The Path to Drawdown: Geothermal
Solving climate change and staying below 1.5ºC of global temperature increase requires that the world switch from fossil fuels-based power to using 100% emissions-free sources.
Geothermal power is a technology that converts the steam coming off of underground reservoirs of hot water into electricity. Some geothermal techniques reinject the condensed steam back into the underground reservoirs after being used for electricity generation, while others use geothermal steam to heat another liquid, which is used to generate electricity. Unlike wind and solar, geothermal power generation can take place 24-7 without disruption and under almost any weather conditions. And while drilling for geothermal is expensive, the heat source itself is free.
Geothermal power accounted for 0.34% of total global electricity generation in 2018. According to Project Drawdown, geothermal would have to grow to about 2.6-2.8% by 2050 for the world to be on a path to remain under 1.5ºC of warming.
To get there, geothermal would need to undergo a drastic expansion over the coming decades:
90 TWh in 2018
4,064 TWh in 2050
12.65% CAGR from 2018-2050
The IEA also projects that, to reach a 100% clean electricity grid by 2030, geothermal electricity generation would require a 10% annual increase between 2019 and 2030.