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Harnessing Geothermal Energy while Preserving Forests Solution by: The Energy Development Corporation

The island of Leyte provides the Filipino people with geothermal power while addressing deforestation and offering a livelihood to local communities.

The Triple Bottom Line

Environmental Geothermal power plants emit 1,0002,000 times less CO2 than fossil fuel power plants, according to the WWF.

Social Electricity produced with geothermal energy is more reliable than fossil-fuel power plants that produce electricity 65% to 75% of the time compared to 90% from geothermal power plants.2

Economic According the Energy Development Corporation, large geothermal projects lead to substantial investments both in actual production and in surrounding communities. Geothermal power plants provide 2.5 times more jobs than their coal counterparts.

In the world’s largest wet steam field, on the island of Leyte, a renewable energy project is generating 16% of the Philippines’ heat and electricity needs, distributing the power to the national grid. Hot water three kilometers beneath the earth is pumped through pipelines to power plants that converts steam to electricity. The water is then re-injected into a reservoir beneath the earth’s surface for recycling and to attain zero waste for the protection of communities and the environment. The Energy Development Corporation shares the economic value of the electricity production with the community by providing health care services and education, while protecting existing forests and reforesting bush and grasslands on the island. Why a Sustainia100 solution? Geothermal heat use has traditionally been thought most relevant in colder countries. However, this solution illustrates that in warmer climates geothermal heat can be made useful in agricultural and industrial applications as well.1 WWF estimates that by 2050, geothermal energy could account for around 58 million MWh of electricity per year. The Leyte project serves as a role model for sustainable geothermal power generation with zero CO2 emissions.

Developed: the Philippines

Deployed:  the Philippines 

1 IEA. ”Technology Roadmap - Geothermal Heat and Power” 2011. 2 WWF. ”The Energy Report.” Report 2011.

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Sustainia100 2014