As an example of the development of traditional, volcanic geothermal resources, the United States is the world’s largest producer of geothermal electricity, with an installed capacity of 3700 MW (in 2020). In 2020, the state of California generated about 6% of its electricity from geothermal sources, while the state of Nevada generated 9%. As another example, Turkey increased capacity from 397 MW in 2015 to 1549 MW in 2020.
Technology has allowed for developments of conventional resources with lower temperature, restricted water access, and constrained surface utilization. EGS projects have launched in a variety of different directions and places. The use of innovative hybrid plants, lower resource temperatures and enhanced reservoir stimulation has made geothermal energy accessible in a much wider variety of places.
He is best known for his work in well test interpretation, production optimization, and tracer analysis of fractured geothermal reservoirs. So far in his academic career, he has supervised the graduate research of 53 Ph.D. and 120 MS students, including about 60 in geothermal topics. He served on the International Geothermal Association (IGA) Board 1998-2001, 2001-2004, and 2007-2010, and was the 2010-2013 President of IGA. He was Technical Program Chairman of the World Geothermal Congress 2005 in Turkey, 2010 in Bali, Melbourne in 2015, and again in Iceland in 2020-2021. Roland is one of the founders of the IGA online database of geothermal conference papers.
Roland is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering and an Honorary Member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. He is also a Fellow of the College of Engineering, University of Tokyo, and an Honorary Professor of the China University of Petroleum – East China.