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Geothermal power generation around the world

When comparing the amount of geothermal resources around the world, the United States with the world's largest geothermal area (The Geysers geothermal zone) is ranked first, Indonesia, made of many volcanic islands, ranks second and Japan is ranked third in the world.
Globally, Japan can be considered a major geothermal resource country, but in terms of capacity of power generation facilities, in recent years, along with the remarkable growth of geothermal development in Indonesia, New Zealand, Iceland and Kenya, in 2015 Japan is surpassed by Kenya, falling to the world's tenth place.

 

Amount of geothermal resources around the world

Rank

Country

Amount of resource (10000kW)

‚P

USA

3,900

‚Q

Indonesia

2,700

‚R

Japan

2,300

‚S

Philippines

600

‚T

Mexico

600

‚U

Iceland

580

‚V

New Zealand

370

‚W

Italy

150

¦10,000 KW = 10 MW
Source: Yuumi Muraoka, based on OHM Co., Ltd. 2011.7

 

Geothermal power generation capacity changes

 

Geothermal resource capacity of countries around the world

 

Geothermal power generation in Tohoku and Kyushu

The majority of geothermal power plants in Japan are built in Tohoku and Kyushu based on the disposition of the regionsf volcanic belt and geothermal field.
Total power output from the geothermal power plants nationwide is about 520,000 kW, the generated electricity amount is 2,559 GWh (FY 2015), which covers about 0.3% of the electricity demand in Japan.

 

The construction of the largest power plant in the country is the Hatchobara Power Station in Oita Prefecture, Unit 1 (output 55,000 kW) was completed in June 1972, and Unit 2 (output 55,000 kW) was completed in June 1990.
Ranking second in Kyushu and 5th nationwide in terms of capacity, the Otake power plant (Capacity 12,500 kW) was completed in August 1947
Monitoring of the plant operation and instruments is carried out from a location about 2 kilometers away from the Otake plant.
Other than that, there are also Tokyo Metropolitan areafs Hachijojima geothermal power plant, Japanfs only power plant located on a remote island, and Iwate Prefecturefs Matsukawa Geothermal Power Station, which boasts 50 years of history.

 

(Source: The Association of Thermal Power Nuclear Power Plant, Current Status and Trends of Geothermal Power Generation 2014)

 

Operating Geothermal Power Plant (as of 2016)

No   Location Affiliate Steam / hot water supply Authorized / certified output (kW) Power generation method Operation start date Utilization of FIT system
1 Mori Power Plant Mori-machi, Hokkaido, Hokkaido Electric Co., Ltd.   25000 DF 1982/11/26  
2 Matsukawa Geothermal Power Station Hachimantaira City, Iwate Prefecture Tohoku Nature Energy Co., Ltd.   23500 DS 1966/10/08  
3 Kakkonda Geothermal Power Station Iwate Prefecture, Shizukuishi-cho Tohoku Electric Power Co.,Ltd. Tohoku Nature Energy Co., Ltd iUnit 1j50,000 SF 1978/05/26  
          iUnit 2j30,000 SF 1996/03/01  
4 Onikobe Geothermal Power Station Miyagi Prefecture Osaki City Power Development Co., Ltd.   15000 SF 1975/03/19  
5 Onuma Geothermal Power Station Kazuno City, Akita Prefecture Mitsubishi Materials Corporation   9500 SF 1974/06/17  
6 Sumikawa Geothermal Power Station   Tohoku Electric Power Co., Ltd. Mitsubishi Materials Corporation 50000 SF 1995/03/02  
7 Uenotaichi thermal power plant Akita prefecture Yuzawa city Tohoku Electric Power Co. , Ltd. Tohoku Nature Energy Co 28800 SF 1994/03/04  
8 Yanatsu Nishiyama Geothermal Power Station Fukushima Yanagizucho Tohoku Electric Power Co. , Ltd. Oku Aizu Geothermal Co. , Ltd. 65000 SF 1995/05/25  
9 Tsuchiyu Onsen #16 source binary power station Fukushima prefecture Fukushima-shi Tsuchiyu hot spring Energy Co., Ltd.   400 B 2015/11/16 F
10 Hotel Sun Valley Binary Power Station Nasu-machi Tochigi Prefecture Hotel Sun Valley Nasu Co., Ltd.   15 B 2016/07  
11 Hachijojima Geothermal Power Station Tokyo Hachijo-cho Tohoku Electric Power Co. , Ltd.   3300 SF 1999/03/25  
12 Shichigome Onsen Hotel Kiyamatei Binary Power Station Nagano Prefecture Takayama Village Shichigi Hot Spring Hotel Co., Ltd.   20 B 2014/04/03 F
13 Higashi Izu-cho hot spring power station Shizuoka prefecture Higashi Izu-cho Higashi Izu-machi   3 B 2014/03  
14 Yumura Onsen Tourist Information Center Yakusho Yu Onsen Binary Stations Hyogo Prefecture Shimonoseki Town Shinonsenmachi   40 B 2014/04/10  
15 Yurihama Geothermal Power Station Tottori Prefecture Yurashi Hamacho Kyowa Construction Consultant Co., Ltd.   20 B 2015/10/05 F
16 Obama Onsen binary power station Nagasaki prefecture Unzen city Koyo Denki Co., Ltd.   200 B 2015/09/11 F
17 Oguni Matsuya Geothermal Power Plant Oguni Town, Kumamoto Prefecture iWithinjOguni Matsuya Power Station   50 B 2014/05 F
18 Wakayama Geothermal Power Station   Joint Company Wakaikai   1995 SF 2014/12 F
19 Suginoi Geothermal Power Station Beppu City, Oita Prefecture Suginoi Hotel Co., Ltd.   1900 SF 2006/04/01  
20 KA Continue Power Station   KA Continue Co., Ltd.   48 B 2013/01/17 F
21 Goiyuen Power Plant   West Japan Geothermal Power Co., Ltd.   92 B 2014/01/17 F
22 Tatara Daiichi Power Station   Nippon Geothermal Industry Co., Ltd.   49 B 2014/07/08 F
23 Beppu Spa Service Power Station   Beppu Spa Service Co., Ltd.   125 B 2014/09 F
24 Yuyama Geothermal Power Station   West Japan Geothermal Power Generation Co., Ltd.   100 B 2014/10/30 F
25 Cosmotec Beppu Binary Power Station   Cosmotec Corporation Co., Ltd.   500 B 2014/11/30 F
26 Setouchi Natural Energy XLT Power Station   Setouchi Natural Energy Co., Ltd.   110 B 2015/10 F
27 Kamenoi Power Station   Geothermal World Industry Co., Ltd.   11 T 2014/11 F
28 Minami-Aishi Hot Spring Thermal Power Station   Peace Corporation Co., Ltd.   49 B 2015/04 F
29 Yufuin Forest Energy Binary Power Plant Yufu City Oita Prefecture Yufuin Forest Energy Co.,Ltd.   50 B 2015/08 F
30 Takigami Power Station Oita Prefecture Kokonoe Town Kyushu Electric Power Co., Ltd. Idemitsu Oita Geothermal Co.,Ltd. 27500 SF 1996/11/01  
31 Kokonoe Geothermal Power Station   Makino and Corporation Co., Ltd.   990 SF 2000/12/01 F
32 Otake power station   Kyushu Electric Power Co., Ltd.   12500 SF 1967/08/12  
33 Hatchobaru Power Station   Kyushu Electric Power Co., Ltd.   iUnit 1j55,000 DF 1977/06/24  
          iUnit 2j55,000 DF 1990/06/22  
  Hatchobaru binary power station   Kyushu Mirai Energy Co., Ltd.   2000 B 2006/04/01  
34 Sugawara binary power plant   Kyushu Mirai Energy Co., Ltd. Kokonoe town 5000 B 2015/06/29 F
35 Ogun Power Station Kagoshima Prefecture Kirishima-shi Kyushu Electric Power Co., Ltd. Nittetsu Mining Co., Ltd. 30000 SF 1996/03/01  
36 Kirishima International Hotel Geothermal Power Station   Yamato Boshu Tourism Corporation Co., Ltd.   100 SF 2010/11/01  
37 Yamakawa Power Station Kagoshima Prefecture Ibusuki City Kyushu Electric Power Co., Ltd.   25960 SF 1995/03/01  
38 MediPolis Ibusuki Power Station   Medipolis Energy Co., Ltd.   1410 B 2015/02/18 ‚e
        ‘‡Œv 521C337      

 

 

Source
Japan Geothermal Association 2016/10
Power generation method
DS: Dry steam SF: Single flash DF: Double flash
B: Binary T: Total Flow
Authorized / certified output (kW)
For power plant operated before the FIT system establishment (2012/07): Authorized output

 

For power plant that started operation after the establishment of the FIT system: Certified output

Disadvantages of geothermal power generation

Some disadvantages of geothermal power generation include difficulties in obtaining the consent of hot spring associations if the potential geothermal generation site is located near a hot spring resort and drilling of new well heads is necessary. Many potential sites are also within the boundary of national parks / protected areas. There are various restrictions imposed on new plant development, particularly in the case of constructing geothermal power plants after 10 MW, Environmental impact assessment must be carried out advance. Therefore, it is necessary to have at least 11 years to 13 years in preparation for drilling a new well head and constructing a large-scale geothermal power station, before the start of power generation. In geothermal power generation, the equipment used for power generation is constantly exposed to hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide contained in volcanic gas. In particular, inevitable corrosion of the electrical system could result in power outage and serious accidents, necessitating daily maintenance. In the case of our company, no major problem has occurred since our establishment due to the small size of the power plants and the use of the existing well heads. However, caution is needed when excavating a new well head. Regarding the influence of volcanic gas and the likes, we are enriching our know-how while continuing trial and error at the operation stage.

 
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