According to Pike Research there are about 450 geothermal projects being developed around the world with a total estimated capacity of 18 GW. Sixty-four countries have geothermal projects scheduled for development, compared with just about thirty several years ago.
An estimated 90% of the projects are conventional geothermal, which uses steam or hot water close to ground level, rather than deep within the Earth. Extensive drilling can be tricky and require an expertise that is not as abundant, which makes geothermal development in economically challenged areas more difficult. Approaches like enhanced geothermal systems are cutting-edge and still being tested.(Only about 250 MW of the 18GW is enhanced geothermal though, and these projects are located in Iceland and Italy.)
Geothermal plant construction typically requires more time than does other alternative energy plants such as wind or solar, so it is necessary for some changes to take place in order to spur growth, “Governments need to cut the time it takes to manage leasing and permitting—it should not take seven or more years to complete a project. Industry needs consistent and sustained research support to develop new technology, reduce risk and spur technological innovation. State renewable standards need to recognize the full benefits of geothermal power to their power system reliability and the environment,” said Karl Gawell, executive director the Geothermal Energy Association. (Source: Sustainablebusiness.com)