The international geothermal energy community is at a crossroads, no longer at the grassroots level relying on capital from wealthy "angel" investors, the industry has matured, and now it looks to the capital markets in order to obtain the necessary funds for growth. Unlike oil & gas reserve and resource disclosure regulations in Canada, and elsewhere in the world, the geothermal energy industry lacks rules governing reserve and resource definitions, and therefore lacks guidelines regarding the reporting of assets on public exchanges, such as on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX). A lack of common, transparent terminology has restricted the ability of geothermal energy companies to obtain necessary capital for their projects, because of a lack of consideration for what is "in the ground". The Canadian Geothermal Code for Public Reporting was developed to overcome investor's "fear of the unknown".
The Canadian Geothermal Code Committee, established in 2008, looked to create a reporting standard, similar to Canadian oil & gas disclosure regulations, which would increase investor confidence by establishing clear, transparent and competent reserve and resource definitions. Terms such as Proved Reserves, and Measured Resources would not be used to describe assets, a move towards a common development and geothermal asset "language". This Code was different from other attempts to standardize reporting because of the consideration of economic, social, legal and environmental factors, in addition to traditional geological confidence of an asset. Because of the truly comprehensive nature of the Code, investors now understand the "bigger picture" relating to the development of geothermal assets, which has therefore improved the likelihood of attracting capital to geothermal projects.
The Canadian Geothermal Code Committee has made tremendous steps over the past two years in the development of the Canadian Geothermal Code for Public Reporting. The Canadian Geothermal Code for Public Reporting has been positively received by industry, the financial community, the general public and other international organizations. This paper will detail and discuss the triumphs and challenges on the road to improve investor confidence in the geothermal energy industry.