Victorian Geothermal Assessment Report 2016
Geothermal energy already represents an economic resource for direct heat in a number of Victorian locations. Warm aquifers are known to underlie many parts of the state including the Bellarine and Mornington Peninsulas, the Werribee Plains, and the Latrobe Valley. There is strong technical potential for harvesting the heat in these aquifers, with little impact on the quantity and quality of the water itself, for direct use in a range of industrial applications. Identification of economic geothermal resources is currently limited by inadequate knowledge of aquifer temperature and distribution, sustainable extraction rates, and a lack of public awareness of the possibilities.
The Victorian climate everywhere lends itself to the deployment of energy efficient ground source heat pumps. GSHPs provide efficient heating in winter and cooling in summer, with additional environmental and public health benefits, compared to roof mounted HVAC systems. The challenge to developing a sustainable GSHP industry in Victoria lies largely in overcoming initial high capital costs through economies of scale. This could be partially addressed by incorporating GSHPs in large buried infrastructure projects and by modifying building efficiency codes to recognise GSHPs.
Graeme Beardsmore, Irina Dumitrescu, Ben Harrison, Mike Sandiford, Rachel Webster
Melbourne Energy Institute
Reports and working papers
Geothermal; Geological resources