Maritime Geothermal Jobs

Maritime Geothermal manufactures its Nordic brand of geothermal heat pumps in Petitcodiac, New Brunswick. Founded by Glenn Kaye and his mother, Edna, the company has been building its eco-friendly heat pumps for 40 years. This large-scale geothermal water-to-water system gathers heat from the ground and distributes it through an indoor fan coil, and can be reversed for cooling in summer time.

1. Renewable Energy

The energy sector is a multi-trillion dollar industry growing twice as fast as the global economy. Marine energy professionals have opportunities in research, policy, ecology, engineering and communication.

Renewable energy includes sources that are replenished constantly, like sunlight or the heat from deep within the Earth. Examples include biomass from plants, solar, wind, ocean, hydropower and geothermal resources.

Renewables are a growing part of the global energy mix, providing a cleaner alternative to fossil fuels. They can also help reduce and avoid carbon dioxide emissions. Many governments and companies have made commitments to increase the use of renewable energy. The US, for example, offers an investment tax credit for solar, wind, biomass and geothermal equipment to encourage their use. The credit lowers installation costs and shortens payback time. This makes investing in renewables more attractive. Other government incentives, such as feed-in tariffs and power purchase agreements with guaranteed prices or priority dispatch for clean technologies are helping to drive renewable energy development around the world.

2. Jobs

Geothermal energy creates jobs, especially for local residents near a site. Many jobs in the industry are related to the construction of the plant, including geologists who study charts and maps to find suitable sites. Engineers and designers plan a plant’s layout and develop blueprints for the equipment needed. They also conduct research to ensure a potential site meets the plant’s requirements, such as whether it can produce enough electricity for its community.

Other employees are involved in drilling and maintaining the geothermal system. These workers must be able to operate drills and other machines that penetrate underground reservoirs and carry water, heat, and byproducts up to the surface for use in the plant.

As climate change and energy crises escalate, Latin America is positioned to capitalize on its abundant geothermal resources. This energy provides a source of renewable power that reduces the region’s dependence on fossil fuels and protects against international price fluctuations. It can also help power remote mines and enable companies to export zero-carbon products like green hydrogen or ammonia.

3. Environmental Benefits

Seawater-based geothermal energy is an environmentally friendly power source. It does not require the use of any fuel and produces significantly fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil systems on a life-cycle basis. The system also does not compromise biodiversity and uses filtered, clean seawater rather than raw water from the reservoir.

Increasing the development of maritime geothermal will create jobs in research, engineering, construction, communication, and outreach, providing opportunities to build skills in the blue economy—a multi-trillion dollar industry that is growing faster than the rest of the global economy. In addition, multilateral and bilateral finance institutions can offer financing for the exploration costs of geothermal projects.

Many countries in Latin America have abundant geothermal potential, but most are not yet utilizing it. Geothermal exploration is commercially risky, and developers need government or development financial support to mitigate that risk and ensure the project’s success. Without this support, private investors are likely to be averse to the risk and not invest in a project, leading to a lack of local capacity for geothermal development.

4. Low Carbon Footprint

Maritime geothermal is an excellent solution for the decarbonization of shipping. Today, the maritime industry accounts for about 3% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It is highly dependent on fossil fuels, namely heavy fuel oil – a high carbon fossil fuel that resembles tar – as its main fuel for cargo and container ships.

The Maritime Industry must reduce its GHG footprint, which requires a radical change of business-as-usual. The IMO has set an ambitious target of cutting GHG emissions by 50% by 2050, which is achievable only with the adoption of sustainable low-carbon power and fuel sources.

The use of geothermal energy can greatly contribute to this decarbonization challenge, thanks to its ‘clean’ status and relatively low unit cost compared with the conventional fossil fuels, even without government subsidies. For example, the electricity produced by a geothermal power plant costs around 0.0065 Eu/kWh, while the same quantity of electricity from a natural gas-based power plant is priced at 0.01 EUR/kWh.

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