New legislation that will pave the way for a geothermal industry in Western Australia has been passed by both Houses of State Parliament.
Resources Minister Francis Logan said the passage of the legislation was a significant milestone in the State Government’s commitment to renewable energy.
Mr Logan said the legislation, which amended the Petroleum Act (1967) and would be proclaimed later this month, would provide for the exploration and production of geothermal energy resources across the State.
“This legislation will enable the State Government to attract investment for exploration and recovery of this important renewable energy source,” he said.
“Geothermal energy is a clean, renewable and sustainable energy source, capable of generating base-load electricity with negligible greenhouse gas emissions.”
The Minister said the State Government would soon be releasing geothermal acreage for competitive bids through the Department of Industry and Resources (DoIR).
“It will be a special release which will enable geothermal explorers to select and apply for application areas of up to about 320km� in the coastal and adjacent inland areas from Geraldton in the north, to Busselton in the south,” he said.
“This release offers geothermal explorers an excellent opportunity to secure prime exploration acreage in the State’s populated regions.”
An application for acreage in this area will need to contain a work program covering the initial six years and include a commitment to drill a shallow well to approximately 400m within the first two years.
Mr Logan said this would accelerate focused on-ground exploration drilling for geothermal energy resources in WA.
Following the initial special release, DoIR will co-ordinate a systematic release of all the remaining onshore acreage of the State.
Geothermal energy is created naturally within the crust of the earth and comes in two main forms - hot dry rocks and hot wet geothermal energy. The energy is created by passing water over hot, dry rocks and using the heated water to generate power, or by extracting the heat from the thermal groundwater.
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