Australia - Electricity Generation

In Australia three deep wells were completed, and after 20 years a new geothermal power plant (1 MWe Habanero Pilot Plant) has been commissioned. Unfortunately, many of the companies involve in geothermal exploration are leaving the sector, and the number exploration licenses is decreasing (Beardsmore, et al., 2015).

Development since WGC2010: a new plant at Habanero.

Installed capacity 1.1 MWe                     
Geothermal Electricity 0.5 GWh/y

Source:  Ruggero Bertani, Geothermal Power Generation in the World 2010-2014 Update Report


Installed geothermal generating capacity (December 2009) in MW

Birdsville 0.08

Despite of the quite low traditional hydrothermal resources, in Australia a very big effort is on the way, both from the legislation side and from researcher investment in order to exploit the EGS perspectives of the country.

Several projects are under executions, and several new leases have been released to a very aggressive pool of companies. There is the realistic hope to have from this country in the near future the first industrial experience of EGS, after the EU pioneristic activities of Soultz.

The Birdsville geothermal power plant is Australia’s only operating source of geothermal electric power at the end of 2009. The organic rankine cycle binary plant operates on 98°C water flowing at 27 kg/s from a 1,200 m deep well generating net 80 kW. Additional 300 kW are planned.

Geodynamics Ltd is commissioning a new 1 MW pilot plant at its Habanero EGS project at Innamincka. This plant is the first stage in a planned 40 MW initial development at the site. A temperature of 250°C at a depth of 4,400 m has been reported.

Panax Geothermal Ltd operates the Penola Geothermal Project, a reservoir at about 3,500 m depth to produce water at an average temperature of 145°C from a naturally permeable formation.

Petratherm Ltd is developing a project at Paralana to extract heat from meta-sedimentary formations at depth of 3,500– 4,000 m.

The total expected geothermal EGS installed capacity for 2020 is about 100 MW.  

Taken from Ruggero Bertani’s paper, " Geothermal Power Generation in the World 2005–2010 Update Report ", published in Proceedings of the World Geothermal Congress 2010, Bali, Indonesia, 25-29 April 2010