May 2024: Geothermal Development Relies on the Oil and Gas Workforce

Boise, Idaho capitol
Boise, Idaho which has the largest municipal geothermal system in the U.S.

In the U.S., President Biden has an ambitious plan to increase geothermal development by 20 fold and its success relies partly on the oil and gas workforce to achieve it. The geothermal industry has approximately 300,000 engineers, hydrologists, drillers, and power plant operators in the U.S. today. More people with applicable skillsets are needed and they reside in the oil and gas sector. Read the article on one executive’s move from ExxonMobil to run Boise’s geothermal utility, which has the largest and oldest municipal geothermal heating system in the U.S.

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Our view of the industry


Seven countries now generate 100% of their electricity from renewable energy. 40 countries generated at least 50 per cent of the electricity they consumed from renewable energy technologies in 2021 and 2022.Scientists say we have reached an ‘irreversible tipping point’ that will see fossil fuels phased out.

Baseload Capital and ThinkGeoEnergy have launched GeoTV, a new YouTube news show on all things geothermal. The first video includes the upcoming Kenya Geothermal Congress, Marik Brommer from the International Geothermal Association, and Bryant Jones from Geothermal Rising.


In Indonesia, the U.S. committed $126 million for the Ijen geothermal project in East Java, Indonesia.

In Taiwan, the government has implemented a new regulation on geothermal exploration and development, providing the framework for the application and permitting process.

In Japan, Toshiba is using AI and IoT to leverage hardware and software expertise to offer solutions for increasing the utilization of geothermal power plants.


In the U.K., deep geothermal energy is being used to heat Eden Project’s Biomes, the state-of-the-art plant nursery. It is the U.K.’s first operational deep geothermal well since 1986.

Climeworks project in Iceland
Climeworks’ carbon capture project in Iceland

In Iceland, Climeworks, a Swiss start-up, opened the biggest carbon capture plant in the world. Dubbed “Mammoth,” the plant is designed to remove 36,000 metric tons of carbon each year, the equivalent of taking 8,600 cars off the road.

Iceland is a world leader when it comes to renewable energy production, having long developed its natural resources to power a green revolution. Here is a short history of Iceland’s efforts to harness its abundant geothermal resources.

In Germany, Cindrigo has acquired three geothermal energy projects in the Upper Rhine Valley.

In Catalonia, Spain, the ICAEN and ICGC will be working together to create GEOENERGIA-CAT Plan 2030, a strategy for geothermal exploitation and energy storage in Catalonia, Spain.

In Croatia, the Croatian Hydrocarbon Agency has signed a contract with Crosco for research drilling in four geothermal exploration sites in Croatia.

In the Netherlands, Invest-NL, the National Promotional Institute of the Netherlands has published a report on the key factors to grow the geothermal sector by looking at the experience of other European countries.

Also in the Netherlands, following an initial study, Yeager Energy with EBN and utility SVP are moving ahead with a geothermal district heating project in Purmerend.

The European Geothermal Energy Council has published the “Geothermal NOW” manifesto outlining an action plan for regulators to remove the bottlenecks to maximize geothermal potential in Europe.


In Kenya, GDC will be receiving a EUR 5 million grant to support its Baringo-Silali geothermal project, as part of a grant program by the EU’s Global Gateway initiative.

Steam Srl has been assigned for the geothermal direct-use project for cement manufacturing in Kenya.

South America

Costa Rica has been a pioneer in renewable energy, with over 95% of its electricity coming from renewable sources such as hydropower, wind, solar, and geothermal energy. However, Costa Rica is facing a long-term power supply challenge that could hinder its ability to maintain its status as a green energy leader.

El Salvador has mined nearly 474 bitcoins since 2021 thanks to a volcano-fueled geothermal power plant. The government’s total bitcoin portfolio is nearly $354 million at current prices.

Rystad Energy forecasts show geothermal investments in Latin America are set to spike in the coming years, rising from about $570 million this year to $1.3 billion in 2027. 

North America

The U.S. Biden-⁠Harris administration reports on progress in accelerating permitting and environmental reviews on critical infrastructure, semiconductor manufacturing, and clean energy projects.

The Utah FORGE project has published an update on the results of stimulation and circulation testing, establishing connectivity between wells at the EGS site.

Wood Mackenzie’s Energy Gang podcast interviews Jigar Shah, Director of the Loan Programs Office (LPO), U.S. Department of Energy on meeting the increased demand for electricity driven by data centers for AI, new factories, and electric vehicles.

Machine learning could make geothermal energy more affordable. Machine learning models can determine the best locations for geothermal drilling, make geothermal energy more accessible, and advancements in AI and machine learning are expected to optimize energy operations and drive down costs.

In Illinois, engineers resurrect dead oil and gas wells to store excess geothermal energy in the Illinois Basin.

In Massachusetts, climate activists and legislators are pushing a series of bills to stop further expansions of the natural gas system in the state.

A small but growing number of countries are well on their way to producing all of their electricity. In Dominica, in the eastern Caribbean, the country is planning to become the first small island developing State (SIDS) to stop using fossil fuels for energy generation.

In St. Kitts and Nevis, the Prime Minister has met with UAE-based investment firm K&K Group to negotiate for investment support for the Nevis geothermal project.

In Guadeloupe, the ETC INTERREG Energy Transition in the Caribbean (ETC) INTERREG project has made available an interactive virtual tour of the Bouillante geothermal power plant.

GreenFire Energy Updates

GreenFire Energy has redesigned its website. Read about our projects:
EDC: Restore steam production in high-NCG production wells
CPC: Feasibility of GreenLoop in Taiwan

GreenFire Energy and Stoic Transitional Resources have a collaboration to pioneer innovative geothermal solutions through a cross-license of technology. The companies will focus on repurposing non-productive geothermal wells and existing oil and gas wells in Alberta and British Columbia, Canada and New Zealand.

GreenFire Energy has been selected for the Launch Alaska Portfolio, a climate tech accelerator focused on deployments to enable the energy transition in Alaska.

The KenGen and GreenFire Energy collaboration is revolutionizing geothermal energy by retrofitting idle wells and harnessing previously untapped resources.

Chantale Wong, U.S. Ambassador to the Asian Bank
Chantale Wong, U.S. Ambassador to the Asian Bank and clean tech companies

GreenFire Energy and other clean tech companies were honored to meet U.S. Ambassador to the Asian Development Bank, Chantale Wong on April 24th. The event was hosted by Rod Hirsch, U.S. Commercial Service and held at the Port of Oakland in California.


Glenn Golla, GreenFire Energy
Glenn Golla, GreenFire Energy presents at IPA 2024

The 48th Indonesia Petroleum Association (IPA) Convention & Exhibition
May 14-16, 2024
Jakarta, Indonesia
Glenn Golla, GreenFire Energy, presented “Repurposing Oil & Gas Wells to Produce Electricity Using Closed-Loop Geothermal Technology.”

2024 Climate Innovation Showcase
May 20, 2024
Anchorage, Alaska
Randy Balik represent GreenFire Energy, one of the featured portfolio companies.

Geothermal Transition Summit, North America
May 21-22, 2024
Houston, Texas
Steven Brown, President, GreenFire Energy presented “Applying Advanced Geothermal System Technology to Generate Power from an Idle Well in the Philippines.”

Iceland Geothermal Conference
May 28-30, 2024
Reykjavik, Iceland

GeoConvention 2024
June 17-19, 2024
Calgary, AB Canada
Steven Brown, GreenFire Energy will present “Accelerating Geothermal Development in Canada with Advanced Geothermal System (AGS) Technology.

See our job postings at Careers. Contact us at to discuss your geothermal development needs.