Hydropower at present makes up 40 percent of Papua New Guinea’s installed power capacity, due to the optimal conditions and terrains for hydropower plants.
According to the Oxford Business Group, the second major power source to be developed in the country was geothermal energy, initially exploited to power the Lihir Gold mine in New Ireland province.
Geothermal energy is the heat from the earth’s core and simply put, is clean and sustainable.
Though geothermal energy is the second major power source to be developed in PNG, little is known about this renewable energy source.
The volcanic belts around the country are home to significant amounts of active volcanic activity, including 55 known geothermal sites.
According to the Geothermal Energy Association, PNG’s geothermal potential is estimated to be at 21.9 terawatt hours, which is enough to meet all our electricity needs well into the future.
Michael Petterson, Director for the Geoscience division at the Pacific Community, states that this figure may be in theory only as developing this energy source takes a lot of effort, however just half or a portion of this is still a significant amount and if harnessed correctly, can power the country for millions of years to come.
Studies have estimated that the country’s geothermal energy, sourced by the many active volcanoes, will be enough to meet all its electricity needs well into the future.