Australia - Direct Uses




fish farming



bathing and swimming



geothermal heat pumps(estimated)





Total thermal installed capacity in MWt


Direct use in TJ/year


Direct use in GWh/year


Capacity factor



Country Update: The country’s only geothermal district heating system at Portland in Victoria, remains decommissioned since 2006 for a variety of reason included environmental (surface discharged of the fluid). However, it may be recommissioned in 2014 or 2015. One of the main areas of interest for development of direct-use geothermal is around the City of Perth in Western Australia where the resource is being developed for swimming, an aquatic center and for heating schools. At Robe in South Australia, barramundi (an edible tropical freshwater fish) is being raised in tanks using water from a well at 29oC. An additional barramundi farm using geothermal water is located at Weribee using 28oC fresh water. At Warmamool a meat processing facility uses geothermal water for washing down and sterilizing the industrial facility. A number of spas and resorts are using geothermal water, most notably are a resort at Warmambool where space heating of 122 rooms and domestic hot water heating is provided; and Peninsula Hot Spring on the Mornington Peninsula near Melbourne attracts 420,000 visitors annually and has 228 full time and part time staff. It uses 46°C water to heat a number of indoor and outdoor pools. If its commercial growth pattern over the past nine year continues, it will become the largest tourism attraction in Victoria in 3-5 year time. There at least 17 locations in the country where geothermal waters are using for bathing and swimming. A unique one is Dalhousie Springs, a group of over 60 natural artesian springs located in Witjira National Park on the western fringe of the Simpson Desert in northern South Australia. For tens of thousands of years, the Arrente People (indigenous language group) has managed the water resources in a harmonious and sustainable way to provide water, food, life and connection on an important traditional travel path. The geothermal ground-source heat pump sector in the country appears to be on the verge of a rapid period of growth. The largest installation is in the Geoscience Australia building in

Canberra, with the 2,500 kW of thermal power provided to 210 heat pumps. A new project being proposed is using geothermal heat pumps of an 800-block housing estate near Blacktown in Sydney’s west side.

Taken from: John W. Lund and Tonya L. Boyd
Published in Direct Utilization of Geothermal Energy 2015 Worldwide Review

Total thermal installed capacity in MWt:33.33
Direct use in TJ/year235.1
Direct use in GWh/year65.3
Capacity factor0.22

Australia’s only geothermal district heating system, at Portland in Victoria, was decommissioned in 2006 for environmental reasons (spent water was being discharged into a surface stream). However, geothermal energy is increasingly being recognized as a cheap source of energy around the country.

A number of public swimming pools are using geothermal water in the Perth Basin in Western Australia, and at Christchurch and Craigie, and at the sporting arena "Challenge Stadium", along with it being used for domestic hot water in the arena.

At Robe in South Australia barramundi are grown in tanks using 29oC water. Here 22 local people are employed with annual revenue of AU$2 million. A similar facility is located in Victoria at Werribee.

At Warrnambool geothermal water is used for washing down and sterilizing an industrial meat processing facility.

Spas using geothermal water are located at Warrnambool and at Rye on the Mornington Peninsula south of Melbourne. This latter facility has undergone a major expansion for accommodations, agriculture, greenhouses, space heating, and balneology in a cascaded process using 45oC water.

Throughout the rest of the county a number of recreational swimming and bathing centers are located from Hastings, Tasmania in the south to Innot Hot Springs in Queensland. A total of 12 sites are listed. However, the use by all these facilities are difficult to determine, and thus, are estimated in some cases.

The Geoscience Australia building in Canberra is the country’s largest ground source heat pump installation with 2,500 kW of installed power. Other geothermal heat pump units are installed in New South Wales, Canberra, Tasmania, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and Northern Territory.

The various applications are:

2.3 MWt and 43.5 TJ/yr for fish farming;
7.03 MWt and 61.6 TJ/yr for bathing and swimming;
and 24 MWt and 130 TJ/yr for geothermal heat pumps.

The total for the country is 33.33 MWt and 235.1 TJ/yr.

Taken from the paper by John W. Lund, Derek H. Freeston, and Tonya L. Boyd: "Direct Utilization of Geothermal Energy 2010 Worldwide Review"; published in Proceedings of the World Geothermal Congress 2010, Bali, Indonesia, 25-29 April 2010