2.9

Gigawatts

currently owned or installed to utilities and developers worldwide by Ormat

94%

of Ormat’s generating capacity comes from geothermal

53

Megawatts

of recovered energy generation capacity as of 2020

View Our Analysis

The Path to Drawdown: Geothermal

Solving climate change and remaining below 1.5ºC of global temperature increase requires that the world switch to generating power from fossil fuels 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, and 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 interlude 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:

  • <::marker> 90 TWh in 2018
  • <::marker> 4,064 TWh in 2050
  • <::marker> 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.

What We Want to See Improve

Aim for Zero Emissions

We approve of ORA’s target-setting of 5% reduction per revenu in emissions by 2021, but we believe this goal is too modest. We want to see ORA aim for zero GHG emissions by the end of the decade.

Convert to Renewable Energy Consumption

Key to achieving zero emissions is to decouple ORA’s production and distribution from fossil fuel consumption. As of 2019, ORA consumed at least 202.7 million gigajoules (pp. 65-66) of non-renewable energy. We would like to see ORA commit to switching to using renewable energy.

Expand Solar

We are excited that ORA is one of the leading providers of geothermal energy in the US. But according to the IEA (p. 198) and Project Drawdown, solar power will by far be the leader in renewable energy in the next decade. Given their cost effectiveness and efficiency, this should come as no surprise. ORA is doing the right thing by expanding into solar PV, and we want to see them expand into this space more aggressively.

Related Geothermal Energy Stocks in the Climate Index

View All Climate Index Stocks →

Allocated Company Description

0.26%

Ormat Technologies, Inc. (ORA)

Ormat Technologies makes renewable geothermal energy technology, one of the important clean energy source in a decarbonized future

0.24%

AAON, Inc. (AAON)

AAON offers many HVAC products, including geothermal heat pumps that exchange heat with the Earth. Geothermal is a valuable zero-carbon energy source

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