Drilling for deep geothermal resources requires advanced drilling technology and expertise and can put drilling rigs and associated services to work in this current economic slowdown. Each active drilling rig can create 175 direct and indirect jobs, putting hard-working Canadians back to work on renewable energy. Significant Canadian public support as requested, and as already available internationally, could unlock billions in private investment in the geothermal industry in Canada, creating thousands of jobs and establishing a brand new industry within Canada's clean energy sector.
There are thousands of cutting-edge service companies that have been focussed on advancing the oil and gas energy sector that can now be deployed to a new business line. From decades of successful technology innovation and expertise, these companies are the foundation on which the Canadian geothermal industry can be advanced.
Oil and gas technology overlaps with geothermal energy technology in many ways - vertical, directional and horizontal drilling, well completions, piping, fluid chemistry management and subsurface thermodynamic modelling, to list a few. It is this incredible talent that has created a virtual Silicon Valley of drilling technology and knowhow in Western Canada.
The oil and gas industry has been a significant part of Canada's economic success over the past decades. The geothermal alliance is positioned to repurpose these skills for the first time in a new renewable energy industry.
The Geothermal Collaboration Network is energised to find new opportunities for its members as our industry sees prosperity threatened like never before. It recognises that the twin calamity of politically driven price war and global health pandemic means that the government needs to take extraordinary measures to ensure major Canadian industries like the oil and gas sector do not completely collapse.
Geothermal energy development could easily attract major foreign investment capital to Western Canada to create several hundred megawatts of clean dispatchable energy, that can complement variable sources like wind and solar, as well as direct heating opportunities. Such a plan would create a new clean energy industry for Canada while employing oil and gas employees and contractors.
With geothermal energy developments, the same investment dollar can protect oil service jobs, improve the environment and provide a prosperous future for Canadians. To achieve this vision Canadian geothermal developers require a long-term energy price that properly reflects the true value of reliable geothermal power.
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