Thursday, March 26, 2015

USA:

Energy Department Seeks Information on Geothermal Risk and Uncertainty Management (EERE/GTO)

Responses to RFI must be submitted no later than 5:00pm ET on April 24.


The U.S. Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) has issued a Request for Information (RFI) to help quantify and manage risk in geothermal exploration, in an effort to reduce the high upfront costs of drilling. The purpose of this RFI is to solicit feedback from industry, academia, research laboratories, government agencies, and other stakeholders on issues related to cost and risk reduction in late-stage geothermal exploration activities such as drilling and advanced geophysical surveys.

Due in part to the lack of response from industry operators and developers during the 2014 Play Fairway Analysis FOA, EERE is specifically interested in information on current opportunities to develop, test, and validate risk and uncertainty models for potential projects that have already been identified by industry. In 2014, the Energy Department's Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) funded eleven projects focused on reducing risk and uncertainty in early stage geothermal exploration. Selected projects adapted methods borrowed from the oil and gas industry, commonly known as 'Play Fairway Analysis.' This RFI is intended to lay the groundwork for a planned 2015-2016 Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) that could increase the success rate for drilling targets in later-stage exploration activities with industry.

This is solely a request for information and not a funding opportunity. EERE is not accepting applications at this time. Responding to this RFI will not provide any advantages to future applicants of a potential FOA. Final details of a future FOA – anticipated size and timing of any EERE-funded awards are subject to Congressional appropriations.

Feedback to this RFI will be accepted no later than 5:00pm (ET) on 4/24/2015 and must be submitted electronically to playfairway@ee.doe.gov as attachments to an email. Read the full, published RFI and follow the guidelines in EERE Exchange.

New Zealand:

Geothermal Power Helps New Zealand Breaks Renewable Energy Record (UPI.com)

"This is a clear sign that when a government enables a market with direction and certainty, it results in real investor confidence."


(Courtesy CIA.gov)
The share of renewable energy on the grid in New Zealand is the highest it's been in close to 20 years, the country's energy minister said Thursday. The share of electricity generated from renewable resources last year was 79.9 percent, a 5 percent increase from the previous year.

The government attributed the rise to the growth in geothermal generation, which more than doubled in the last decade. In his statement Thursday, Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges said geothermal energy contributed more to the New Zealand grid than natural gas last year.

"This is a clear sign that when a government enables a market with direction and certainty, it results in real investor confidence," he said.

The government aims to have 90 percent of its electricity supplies through renewable resources by 2025.

Read More.........

Indonesia, Iceland:

Fuji Electric Wins Geothermal Power Equipment Contracts in Indonesia and Iceland (Yahoo! Finance)

Manufacturer to Supply Steam Turbines to PT Pertamina and Theistareykir Geothermal Power Plant


Fuji Electric announced that they have been selected as the supplier of geothermal power equipment for two major projects in Indonesia and Iceland. The power electronics manufacturer will supply two units of geothermal steam turbines and generators—each with a power generation capacity of 20 MW—to PT Pertamina Geothermal Energy, a subsidiary of Indonesia's oil, gas, renewable and new energy company PT Pertamina. The production is to be completed by the end of year 2016.

In the Republic of Iceland, Fuji Electric was awarded a contract for a power generating unit for the Theistareykir Geothermal Power Plant, slated to begin in October 2017.

Fuji Electric Co., Ltd. will be exhibiting at the GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo, September 20-23 at the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino, Reno, Nevada, USA.

Read More........

Philippines:

Montelago Geothermal Site Capable of 40 MW (BusinessWorld Online Edition)

Emerging Power Inc. (EPI) said it confirmed a geothermal resource of up to 40 MW at its concession site in Oriental Mindoro.

The drilling activity was done with the help of Quest Exploration Drilling, Inc. (QED). EPI Chairman Antonio G. Zamora said QED worked with geothermal consultants ISOR (Iceland GeoSurvey) and the Magister Geothermal Program of the Institute Teknologi Bandung for the exploratory activity.

It involved the digging of two small holes and thermal measurements, returning a reading of 181˚C - even higher than the 170˚C initially estimated.

Canada:

Turn Up the Heat BC: Geothermal 101 - A Developer's Perspective (CanGEA)

Thursday, March 26, 2015, 11:30am-1:30pm, Vancouver, BC, Canada


Cost: $100; CanGEA Member Price: $75

Geothermal energy is delivering clean, base-load and low cost electricity in 25 countries as well as commercial heating in 70 countries... And we think BC should be benefiting too! While not yet fully utilized, geothermal energy is an important part of Canada’s energy future, creating new investment and jobs in Canadian communities while also contributing to a cleaner environment for future generations.

Join Chief Geologist of Borealis GeoPower, Craig Dunn, as we explore the Canadian energy industry’s efforts to develop geothermal energy. More guest speakers to be announced. Craig will discuss his company's ground-breaking field work completed this past summer that proved new exploration techniques from other industries to be valuable. Anders Kruus, a financial specialist will also be presenting.

More information........                                 Click here to register!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo:

Sponsorship Opportunities at GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo

Your organization has the opportunity for high visibility at the Geothermal Resources Council’s 39th Annual Meeting & GEA Expo scheduled for September 20-23, at the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino, Reno, Nevada, USA.

GRC Sponsorship Opportunities including Application & Contract (PDF)



GRC/GEA Mutual Sponsorships including Application & Contract (PDF)



More Information.........

USA, California:

Q&A: How Can California Handle the Challenges of Renewable Energy? (Los Angeles Times)

Geothermal energy is alone among the renewable energy sources that has “dispatchablity” -- the means to quickly ramp up power delivery during peak hours or scale back when the grid has excess.


Gov. Jerry Brown and his allies in the Legislature want California to generate half of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, an increase from the target of one-third by 2020. However, making sure all that clean energy can be used when needed is a big challenge, because the state lacks adequate storage capacity.

Renewable energy can be difficult to manage because it is intermittent, and no one can control when the sun shines or the wind blows. Sometimes California ends up generating more energy than needed at any given time, and power plants need to be shut down. And it’s tricky to hold onto electricity until it’s needed.

Read More.......

USA, Oregon:

Newberry Geothermal Project Update (NewsChannel 21)

NewsChannel 21's Wanda Moore went up to the Newberry geothermal site and talked to officials about when the site will start producing power.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Power for a whole town, provided from a 5-acre site. That could soon be a reality at the Newberry geothermal site by Paulina Lake. Officials said Tuesday new federal regulations on fracking -- injecting high-pressure liquid underground to extract oil or gas -- won't apply to their project.

Global:

Who has the Highest Share of Renewable Energy? (The Christian Science Monitor)





Canada:

Alterra Power Announces Results For 2014 (News Release)

Alterra Power Corp. has reported its audited financial and operating results for year ended December 31, 2014.


In regards to it's geothermal energy assets, Alterra Power makes the following comments: In South America construction activities have been completed or are underway at the joint venture (JV) Mariposa project located in Chile in preparation for planned large-bore drilling in late 2015.

A further JV with Energy Development Corp (EDC) covering the remainder of Alterra's development assets in Peru was completed in 2014. EDC will hold a 70% interest in the projects and fund 100% of the next $6.0 million of project expenses.

The company has decided not to pursue any of the Peruvian concessions under a previous joint venture signed in July 2013, effectively ending activity on these properties.

In January 2015, the company sold the 15 MW Soda Lake geothermal facility and related geothermal development assets to an affiliate of Cyrq Energy for proceeds of $8.5 million plus potential additional compensation over the next five years upon the achievement of certain earn-out provisions. Alterra retained the rights to develop a 40 MW solar project at the site over the next six to eight years.

Read More..........

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

USA, Nevada:

Ormat Signs PPA for Second Phase of Don A. Campbell Geothermal Plant (Nasdaq)

Ormat Technologies, Inc. announced today that its subsidiary entered into a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA) for interstate delivery of electricity from the second phase of Don A. Campbell in Mineral County, Nevada.

Under the terms of the PPA with SCPPA, the second phase of the Don A. Campbell project will receive a rate of $81.25 per megawatt hour with no annual escalation. SCPPA will resell the power to Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP). As with the existing Don A. Campbell geothermal plant, electricity from the new project will be transmitted to the LADWP grid via NV Energy's statewide transmission system, including the One Nevada Transmission Line that connects service areas in both northern and southern Nevada.

Ormat recently announced the release of the project for construction, and expects it to generate up to 19 MW (net) on a yearly average basis, above the PPA nominal target of 16.2 MW. Commercial operation is expected in the first quarter of 2016. Northleaf Capital Partners, Ormat's new joint venture investor, will purchase approximately 40% interest in the project which will be added to the existing ORPD joint venture once the project is completed and commissioned.

Read More........

Science:

Geologists May Have Just Discovered A New Layer Of Earth's Mantle (The Huffington Post)

Research also suggests that the Earth's interior is hotter than previously believed 



A new study suggests that a previously unknown rocky layer may be lurking about 930 miles beneath our feet -- and evidence suggests that it's significantly stiffer than similar layers, which could help explain earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

The finding also suggests that the Earth's interior is hotter than previously believed at that depth below the planet's surface. Dr. Lowell Miyagi, an assistant professor of geology and geophysics at the University of Utah said in the statement that he had calculated that the average temperature at the boundary of the upper and lower mantle is about 2,800 degrees Fahrenheit -- and a scorching 3,900 degrees F at the deeper, more viscous layer.

"If you decrease the ability of the rock in the mantle to mix, it’s also harder for heat to get out of the Earth, which could mean Earth’s interior is hotter than we think," he said.

The study was published online in the journal Nature Geoscience on March 23, 2015.

Read More........

Australia:

Giant Asteroid Impact Basin Found in Australia (Sci-News.com)

Craters discovered during drilling as part of geothermal research near the Innamincka EGS Project site



A 400 km-wide (250 mile-wide) impact basin from a massive asteroid that broke in two moments before it slammed into our planet has been found in north-eastern South Australia by a team of scientists, led by Dr Andrew Glikson of the Australian National University’s Planetary Science Institute.

The twin scars of the impacts – the largest impact zone ever found on Earth – were discovered during drilling as part of geothermal research, in the Warburton Basin – an area near the borders of South Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory. The geothermal research project chanced on clues to the impacts while drilling more than two kilometres into the earth’s crust. The drill core contained traces of rocks that had been turned to glass by the extreme temperature and pressure caused by a major impact.

“The two parts of the asteroid must each have been over 10 km (6.4 mile) across – it would have been curtains for many life species on the planet at the time,” said Dr Glikson, who is the lead author of the paper published in the journal Tectonophysics.

USA, Hawaii:

Hualalai Geothermal Study Planned (West Hawaii Today)

The search for geothermal energy under the dormant Hualalai volcano on the Big Island is moving forward.


A University of Hawaii researcher has asked the state Board of Land and Natural Resources for a geothermal exploration permit to conduct a noninvasive geophysical study of the west rift zone of Hualalai, just north of Kailua-Kona in the north-west of the Big Island of Hawaii.

The project is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, researcher Nicole Lautze, with the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, said in her application. Lautze said that the Hualalai exploration is the first exploration permit in what will be an overall effort referred to as the “Geothermal Resources Exploration Plan for Hawaii.”

Read More........

USA, California:

California's Push for Clean Energy Has a Problem: No Place to Store It (Los Angeles Times)

Peak demand for electricity rarely coincides with the brightest sunshine or the strongest winds, so finding a way to store clean power and deliver it when needed will be critical as California relies more on renewable energy.

On a quiet Sunday morning last April, power plants were pumping far more energy into California's electricity grid than residents needed for their refrigerators, microwaves and television sets.


So officials made an odd request in a state that prides itself on leadership in renewable energy: They asked wind and solar plants to cut back their output. For 90 minutes, clean energy production was slashed 1,142 megawatts, enough electricity for hundreds of thousands of homes, while dirtier power from less flexible sources stayed on to keep the system stable.

Read More.......

Europe:

European Geothermal Energy Council (EGEC) Newsletter - March 2015

Editorial:

  • European Geothermal Innovation Award 2015
  • EUFORES Inter-Parliamentary Meeting (IPM 15) 
  • EU Commission Conference "EU leading on Renewable Energy Policy”

Policy:

  • How to Become Number 1 in Renewables? EGEC’s answer
  • EGEC’s view on ETS reform and new NER400 programme
  • ECHA clarifies how to report substances used in hydraulic fracturing
  • The Energy Union and the Renewable Heating and Cooling sector 

News:

  • 60% increase in geothermal energy produced in the Netherlands in 2014
  • Landsvirkjun signs purchase contract with Fuji Electric and Balcke Dürr for turbine equipment for the Þeistareykir Geothermal Power Station
  • £250,000 fund available for Feasibility studies in Scotland
  • Heat pump installation and maintenance- HPC Newsletter
  • EEA Grants for training for administrations in Bulgaria
  • MijnWater B.V.: Geothermal Innovator of 2015

Projects: 

  • KnowRES

Australia:



The World Geothermal Congress in Melbourne is fast approaching from 19-24 April 2015. Less than 4 weeks away! If you have not registered yet, there is still some time to do it! Click here to complete your registration online!

Go to the Program page for information on sessions details, presentations and speakers. The Program will cover a range of topics from technical to business, scientific to socioeconomic, electrical to direct use.


Monday, March 23, 2015

Indonesia:

New Buyer Sought for 30 MW Sokoria Geothermal Project (SeeNews Renewables)

Raya Group Ltd (ex Panax Geothermal) and PT Bakrie Power Corp are looking for new potential buyers of the 30 MW Sokoria geothermal project in Indonesia following the termination of an existing pact with Sydney construction company Space Con Pty Ltd.

Australia-based Raya said on Monday that the two parties will not sell an 85% stake in PT Sokoria Geothermal Indonesia to SpaceCon, as agreed in January, because certain documents were not presented to the Indonesian authorities by the March 11 deadline. The heads of agreement between the companies has now been cancelled.

Raya noted that, alongside Bakrie, it is already holding talks with other interested parties. The Australian geothermal firm has a 45% interest in the Sokoria project, while its partner holds 53%.

The first 5 MW unit of the geothermal power facility, located on Flores Island, is expected to come online in December 2018, whereаs the whole plant is to reach commercial operations between 2023 and 2024.

Costa Rica:

Costa Rica Is Cutting Electric Rates by 12% Because It Has So Much Renewable Energy (Greentech Media)

(Courtesy CIA.gov)
Costa Rica got 100 percent of its energy from renewables for 75 days straight this year, the state-run Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) announced this week.

The Latin American country hasn’t had to use fossil fuels at all so far in 2015, due to heavy rains that have kept hydroelectric power plants going strong. Wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal energy have also helped power the country this year.

This reliance on renewables has prompted the country to lower electricity rates by 12 percent. ICE predicts that rates will continue to drop for Costa Rican customers in the second quarter of the year.

Read More........

USA:

Senate Panel to Break Ground on Comprehensive Energy Bill in “Next Week or Two” (Morning Consult)

Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is running full throttle at comprehensive energy reform and could put “pen to paper in the next week or two” to draft legislative language, according to Robert Dillon, a committee spokesperson for the Republicans.

Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington state, the top Democrat on the panel, said in an interview yesterday that she is working “every day” with Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) to hammer out the details, and hinted a draft measure would be introduced sooner rather than later. “We’re always working on it,” she said.

Cantwell was instrumental in passing the Energy and Security Independence Act of 2007, Congress’ last successful attempt at sending a comprehensive energy bill to the White House. But with the shale oil boom, an aging fleet of nuclear reactors, the decline of coal and faster-than-excepted advancements in renewables, the energy landscape is markedly different today, spurring bipartisan support for a new national energy policy.

Cantwell and Murkowski are leading that charge in their pursuit to strike a balance between abundant, affordable, clean, diverse and secure energy.

Read More........

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Global:

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Friday, March 20, 2015

GRC Workshop/Fieldtrip to Yellowstone National Park:

GRC Yellowstone Workshop

June 22-26, 2015


The GRC has announced a mid-year GRC Workshop to Yellowstone National Park. The workshop will include a tour of the major geologic features of the park, the site of the greatest concentration of geothermal features in the world, and discussions of its volcanic history, geochemistry, and hydrology. Limited amount of spaces available.

Workshop Leaders: Duncan Foley, Gene Suemnicht, and Joe Moore.

The Cost of the workshop:

  • Double-Occupancy Room: $1,500 for GRC Members, $1,700 for Non-GRC Members.
  • Single-Occupancy Room: $2,050 for GRC Members, $2,250 for Non-GRC Members ($550 upgrade fee for those who have already paid for a double-occupancy room).
  • GRC Student Rate (Double-Occupancy Only): $700 (Must provide a copy of your current student ID with a valid date or a copy of your class schedule when registering).

The price will include bus transportation and 4 nights DOUBLE-OCCUPANCY accommodation in West Yellowstone. Also included are 4 lunches, one reception, trip materials and one dinner. NOT included are the cost of flights to/from, and accommodation in Salt Lake City on June 21st and 26th, and the cost of breakfasts each day and 3 dinners.

For payment options, including a deposit to reserve your place, please contact the GRC office for more details.

Highlights include:
GRC Workshop Registration Flyer
GRC Workshop Registration Form

For more up to date information and agenda, please visit the GRC Website. For any questions or concerns, please contact Anh Lay by email at alay@geothermal.org or by phone at (530) 758-2360 ext. 100.

United Kingdom:

Geothermal Energy Plan Gets Go Ahead in Stoke-on-Trent (StaffsLive)

Stoke-on-Trent businesses will soon be heated by geothermal energy 11km under the ground after the city was awarded a £19 million grant.

Councillors have welcomed the Government funding which will kickstart a geothermal heat scheme, called District Heat Network (DHN). It will provide renewable heat to businesses located in Stoke, Hanley, and Festival Park. It will be the first geothermal scheme in Staffordshire.

As well as the £19 million Government grant, £28 million will come from private investors, with the council putting in an additional £3.9 million. The project will involve pumping water into a large hole, which would then travel through an 11km pipe producing hot water at the other side.

Stoke-on-Trent City Councillors say the renewable heat will provide businesses with more jobs and save more than 400 people’s homes from fuel poverty.

Read More........

USA, Hawaii:

Opinion: Is Going Bigger on Geothermal a Good Move for the Big Island? (Greentech Media)

Geothermal power is generally a great source of renewable energy because it’s reliable and can be relatively affordable in areas with good resources. The Big Island of Hawaii already gets up to 38 megawatts of geothermal power from a plant in the district of Puna, the southeast part of the island.

Hawaii Electric Light Co. (HELCO), the private utility that serves the Big Island of Hawaii, announced recently that it will be adding 25 megawatts of geothermal power in the Puna region to its power generation mix. I’ll examine the pros and cons of this move in this article.

Read More........

Iceland:

The Eclipse Seen from the Blue La­goon (mbl.is)


Over 200 guests ar­rived at the Blue La­goon in Ice­land this morn­ing specif­i­cally to see the so­lar eclipse. The blue skies merged with the la­goon's blue wa­ters for a mo­ment that's bound to be mem­o­rable for a life­time for those who wit­nessed it. 

USA:

Are You Continuing Construction? IRS Issues Fourth Renewable Energy Tax Credit Beginning of Construction Notice (JD Supra)

On March 11, 2015, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2015-25, which provides further guidance to assist renewable energy facility developers and investors in evaluating whether such facilities satisfied the beginning of construction requirement for the renewable energy section 45 production tax credit (PTC) and the section 48 investment tax credit (ITC) in lieu of PTC. The beginning of construction requirement applies to wind, landfill gas, hydropower, geothermal and certain other renewable energy facilities, but not to solar energy facilities.

This latest guidance provides some additional certainty for renewable energy project developers and investors regarding tax credit eligibility by extending the continuous construction and continuous efforts safe harbor by one year: if a taxpayer begins construction on a qualified facility prior to January 1, 2015, and places the facility in service before January 1, 2017, the facility will be treated as satisfying the continuous construction/continuous efforts requirements “regardless of the amount of physical work performed or the amount of costs paid or incurred with respect to the facility after December 31, 2014 and before January 1, 2017.” Qualified facilities not placed in service before January 1, 2017, remain subject to a “facts and circumstances” analysis in regard to the continuous construction/continuous efforts requirements.

Read More........

Costa Rica:

Costa Rica Powered By 100% Renewable Energy For First 75 Days of 2015 (RenewEconomy)

Geothermal contributes over 13% of electricity generation


(Courtesy CIA.gov)
The Latin American country of Costa Rica has achieved the milestone of generating 100 per cent of its energy from renewable resources, with a combination of hydropower and geothermal for 75 days in a row, the the state-owned Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) said.

Boosted by good rains at four of he country’s main hydroelectric plants, ICE said that, according to National Electric System figures, it had not been necessary to use hydrocarbons to supply the country’s grid at all in 2015, for the months of January, February and so far in March.

For 2015, ICE estimates that 13.09% of the electricity in Costa Rica will come from geothermal plants. Costa Rica is in the process of adding several big new geothermal plants, after a $US958 million proposal was approved by the government in mid-2014. The project, which is being co-funded by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency and the European Investment Bank, is expected to be located in Guanacaste near Rincón de la Vieja.

The first plants are expected to generate about 55 MW and cost around $333 million to build. Two other 50 MW plants will be built as well, about 40km from the Pailas II plants. Once operational, it is expected the plants could generate electricity at about five cents per kilowatt-hour.

Read More........

Philippines:

Philippines to Adopt System to Hasten Renewable Energy Applications (Sun.Star)

Process will help speed 278 MW of geothermal energy projects


The Philippines Department of Energy (DOE) will soon adopt the One-Stop Facilitation and Monitoring Center (OSFMC) in a bid to facilitate and fast-track renewable energy (RE) projects in the country.

This developed after the OSFMC, a program spearheaded by Mindanao Development Authority (Minda) together with the DOE and concerned government agencies involved in the application process of RE projects, was tested in Mindanao to hasten the application for RE projects.

Romeo Montenegro, Minda director of investment promotions and public affairs said that generally, RE project applications would have a long process as compared to non-renewable energy projects. He said that generally, RE project applications would have a long process as compared to non-renewable energy projects because of the regulatory approvals by the government agencies is it has to go through.

RE projects include eight geothermal projects with a potential capacity of 278.48 MW. The projects are in various stages of applications. Some have already been awarded with service contracts while others have yet to receive one.

Read More........

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Global:

SMU Geothermal Scientist Maria Richards to Guide Global Energy Organization (SMU Research)

Maria Richards,
President-elect of the GRC
Maria Richards, coordinator of the SMU Geothermal Laboratory in the Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, has been named president-elect of the Geothermal Resources Council. She will become the 26th president of the global energy organization beginning in 2017.

Richards has been at the forefront of SMU’s renowned geothermal energy research for more than a decade, and the University’s mapping of North American geothermal resources is considered the baseline for U.S. geothermal energy exploration. SMU’s Conference on Geothermal Energy in Oil and Gas fields, which Richards directs, is pioneering the transition of oil and gas fields to electricity-producing systems by harnessing waste heat and fluids.

“The Geothermal Resources Council is a tremendous forum for expanding ideas about geothermal exploration and technology related to this commonly overlooked source of energy provided by the Earth,” Richards said. “It’s a great opportunity for educating people about an energy source that covers the whole gamut – from producing electricity for industries, to reducing our electricity consumption with direct-use applications, to even cooling our homes.”

“This also is a unique occasion for me to encourage and mentor young women to participate in the sciences throughout their careers and get involved in leadership roles,” said Richards, who will be the GRC’s first woman president.

USA:

Obama Orders 40% Reduction in Carbon Emissions by U.S. Agencies (Bloomberg)

President Barack Obama ordered the federal government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from 2008 levels over the next 10 years by shifting to renewable energy sources.

The executive order signed by Obama Thursday builds on a 2010 directive from the White House requiring 35 U.S. agencies to limit their energy consumption to help combat climate change. Private companies that contract with the federal government have also agreed to pursue emissions reductions in concert with the most recent directive.

Under Obama’s order, federal agencies will be required to obtain 25 percent of their total energy from renewable sources by 2025. The order targets the 360,000 federal buildings across the U.S., requiring a 2.5 percent annual reduction in energy use for the next decade. The federal government’s fleet of 650,000 vehicles will be required to reduce per-mile carbon emissions by 30 percent.

Iceland:

Alluring Blue Lagoon Spa Powered By Geothermal Energy (Raafatrola)

The Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa is located near Iceland’s Reykjavik city and annually serves more than 40,000 visitors. It also got recognition as one of the National Geographic’s 25 “Wonders of the world”. The article is a gallery of nice photos of the resort.

The lagoon is next to the Svartsengi geothermal power plant. 

Iceland:

Harnessing Iceland’s Volcanic Potential (The Social Humanist)

The science behind the European island’s geothermal resources


Iceland has been relying on geothermal energy to provide for its needs for decades, and today it is a rare case of a society that is more dependent on renewable resources than it is of traditional fossil fuels such as oil and coal. While automobiles and airplanes see a continued demand for petroleum in Iceland, virtually all other sectors of industry and have seen a shift toward renewable energy. While a handful of power plants provide power to the national grid, many renewable energy sites, particularly geothermal ones, operate at the local scale and provide power for farms and households within a certain radius.

As an island, Iceland has found that it is burdened with a more crucial need for self-sufficiency, and geothermal power has played a large part in achieving this. As the European nation continues to improve its own energy ecosystem, it has the noble goal of lending both knowledge and helping hands to other nations in their own endeavor for energy independence.

Geothermal energy as a whole is one of the many beacons of hope in our world’s future, and with sufficient effort and funding it has the potential to make other regions of the world as commendable and remarkable as the beautiful, volcano-covered country of Iceland.

Read More........

USA:

Wyden, Merkley Introduce Bill to Spur Geothermal Energy (News Release)

Senator Ron Wyden
Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today introduced legislation to encourage geothermal energy production on public lands.

The Geothermal Production Expansion Act prevents speculative bidders from driving up the price of leases for developers seeking to use the land for geothermal projects. The bill streamlines the federal geothermal leasing program by allowing for the non-competitive leasing of a limited amount of federal land at fair market value to spur the expansion of geothermal energy on already identified “hot spots.”

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which manages geothermal projects on federal land under lease agreements, estimates about 250 million acres of federal land contains geothermal power potential. Geothermal energy projects that are producing geothermal power under the BLM’s management make up about half of the total geothermal generating capacity in the United States.

“We thank Senators Wyden and Merkley for their continued strong support of the geothermal industry with their introduction of the Geothermal Production Expansion Act,” said Doug Glaspey, President and C.O.O. of U.S. Geothermal, Inc. “This is an important piece that improves the federal leasing system and will help geothermal developers move projects toward production.”

Read More.........

Philippines:

Geothermal Potential on Mindoro (Deutsche Welle)

The Philippines’ current energy supply can’t keep up with the demands of a fast growing economy. The country, which rests atop the Pacific Ocean’s ring of fire, has converted volcanic heat into geothermal electricity. Now, a new drilling project is underway on Mindoro island to tap into this natural resource.

Science:

Why People In Europe Are Worried About The Biggest Solar Eclipse In 15 Years (ThinkProgress)

On Friday morning, March 20, a solar eclipse will sweep across Europe. This rare aligning of the sun, moon, and Earth will cause the standard delays and hazards as onlookers get distracted by the unusual sky and the darkness it casts. But this time around, there is a new cause for concern: solar power.

What happens if it knocks out 75 percent of some country’s power for an hour? You’d need a lot of backup to cover for that — from storage, wind, biomass, geothermal, or, if the grid is up for it, power brought in from regions outside the eclipse.

California, a longtime U.S. leader in renewable energy production, is preparing for this reality by “having a suite of renewables,” according to Albert Lundeen with the California Energy Commission.

“The possibility of outages resulting from a solar eclipse underscores the importance of having a portfolio approach to the development of renewable resources, as California has done,” Lundeen told ThinkProgress, who said the state’s policies have always focused on using diversity to reduce the risks inherent with overdependence on any one source of energy.

“Variable renewable resources like solar or wind can be balanced with other resources like geothermal, biomass, and hydroelectric which can operate much more like a conventional fossil plant in terms of providing reliable, 24-7 energy,” said Lundeen.

Read More.........

GRC Workshop/Fieldtrip to Yellowstone National Park:

Yellowstone - North America’s Cauldron - A Photography Guide (Geographical)

When it comes to geological features and ecosystems, it’s hard to imagine anywhere else in the world more comparable to Yellowstone National Park


Even without the wildlife attractions, the winter landscape of Yellowstone is extraordinarily beautiful and unique. Popular locations include Mammoth Hot Springs for its steaming geothermal terraces, and the Upper Geyser Basin, famous for Old Faithful and other geysers. 

There is hardly a visitor who doesn’t want to come home with an image of Old Faithful erupting. Fortunately, the regularity of its eruptions and the duration of its spouts make it a relatively easy subject for the camera.

The GRC is hosting a Workshop/Fieldtrip to Yellowstone National Park, June 22-26. The workshop will include a tour of the major geologic features of the Park, the site of the greatest concentration of geothermal features in the world, and discussions of its volcanic history, geochemistry, and hydrology.

USA, California:

Once Again, Officials Urge Action on Salton Sea (Desert Sun)

The GRC promotes geothermal energy as a solution to many of the problems


Representatives from Riverside and Imperial counties met in Sacramento Wednesday to urge state water officials to create — and finally fund — a Salton Sea restoration plan before it is too late.

After more than a decade of in-fighting and litigation, Imperial County and the Imperial Irrigation District presented a petition to the State Water Resources Control Board that calls upon its members to twist the arm of California and serve as the mediator to at least 10 government agencies.

For more than five hours, they made the case that environmental, economic and physiological problems will await more than just Riverside and Imperial counties when the drying up of California’s largest lake accelerates in two years, exacerbated by the drought.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is considering several pilot projects, including the use of low-pressure geothermal technology to reclaim super salty water and create a new habitat for fish. Another would drain the area of Red Hill Bay and create a bird habitat.

Read More.........

Japan:

Japan Approves 16% Solar-Tariff Cut - Geothermal Remains Unchanged (Bloomberg)

(Courtesy CIA.gov)
Japan has approved a proposal to cut the incentive for solar power by as much as 16 percent as costs of operation and maintenance fell. However, the tariff for geothermal energy remains unchanged.

The tariff for applications approved from April 1 to June 30 will be lowered to 29 yen (24 cents) a kilowatt-hour from 32 yen as proposed last month by a panel in charge of reviewing the country’s renewable-energy incentives.

The tariff will be reduced again to 27 yen a kilowatt-hour beginning in July, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said in a statement Thursday. The rates are good for 20 years.

The reduced rates for solar projects reflect lower operating and maintenance costs for solar projects while the capacity factor, an indicator of how often a power generator runs for a specific time, has improved, according to a February document by the panel.

While the incentives boosted solar installations across the country, capacity for other renewables such as wind and geothermal hasn’t increased as much.

The ministry kept tariffs for other types of clean energy, including geothermal and wind, unchanged for next fiscal year, following recommendations by the panel.

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Iceland:

Striking Hotel at Geothermal Power Plant Site (Daily Mail)

The hotel was built on the site of Nesjavellir geothermal power station



ION Luxury Adventure Hotel - Where Everything Meets Nothing from Ion Luxury Adventure Hotel on Vimeo.

There are only two places on earth where tectonic plates are visible above sea level: Kenya's Rift Valley, and in the south west of Iceland.

On Mount Hengill, an active lava field, just outside Þingvellir National Park, the striking ION hotel stands on a craggy outcrop close to where the North American and Eurasian plates meet, drifting further and further apart, each year.

Boiling water bubbles just 25ft underground here, so when it was built on the site of a geothermal power plant, its creators had to use building materials seven times stronger than standard materials used in Reykjavík.

The 45-room hotel is an extension and renovation of the old workers' quarters of the 120 MW Nesjavellir geothermal power station, bought in 2011, with the intention of being the only hotel in this isolated - and beautiful - part of the country.

ION makes use of Iceland's unique geography in two ways: the geothermal energy is harnessed in a spectacular outdoor natural hot spring; and a glass building - the Northern Lights Bar - allows guests to admire the frequent aurora borealis displays.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Commonwealth of Dominica:

Geothermal Bill to Go Before Parliament Soon (Dominica News Online)

Construction of a 7.5- 8 MW geothermal plant is to begin by 2017.


The government of Dominica has said it is nearing the completion of a draft Geothermal Bill which will go to Parliament soon.

According to Energy Minister, Ian Douglas the Bill will govern the exploration, development and exploitation of power that will be generated from the country’s geothermal resources.

He stated that international partners has contributed to developing the Bill “to make sure that it is comprehensive and covers all the various aspects of our geothermal development.”

Douglas also said the island’s geothermal program is well on its way. He revealed that a number of agencies were on the island last week and together with the Geothermal Development Unit held discussions at the Fort Young Hotel.

“The project is moving forward, we are at the stage where we have to decide on the best type of equipment that we need for generating the 7.5- 8 MW of power that we need,” he stated. “We are also in discussions with DOMLEC because the high tension wires that carries power around Dominica has to be upgraded to be able to absorb the geothermal power onto the grid and so that is the stage at which we are at.”

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Indonesia:

Pertamina Geothermal Makes $87 Million Profit (Daily Mail)

Indonesia's Pertamina Geothermal Energy saw profit rise 25 percent to $87 million in 2014, the Investor Daily reported, quoting Corporate Secretary Tafif Azimudin.

As of 2014, Pertamina Geothermal had 402 MW of installed geothermal energy capacity and aims to increase it to 1,057 MW by 2022. The firm plans to invest up to $432 million in infrastructure and exploration to achieve that target.

Read More..........

USA, Hawaii:

Hawaii Governor Comments on Geothermal Energy Development (West Hawaii Today)

New Hawaii Governor David Ige says he is excited about what the future has in store for the Big Island especially concerning renewable energy. “I am committed to 100 percent renewable generation for electricity in the state,” he said.

Ige’s predecessor, former Gov. Neil Abercrombie, was not shy about his position on geothermal energy, voicing support for it as an important resource for the state’s future energy needs. Asked about his stance, Ige said, “I do think, you know, we should go through the permitting processes.”

Hawaii Electric Light Co. is working to begin a geothermal power project that would generate up to an additional 50 megawatts on Hawaii Island. Ige said finding investors interested in providing geothermal power to HELCO will be the first step.

“We just want to be certain that they go through all of the rules and regulations that are required for development of the geothermal resource, if the project should move forward,” he said.

Read More.......

GRC Workshop/Fieldtrip to Yellowstone National Park:

GRC Yellowstone Workshop

June 22-26, 2015


The GRC has announced a mid-year GRC Workshop to Yellowstone National Park. The workshop will include a tour of the major geologic features of the park, the site of the greatest concentration of geothermal features in the world, and discussions of its volcanic history, geochemistry, and hydrology. Limited amount of spaces available.

Workshop Leaders: Duncan Foley, Gene Suemnicht, and Joe Moore.

The Cost of the workshop:

  • Double-Occupancy Room: $1,500 for GRC Members, $1,700 for Non-GRC Members.
  • Single-Occupancy Room: $2,050 for GRC Members, $2,250 for Non-GRC Members ($550 upgrade fee for those who have already paid for a double-occupancy room).
  • GRC Student Rate (Double-Occupancy Only): $700 (Must provide a copy of your current student ID with a valid date or a copy of your class schedule when registering).

The price will include bus transportation and 4 nights DOUBLE-OCCUPANCY accommodation in West Yellowstone. Also included are 4 lunches, one reception, trip materials and one dinner. NOT included are the cost of flights to/from, and accommodation in Salt Lake City on June 21st and 26th, and the cost of breakfasts each day and 3 dinners.

For payment options, including a deposit to reserve your place, please contact the GRC office for more details.

Highlights include:
GRC Workshop Registration Flyer
GRC Workshop Registration Form

For more up to date information and agenda, please visit the GRC Website. For any questions or concerns, please contact Anh Lay by email at alay@geothermal.org or by phone at (530) 758-2360 ext. 100.

USA:

U.S. National Geothermal Summit Announced (Renewable Energy World)


The U.S. Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) and Gold Level Sponsor, Ormat, will host the fifth annual National Geothermal Summit (#GEASummit2015) at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, Nevada, June 3-4. The National Geothermal Summit is the leading forum for western state policy discussions, bringing together the geothermal industry for a dialogue with regulators, utilities, and state, regional and federal policy makers. The 2015 Summit theme is “Geothermal Policies as Stimulus for Economic Growth and Environmental Quality”.

Speakers at the event are expected to cover the potential role of geothermal energy in state initiatives and implementation plans for addressing climate change, the ability of geothermal resources to tackle tomorrow’s power needs, local economic benefits of geothermal, the importance of geothermal for reliability of the grid, valuing geothermal for power contracts (PPAs), the future outlook for the geothermal industry in the US, and more. The program will encourage interaction and discussion about policies, projects in development, market potential, technological opportunities and more.

The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) is a supporter of this event.

Read More........

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

USA, California:

GRC to Promote Geothermal Energy at Salton Sea Hearing

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 – 9:00 a.m., Joe Serna, Jr. – Cal/EPA Headquarters Building, Coastal Hearing Room, 1001 I Street, Second Floor, Sacramento, CA

The California State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) will hold a public workshop tomorrow to receive information and solicit public input regarding the provisions of the State Water Board's decision relating to the Salton Sea and whether the State Water Board should take further actions to address the Salton Sea’s future.

Steve Ponder, Executive Director of the GRC will be in attendance. In a letter already submitted (see left) he suggests that 1,500 - 2,000 MW of geothermal energy can be further developed at the Salton Sea, providing much needed revenue to help pay for the restoration of the shrinking lake.

Notice of Meeting (PDF)                      Agenda (PDF)

United Kingdom:

Scottish Firm Aims to Create Geothermal Energy Industry (Scottish Daily Record)

Town Rock Energy said generating energy from underground heat is a viable solution to meet Scotland's energy needs, reduce fuel poverty and create jobs



An Edinburgh-based company is aiming to establish a geothermal energy industry in Scotland.

Town Rock Energy said generating energy from underground heat is a viable solution to meet Scotland's energy needs, reduce fuel poverty and create jobs.

Founder and managing director David Townsend, 24-year-old geology graduate from the University of St Andrews, has set up Town Rock Energy with his father Phil, who has experience in exploration geology and North Sea oil field management.

David Townsend said: “Geothermal energy uses the same skillsets and the same technology as the oil and gas industry, so it would make absolute sense for oil and gas companies to be exploring for geothermal energy – but they’re not."

“Our vision is to see the geothermal resources that Scotland is blessed with used as an integral part of the future energy mix, positioning Scotland as a global leader in carbon neutrality. “We’re establishing a whole new industry that doesn’t exist in Scotland."

Read More.........

Monday, March 16, 2015

USA, Idaho:

U.S. Geothermal Reports Strong 2014 Earnings (Seeking Alpha - News Release)

Boise-based U.S. Geothermal continued its rapid growth, increasing annual profit by more than five times from $1.9 million in 2013 to $11.6 million in 2014. Sales increased increased 13 percent to $31 million during that time.

"We are proud to report that our performance for 2014 exceeded our expectations, with Generation, Revenues, EBITDA, and Net Income all coming in towards the high end of the guidance that we had previously provided for calendar year 2014," said Dennis Gilles, U.S. Geothermal's Chief Executive Officer and GRC Board Member.

"Wrapping up the year with an especially strong fourth quarter performance has put us in a strong operational and financial condition to continue growing the company; both from developing our internal project pipeline and through strategic acquisitions. All three facilities are operating with availability percentages in the high 90s. Our operating team has done an outstanding job of ensuring consistently strong generation from each facility."

Read More........

Czech Republic:

Goldschmidt Conference 2015 - Geothermal Sessions

The Goldschmidt Conference is the premiere international conference on geochemistry. It is run jointly by the European Association of Geochemistry and the Geochemical Society.

There are two sessions devoted to geothermal energy:

Deadline for abstract submissions: April 2.

USA, California:

Opinion: More Renewable Energy Brings New Challenges (Sacramento Bee)

Michael Picker is president of the
California Public Utilities Commission
(Courtesy Sacramento Bee)
Since Gov. Jerry Brown has been in office, California has more than doubled in-state renewable capacity. As of Jan. 1, California leads the nation with an electricity mix composed of one-quarter renewable electricity from sources like the sun and wind.

On some days, the state almost meets its 2020 renewable energy goals. For example, in the 24-hour period on April 12, 2014, renewable generation served almost 32 percent of the ISO power grid load. Between 2 and 3 p.m. that day, a whopping 42 percent of the demand was met with renewable generation (geothermal provided 21,315 MW hours of clean, dependable baseload electricity all that day).

That success, however, is accompanied by a new set of challenges. Over-generation, or producing too much power at certain times of the day when demand for electricity is low, is one of the most significant. And as more renewables are blended into the power mix, the challenge of effectively integrating renewables will grow. Over-generation sounds like a non-problem, but when there is more electricity being generated than places to store or export it, it must be turned off or it threatens reliability of the grid.

Read More............