Getting to Gender Equality in the Geothermal Energy Sector: Road to Sustainability

Geothermal energy is globally recognized as a clean and reliable source of heat and electric power supply. The environmental and social risks posed by geothermal energy projects share common features with those of mining and extractive projects, as well as other large-scale energy infrastructure projects. Because men and women can be affected differently by such risks, geothermal projects may inadvertently lead to adverse outcomes that disproportionately disadvantage women. However, analysis of such discrepancies is often hindered by the lack of sex-disaggregated data collection and analysis of the socioeconomic, environmental, and health risks of projects and access to benefits. The World Bank recognizes the risk that ignoring gender gaps poses to geothermal projects’ effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainability.

This report is a primer on advancing gender equality in the geothermal energy sector. Based on good practices and lessons learned, it introduces ways that geothermal projects can mitigate risks and pursue opportunities to address gender gaps within the project cycle. It outlines the risks and opportunities associated with (i) changes in land and natural resource use, (ii) changes to employment and economic patterns, and (iii) changes to environment and health. Beyond mapping risks and opportunities, the report makes the case for focusing on the gaps between men and women from the project outset. Once gaps, key stakeholder risks, and additional development opportunities have been identified, project teams have an opportunity to address them through actions. For example, project developers could signal intolerance for harassment and gender-based violence through amending existing human resource policies to include codes of conduct and a Grievance Redress Mechanism with safe and ethical reporting. Other actions may include promoting inclusive procurement practices by tracking how many bidders and awardees are women-headed firms and setting up a mechanism to provide bid-readiness support for women majority–owned firms and small businesses. It is recommended that projects include specific monitoring and evaluation indicators in the results framework that measure progress toward closing gaps between men and women. In addition, the report contains an overview of guidance and toolkits developed, selected global case studies, and other resources so that project teams, governments, and geothermal developers have additional guidance on hand to prepare more equitable projects.


Fridriksson,Thrainn; Schomer, Inka Ivette; and Janik, Vanessa Lopes. 2019. Gender Equality in the Geothermal Energy Sector: Road to Sustainability. ESMAP Knowledge Series 028/19. World Bank, Washington, DC. © World Bank. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.

Users also downloaded
This report presents the findings of a systematic review of published evidence on demand- and supply-side drivers of and barriers to transitioning populations to MECS. 
February 22, 2021
Energy is at the heart of development. It makes possible the investments, innovations, human capital development, and new industries that are the engines of jobs, inclusive growth, and shared…
December 28, 2020
Regulatory Indicators for Sustainable Energy (RISE) 2020 monitors and assesses policy and regulatory support for sustainable energy to promote energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy while…
December 14, 2020
Through five case studies, this report compares the current and projected costs to the consumer of a range of electric cooking (eCooking) solutions with the costs of cooking with currently widely-…
November 18, 2020