisition, development, and utilization of geothermal resources in the western region of the U.S. This company currently owns an interest in a 3.6 MW operating geothermal power plant, approximately 28,358 acres of geothermal energy leases, including properties in Granite Creek located 6 miles north of Gerlach Nevada, as well as some ground water rights located north of Reno, NV.
Western GeoPower Corp. (OTCBB:WGP) is a renewable energy company dedicated to the development of geothermal energy projects for the delivery of clean, sustainable baseload electricity generation. Since 2003, WGP has launched extensive technological programs involving drilling programs, geochemical assessments, environmental and socio-economic studies, and has raised $57 million towards proving the commercial viability of these projects.
Calpine Corp (NYSE:CPN), founded in 1984 in San Jose, CA, is a company that engages in the generation and sale of electricity (as well as related products and services) to wholesale and industrial customers in North America. CPN leases and operates its own low-carbon, natural gas-fired and renewable geothermal power plants, geothermal steam fields, wells and well pumps, and gas pipelines, and sells its produced thermal energy primarily to industrial, as well as other third party users.
Ormat Technologies, Inc, (NYSE:ORA), a subsidiary of Ormat Industries Ltd., was founded in 1965 and is based in Reno, Nevada. ORA is a leading vertically integrated company dedicated to providing solutions for geothermal power, recovered energy generation (REG) and remote power. Along with its subsidiaries, ORA engages in this business in the U.S. and internationally, operating in two segments: electricity and products. The first segment, electricity, develops, builds, owns, and operates geothermal and recovered energy-based power plants, and also sells electricity. The second segment, products, designs, manufactures, and sells equipment for geothermal and recovered energy-based electricity generation. Some of the products include fossil fuel powered turbo-generators and heavy duty direct current generators, which are offered to owners and operators of geothermal plants, interstate natural gas pipelines, gas processing plants, and cement plants. The products segment also provides operations and maintenance services for geothermal and recovered energy power plants.
Nevada Geothermal Power Inc. (OTCBB: NGLPF) is a renewable energy developer that focuses on producing clean, sustainable geothermal electric power from high temperature geothermal resources. NGP currently has three properties in Nevada: Blue Mountain, Pumpernickel, and Black Warrior, and one property, Crump Geyser, in Oregon.
Sierra Geothermal Power Corp. (TSX.V: SRA) is a renewable energy company based in Vancouver that focuses on the exploration and development of clean, sustainable geothermal power. Geothermal properties in Nevada and California include 90,000 acres which have a total estimated capacity of 500MW. SGP plans to continue evaluating additional acquisitions, while advancing the development of its portfolio through equity and/or joint ventures.
Raser Technologies Inc. (NYSE: RZ) was founded in 2002 in Provo, Utah, and now operates as a licensing company for geothermal power and technology. The two segments of the company are Power Systems, and Transportation and Industrial Technology. The first segment, Power Systems, seeks to develop geothermal electric power-generating plants. The second segment, Transportation and Industrial Technology is focused on commercializing the company's Symetron technology. This technology improves the efficiency of electronic motors and related components.