Government support welcome as Victoria warms to geothermal energy

The Baillieu Government’s decision to provide up to $25 million towards a geothermal energy project in Geelong is a positive step forward for renewable energy in Victoria, according to the Clean Energy Council (CEC).

The investment provided much-needed support for a promising clean energy project in the Geelong region, according to policy director Russell Marsh.

“There is an important role to play for governments in helping to develop new clean energy technologies such as the geothermal hot rocks energy located deep below the earth’s surface,” Mr Marsh said.

“Geothermal technology is still in its early stages in Australia, but has the potential to position us as an international leader in this area. It could also provide jobs and investments for regional hubs such as Geelong while delivering large amounts of clean energy to the national power grid.”

Hot rock geothermal energy works by pumping water into hot rocks to four-to-five kilometres below the ground and using the resulting steam to drive a turbine.

Greenearth Energy is developing the Geelong geothermal power plant project, which if fully realised could deliver a 140 MW clean energy power station. To access the full funding committed by the government, the company must prove the resource and build a 12 MW demonstration plant.

Mr Marsh said the Victorian Government had recognised the need to invest in projects that would help reduce the carbon emissions of Victoria’s power sector and potentially make a major contribution to the state economy.

“The industry is looking forward to fostering a closer working relationship with the government on projects such as this one,” he said.