Could Mexico Become a Geothermal Giant?


Living in a geologically active area can have its perks (like natural hot springs) and its drawbacks (like the occasional earthquake or volcanic eruption). 

It can also mean access to clean, sustainable geothermal energy. At least in theory. 

While harnessing that power remains impractical in many parts of the world, Mexico could be ripe for a geothermal energy resurgence, as Bloomberg BNA Mexico City correspondent Emily Pickrell explains in her special report for International Environment Reporter ... 

... and in this audio slideshow, which Emily narrates: 

 

Mexico is far from alone: A quirk of geology has put some of the most promising near-the-surface geothermal fields in countries that really could benefit from clean and dependable power in the coming decades.

The U.S Geological Survey, in its booklet -- Geothermal Energy—Clean Power From the Earth’s Heat -- notes: 

While those places, which often occur in areas prone to earthquakes and volcanoes “constitute less than 10 percent of the Earth’s surface, their potential to affect the world energy mix and related political and socioeconomic consequences is substantial, mainly because these zones include many developing nations.”   

“An excellent example is the boundary zone rimming the Pacific Plate — called the ‘Ring of Fire’ because of its abundance of active volcanoes—that contains many high-temperature hydrothermal convection systems. For the developing countries within this zone, the occurrence of an indigenous energy source, such as geothermal, could substantially bolster their national economies by reducing or eliminating the need to import hydrocarbon fuels for energy.” 

“The Philippines, Indonesia, and several countries in Central America already benefit greatly from geothermally generated electricity; additional projects are underway and planned.”

- by Greg Henderson