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Islandsbanki releases 3rd annual U.S. Geothermal Energy Market Report

In continuation of its research activities in geothermal energy globally, Islandsbanki (formerly Glitnir) is issuing its third annual US Geothermal Energy Market Report.

The report provides an updated overview on geothermal energy development in the United States, highlighting both the increased activities in the sector, but also the elements that have helped spur the development.

Current installed power generation capacity has increased by about 200 MW and there now as many projects as never before. Today there are about 144 projects in development in the U.S. with a combined planned capacity of up to 6,400 MW, an increase of about 60 percent compared to last year.

While California will continue to lead in installed capacity, Nevada has today more projects in the pipeline with more than 3,300 MW in development.

The sector and particularly further advanced projects are currently facing a challenging environment for securing bridge financing to move beyond the drilling stage, but also for much needed debt financing for construction.

Current projects need a combined investment sum of US $26 billion, of which US $11 billion are equity investment needs and US $15 billion is construction financing.

The stimulus legislation definitely has helped spur interest in the sector. The investment tax credits and cash grants, as well as the loan guarantees and research and development allocations will have a positive impact, but it will have to be seen how the tight timelines of e.g. the loan guarantee program will prove too much of a hurdle for most projects.

Islandsbanki is represented at the biggest Geothermal Energy event in the United States. The Geothermal Energy Expo 2009 at the Peppermill Resort & Casino in Reno/ Nevada is the largest gathering of industry players from the U.S. and internationally hosting 120 exhibitors and attracting more than 2,000 visitors. Growing from year to year, this years event is the biggest ever attracting an increasingly international crowd.

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