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An assessment of geothermal energy potential for power generation in Iran

Energy generated from geothermal systems is a good alternative to non-renewable fossil fuels and plays an important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Geothermal energy is generated from the inner parts of the earth as tangible heat. The geothermal energy is distributed between the host rock and the natural fluid contained in fractures and pore spaces of the rocks in the earth's crust. Suitable areas for the exploitation of geothermal energy are related to tectonic activities and hot spots of the earth, which have signs of surface activities such as hot springs, geysers and volcanic rocks. Iran, under the influence of these tectonic and volcanic activities, has large sources of geothermal energy. A geothermal power plant with a capacity of 5 MWe is being built in the Meshkinshahr volcanic zone in the northwest Iran. This research aims to evaluate these resources for electricity generation by studying the available data obtained from the surface and subsurface exploration activities for the entire country. The results of exploratory studies in five provinces of Iran have led to introduction of 35 potential geothermal areas. Among them, the subsurface data of the northwest of Sabalan reveals that this area has a potential electricity generation capacity of about 50 MW. Further investigations and investments are required in particular in the zones where there exist high-temperature hot springs. Therefore, the capacity of electricity generation in this field would be significantly increased.


Mirmahdi Seyedrahimi-Niaraq1, Reza Taherdangkoo2, Faramarz Doulati Ardejani3
1University of Mohaghegh Ardabili, Iran, Islamic Republic of; 2Institute of Geotechnics, Germany; 3University of Tehran, Iran, Islamic Republic of
GeoKarlsruhe 2021