Postponed: GSSB 2019 Conference

This notice is to extend our sincere thanks to everyone who has registered for the Geothermal Systems/Resources in Sedimentary Basins 2019 Conference.  We have received a most promising array of submitted abstracts. With regret, we must inform you that the conference, which was scheduled for October 15-18th, 2019, has been unavoidably postponed until September 9-10, 2020. An issue with the space at the booked venue, and the constellation of international geothermal conferences conflicting with the time set aside for GSSB 2019 have contributed to this necessary postponement. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience. We anticipate that this date change to 2020 will maximize participation in the conference, and will be in the best interest of all attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors of the conference. Because the conference will not be held until 2020, we are releasing all abstracts back to their authors.  Resubmission of an abstract will be required in the following year, and submissions can be made from Feb 2020 until June 2020. 

We hope that any inconvenience this date change may have caused can be minimized by this early notice. We will be refunding all registered attendees, unless notified to keep your registration on file for attending the postponed GSSB 2020 Conference on September 9-10, 2020. Official registration for the postponed conference will open February 1, 2020. If you have any further questions please feel free to contact Shyra Craig at the UAlberta Geothermal Energy Group at

Warmest Regards,

Your 2019/2020 conference planning team


Geothermal Energy Research Team

Future Energy Systems

2-08 Earth Sciences Building, University of Alberta
Edmonton, AB, T6G 2G7

Telephone: 780-868-3218



Subscribe for Future Energy Systems updates!

Letter From the President



For me, the past few weeks have been interesting and at times exhilarating. DEEP’s announcement of funding from the Canadian Federal Government through the Emerging Renewable Energy Program (NRCan/ERPP) in January was a welcome breath of fresh air for the geothermal industry. With the possibility of additional geothermal projects being funded, we are indeed living in unusual times - times that have not been seen since the 1970s and 1990s.

I have always been emphatic that government must play a role in moving geothermal forward in Canada. DEEP’s announcement of government support kickstarting their project is truly a breath of fresh air for the geothermal community. High startup costs remain a hurdle in the Canadian marketplace, where cheap gas for heating and coal-fired electrical generation is hard to surmount for an industry that must drill deep, wide-diameter, expensive holes in order to create sufficient energy to be profitable. But profitable these projects will be – on a generational time scale.

Despite global energy studies showing geothermal energy to be cost-competitive in the global marketplace (see for example LAZARD November 2018) geothermal had barely moved an inch in the Canadian marketplace - until January. Government funding is finally helping to kick-start an industry where Canadians can shine internationally. As Canadians, we should be exporting our can-do attitudes, our drilling expertise and our extreme environment technology globally. We should be leaders in greening the energy sector by reducing our own carbon footprint. We should be innovators, showing how to solve tough problems in the energy transformation that is happening globally. We should be using our smarts to move society towards greener options which create smart cities and communities – why aren’t we?

Although wind and solar are at the forefront of renewables, energy diversification is pertinent to expand renewable energy usage. A baseload, dispatchable power with infrastructure longevity like geothermal energy can provide energy in conjunction with other renewables to further reduce reliability on fossil fuels.

The time for geothermal to be a significant part of the Canadian mix of renewable energy has come. It should be, the leading renewable energy source in Canada’s portfolio of carbon reducing, industry “greening,” renewable energy sources. With vast areas of the county underlain by the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin and other sedimentary basins in the east and north, we have the “low hanging fruit” to exploit in the short term. With extensive experience in drilling technology, and, combined with coming from a very cold and dark part of globe, Canada should be the global leader in low- to medium-temperature geothermal development, providing the blueprint to a sustainable, greener future for all global inhabitants.

This is not about a competition between technologies or hydrocarbon versus geothermal energy – we need all of them! This is about preserving our hydrocarbon resources for the energy-dense and unique chemical applications that only hydrocarbons can fill. It is about not wasting this valuable hydrocarbon resource on heating our homes. This is about a sustainable and ecologically sound way to preserve our future and our children’s futures. This is about using the right resource for the right application.

Let’s take a different perspective and see geothermal energy as a means of preserving our hydrocarbon resources for applications for which they are uniquely suited. Geothermal, when used instead of hydrocarbons for thermal applications (such as heating our houses), can help sustain our economy on a generational time scale, while preserving the valuable hydrocarbons for our children’s children.

The upfront costs of geothermal development are significant and the payback periods are longer and at lower rates of return than the hydrocarbon industry. But if we keep using hydrocarbons for applications like space heating of homes and industries, they will run out and we will be left with an impoverished society that has not made the investment in its future. Let’s embrace geothermal as an industry that can prove itself by helping the energy transformation from hydrocarbons to this uniquely sustainable, renewable, energy source which provides base load thermal energy to our cities, rural communities, and industries.

I am just returning from two trips. The first was to Ottawa with Sean Collins (President, Terrapin Geothermics), Kirsten Marcia (CEO, DEEP) and Leo Groenewoud (Chief Geoscientist, DEEP). Together we met with several groups from NRCan, as well as a few politicians. Our message was simple – thank you for the recent support of the geothermal industry and please don’t forget geothermal as an important base load renewable energy source for Canada’s energy transformation. We prepared a short position paper (attached) for distribution. Consider this a work in progress and an effort to highlight why we want to expand geothermal research, innovation, and development.

The second trip was to attend the European Geothermal Conference. The conference is held every two years and this year it was in The Hague, Netherlands. What I witnessed was a truly transformed industry! The European community is using geothermal as one of its most important transformative renewable energy sources. There has always been strong support for geothermal in Europe - the birthplace of electrical generation, spas and district heating, but now there is renewed vigour to significantly increase capacity across the continent.

There are two documents I would encourage you to read – both road maps! The first is from the European Technology and Innovation Platform who have had a working group on geothermal for several years. Their road map has just been published as “European Technology and Innovation Platform for Deep Geothermal”. It is full of ideas for technological advancement, innovative solutions to various problems, as well as how to progress from research and Innovation to deployment and development. There are many lessons Canada can take from this document.

The second document is the geothermal roadmap “Masterplan for Geothermal Energy in the Netherlands” subtitled “A broad foundation for sustainable heat supply”. Here is a country taking its energy transformation seriously! Complete with technical plans and organizational implications, they clearly state their ambition to use geothermal energy as part of the mix of renewables to achieve their carbon reduction targets. A further impetus is the phasing out of a significant gas resource which is at the end of its life and generating earthquakes from extraction.

Take a look at these two visions. Let’s build a road map for Canada. A road map that builds on our strengths as a nation of innovators and technology leaders. We have the talent and knowhow to help ourselves and the world find solutions to its energy needs. Geothermal has a role to play in helping us make this cold and dark place sustainable and eco-friendly while at the same time, helping the world maintain its standard of living, contributing to the sustainability of society, and improving the quality of life for Canadians as citizens of the world.

June 15, 2019 | Catherine Hickson PhD PGeo, President Geothermal Canada

2nd Announcement: 2019 Geothermal Systems/Resources in Sedimentary Basins Conference

The Geothermal Energy Research Team at the University of Alberta has announced more details on the 2019 Geothermal Systems/Resources in Sedimentary Basins Conference (GSSB 2019).

Oct. 14-18, 2019

Edmonton, AB

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District Hotel (Group Rate for attendees offered)

Screen Shot 2019-05-03 at 10.10.51 AM.png

There will be a field trip October 14th & 15th in the Rocky mountains and short courses October 15th & 18th at the University of Alberta, separate registration for these will be announced this Summer 2019.

The GSSB 2019 Conference registration and abstract submission is now open at Abstract submission closes Aug. 1.

This is a multidisciplinary meeting dedicated to sharing knowledge and insight into the development of geothermal resources in sedimentary basins worldwide. Topics to include: science, geology, engineering, policy, regulation, and social license issues. We ask for participation from academics, government, and industry in all countries, in the form of oral and poster presentations, panel discussions, and field trips. 

GSSB will include showcase exhibition space, if you like further information on participating as an exhibitor or a sponsor please contact Shyra Craig, Geothermal Research Group Outreach Coordinator, at