Geothermal Energy

Geothermal power is a sustainable form of energy generated using steam produced with heat emanating from the Earth’s interior. Geothermal power facilities are situated where this heat reaches closest to the surface—i.e., areas that are geologically active in the long-term such as subduction zones, fault swarms, and volcanic complexes. Despite several geologically active areas in British Columbia where the heat of the Earth is accessible to generate power, Canada is currently the only country on the Pacific Rim that does not do so. The main reasons for this have been the availability of cheap and abundant hydroelectric power, as well as the tendency for the most geologically active areas to be remote and difficult to reach.

Building on research stretching back to the mid-1970s, the Garibaldi Geothermal Volcanic Belt Assessment Project is an ongoing effort to assess geothermal potential in a region of southwest British Columbia contained within the Fire& Ice Aspiring Geopark. This multi-partner collaboration employs a suite of modern geophysical and geological techniques and concepts that involve researchers from the Geological Survey of Canada and no less than seven universities. Major field research initiatives took place in 2019 and 2021, with more to come.

For more information and to view online presentations and updates: