Cost of Production
Geothermal energy is forecast to be the cheapest form of renewable energy and is expected to be competitive with gas and coal when the cost of carbon is factored in. A recent study by highly regarded energy economists McLennan, Magasanik and Associates (MMA, 2009) has forecast the cost of electricity production at 2020 for a wide range of generation types (as below).
The costs are presented in the graphs below and show that Volcanic, Hot Aquifer and Hot Rock geothermal projects are forecast to be the only sources of renewable energy able to produce at less than $100/MWh.
Forecast cost of geothermal versus fossil fuel energy generation at 2020 based on CPRS -5
scenario (after Mac Lennan, Magasanik and Associates)
Comparison of forecast costs of renewable energy sources after Mac Lennan, Magasanik and Associates)