Geothermal Energy in Canada – Times are a Changing

Date and Time
October 23, 2020 10:15 AM (PDT)–11:15 AM (PDT)
Geothermal research and exploration in Canada have a long and rich history with many prominent and important early researchers, explorers and developers who worked within Canada and abroad. Geothermal Canada was launched in 1973 as the Canadian Geothermal Association and has been dedicated since that time to supporting the geothermal community in Canada. Now after more than 40 years along, the geothermal landscape is finally beginning to change. Vibrant research groups exist through universities across the country; 464 scientific publications on geothermal energy written by Canadian researchers are reported in Scopus from 2014 to 2018. The focus is on resource assessment, direct-use and adapting technology for remote communities located in arctic to subarctic climatic zones. Provincial governments in Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Saskatchewan, and Quebec are supporting projects and the exchange of ideas. In Canada’s north, including the Yukon, Nunavut, Nunavik and the Northwest Territories, there are initiatives to assess the geothermal potential, especially through engineered geothermal systems (EGS), and to support research for development challenges in extreme environments. Canada’s federal government, through Natural Resources Canada, awarded a 25.6-million dollars grant to the DEEP Corp. (“DEEP”) project in Saskatchewan, and In Alberta a 25.4-million-dollar grant was awarded to Alberta No. 1. Additionally, the Geological Survey of Canada continues to support geothermal research. As the global landscape continues to evolve away from hydrocarbons for heating and electricity generation, Canada is well-placed to fill in the gap mostly with thermal energy, and some more limited electrical generation from sedimentary basins, deep fault and volcanic systems, as well as to be a leader in EGS. Canadian scientists and engineers are poised to make significant contributions both here in Canada and globally.
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