China - Direct Uses




district heating



Agricultural drying






fish farming



Industrial process



bathing and swimming



 geothermal heat pumps





Total thermal installed capacity in MWt


Direct use in TJ/year


Direct use in GWh/year


Capacity factor



Country Update: Geothermal direct-use in the country has benefited from the requirement for energy conservation in buildings and reduction of CO2 emissions. The fastest growing section is in the installations of geothermal heat pumps. In 2009, GHP accounted for 53.5% of the installed capacity and 51.9% of the annual energy use. Today, these numbers are 65.9% and 57.5% respectively. For geothermal direct-use excluding heat pump, the largest use was for bathing and medical treatment. Today the largest is for district heating with a 2.8 times increase over 2009. Geothermal space heating provides heat for 60.32 million m2, with 19 million m2 in Tianjin and 13.8 million m² in Hebei province. Hot springs have been used for bathing and medical treatment for many centuries. This industry is growing with new investors. The heating of greenhouses and aquaculture facilities is one of the main uses of geothermal resources. Greenhouses covering 30,000 m2 with automatic control of temperature and humidity are becoming popular. Geothermal heat pumps have increased from heating area of 7.67 million m2 in 2004, to 100.7 million m2 in 2009, to 330 million m2 in 2014.

The largest concentration is in Shenyang where 22.48% of the China’s capacity has been installed, followed by Beijing with 15.18%.

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:8,898
Direct use in TJ/year75,348.3
Direct use in GWh/year20,931.8
Capacity factor0.27

The Chinese government, since 2006 has encouraged the development of geothermal energy, along with other renewable energies (Zheng et al. 2010). Geothermal district heating capacity has continued to increase at about 10% annually (52% since reported in 2005) to 1,291 MWt and 14,798.5 TJ/yr, and there has been a large increase in heat pump capacity from 383 MWt (2004/5) to 5,210MWt and 29,035 TJ/yr in 2009. Geothermal district heating in Tianjin utilizing GHP water is now servicing some 1 million people using 26.4 million m3 annually saving 1.17 million tons of standard coal equivalent and reducing 2.78 million tons of CO2 emissions.

Using geothermal fluids for bathing, agriculture, and fish farming have continued to be major users. There has been a rapid development in the use of GHP‘s across the country. Renewable energy accounts for about 26% of the total heating and cooling requirements of the Olympic venues in Beijing and served as a good demonstration of the use of these forms of energy. In 2007 Chinese and Australian experts signed an agreement to undertake a survey of likely sites for the development of Enhance Geothermal Systems. A program of work has been established in 2009 and it is hoped to have an in depth study in 2010 of suitable sites.

Other uses in the country include:

147 MWt and 1,687.9 TJ/yr for greenhouse heating;
197 MWt and 2,170.8 TJ/yr for fish farming;
82 MWt and 1,037.5 TJ/yr for agricultural drying;
145 MWt and 2,732.6 TJ/yr for industrial process heat;
1,826 MWt and 23,886.0 TJ/yr for bathing and swimming.

The total is 8,898 MWt and 75,348.3 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