New World Bank publication: Greenhouse Gases from Geothermal Power Production

A report recently published by the World Bank ESMAP.

The World Bank ESMAP recently published ‘Greenhouse Gases from Geothermal Power Production’. You can find the publication online:
www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2016/06/23/090224b0843f9209/1_0/Rendered/PDF/Greenhouse0gas0mal0power0production.pdf.

The technical report provides an overview of the current knowledge on GHG emissions from geothermal power plants. Although GHG emissions from geothermal power are relatively low compared to emissions from fossil fuels, such emissions -- under specific and rare conditions --can be significant. Certain geological conditions cause different levels of GHG emissions from geothermal power plants and natural factors can change emissions over time. Emissions from power plants or via natural pathways may also change with time in response to production.

This report discusses these factors; explores the available energy conversion technologies, which can reduce emissions levels; and presents a cost analysis of options for gas capture and treatment for different commercial purpose--another way to lower overall emissions released into the atmosphere.

This report gives guidance to project developers and financial institutions on to how to estimate emissions, ex ante, from geothermal power projects, especially those being considered for financing by The World Bank and other multilateral development banks, or even the private sector.

Recommendations are made towards closing identified knowledge gaps relating to effects of production on GHG emissions over time. More importantly, the report offers insights on how concessional financing for investments in gas capture and treatment can be considered where GHG emissions from geothermal exceeds the national grid emission factor.