Geothermal Energy

Geothermal energy is a renewable source of thermal and electrical power. Geothermal energy has the potential to supply gigawatts of electrical and terawatts of thermal power to communities and industrial developments throughout Western Canada. Despite Canada’s large geothermal resource base and the potential for this resource to support a variety of economic development opportunities, as of 2017, Canada had no installed geothermal power capacity.

Collectively, our research team’s goal is to produce scientific, engineering, economic, environmental, and social research in support of three specific types of geothermal power applications available to Canadians: direct–use of geothermal energy as heat; electricity production from the deep basin using low and ultra-low temperature differential (ULTD) heat engines; and enhanced geothermal energy recovery from hydrothermal systems and crystalline rocks.


  • Jonathan Banks (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)
  • Joel Gehman (Alberta School of Business)
  • Nicholas Harris (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)
  • Lianne Lefsrud (Chemical Engineering)
  • David Nobes (Mechanical Engineering)
  • John Parkins (Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences)
  • Martyn Unsworth (Physics and Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)

Press Coverage:

Funding: Our research program is scheduled to run from 2017-2024. The total budget for the program is an estimated $11.5 million including confirmed or anticipated funding from Future Energy Systems, the Government of Alberta, and multiple industry partners.