Tuesday, November 24, 2015

USA: Berkeley Lab Introduces Series of Reports on Challenges Facing the U.S. Electric Industry

Innovative Report Series to Help Inform Decisions by Utility Regulators, Policymakers and Electric Industry (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)

First two reports by Berkeley Lab look at future challenges facing the electric industry and its regulators

The electric industry in the U.S. is undergoing significant changes for a number of reasons, including new and improved technologies, changing customer desires, low load growth in many regions, and changes in federal and state policies and regulations.

A new series of reports commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability through Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s (Berkeley Lab) Electricity Markets and Policy Group will advance the discussion by examining issues related to electric industry regulation and utility business models. The unique point-counterpoint approach sharpens the debate on trade-offs in achieving multiple objectives for the electric system, including reliability, affordability, cleaner resources and more flexibility.

The reports in the Future Electric Utility Regulation series will each be written by different thought-leaders in the electric industry, while Berkeley Lab—which serves as technical editor and contributes to the report writing—manages the series.

The first two reports were recently released:

1. Distributed Energy Resources (DERs), Industry Structure and Regulatory Responses
Steve Corneli (NRG) and Steve Kihm (Seventhwave) - (Report PDF) (Presentation PDF) (Webinar Recording)

2. Distribution Systems in a High DER Future: Planning, Market Design, Operation and Oversight
Paul De Martini (Newport Consulting Group) and Lorenzo Kristov (CAISO) - (Report PDF) (Presentation PDF) (Webinar Recording)

Indonesia: Sarulla Geothermal Power Project - Update

Indonesia Restarts Large-Scale Geothermal Project (Engineering News-Record)

 Sarulla’s first phase of development of 110 MW to be completed by the middle of 2016

Photo Courtesy Sarulla Operations
Drilling operations at Indonesia’s $1.5-billion, 330 MW Sarulla geothermal power plant are progressing “at speed,” according to Hila Gantz, spokesperson for Ormat, the facility’s designer. Sarulla, in Tapanulia Utara district, North Sumatra, will be one of the world’s biggest geothermal plants when construction is completed in 2018.

Engineering, procurement and construction contractor Hyundai and drilling contractor Halliburton have reached an advanced stage in infrastructure works, according to Gantz. Halliburton, has established a number of production wells to date and is continuing with the injection wells. The gathering facilities—including pipework—for the three separate electricity-generating units and the transmission facilities connecting the units to PLN’s substation will follow. The turbines are to be supplied by Toshiba, while Ormat Technologies will supply its Ormat Energy Converters to the three units. The project will be self-operated but will benefit from technical support provided by Itochu and Kyushu for at least the initial years of operation.

Medco Power President Director Fazil Alfitri says he expects Sarulla’s first phase of development of 110 MW to be completed by the middle of 2016. “We will need to drill 30 wells in total. As many as 13 of them have been drilled before [by previous developers]. Most of the 13 wells are for the first phase of development,” he explains.

USA: Expanded Energy Imbalance Market Helps Distribute Renewable Energy in West

Portland General Electric joins CAISO energy imbalance market (Utility Dive)

Portland General Electric (PGE) and the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) filed an implementation agreement with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the first step in allowing the Oregon utility to share resources in the western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM).

The western EIM, which includes California’s investor-owned utilities and Warren Buffett-owned PacifiCorp utilities, is expanding quickly. Nevada’s NV Energy will enter as of December 1, 2015, Washington’s Puget Sound Energy and Arizona Public Service will join next year.

CAISO uses its advanced automated market systems to do 5 minute and 15 minute dispatch of the lowest-cost electricity available in its wholesale market to meet participant load serving entities’ needs when supply and demand do not match. The EIM optimizes renewables consumption by making excess generation available to the system that would otherwise be curtailed.

India: Comments Invited on Plan to Develop 1,000 MWe Geothermal Energy by 2030

Govt invites comments on draft policy for geothermal energy (Business Standard)

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy in India has sought public comments on the draft National Policy on Geo-Thermal Energy

Comments on the policy should be submitted by December 10, said an official order on the website of the Ministry. 

The government of India wants to deploy 1,000 MW(thermal) and 20 MW(electricity) geothermal energy capacity in the initial phase till 2022, and 10,000 MW(thermal) & 1000 MW(electricity) by 2030. 

The Ministry is also planning to encourage international collaboration with world leaders in geothermal energy like the USA, Philippines, Indonesia, Mexico and New Zealand for support to accelerate deployment of geothermal energy by international investment promotion.

Comments should be addressed to: Girish Kumar, Head Geothermal, Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, Room No.221, Block -14, CGO Complex, Lodhi Road, New Delhi - 110 003, E-mail: gkumar.mnre@nic.in 

Kenya: Tender for Construction of 140 MW Olkaria V and 70 MW Olkaria I Geothermal Power Plants Coming Early Next Year

Geothermal overtakes hydropower generation (K24 TV)

The use of geothermal power in the national mix has risen from 30 per cent last year to 39 per cent this year, making it the leading source of power in Kenya.

KenGen chairman Joshua Choge said yesterday the country is doing away with the expensive thermal power generation for the clean, cheaper and reliable geothermal power.

“We have already seen a reduction in the cost of power by 30 per cent due to an increase in geothermal power and we project that the prices will fall further,” he said.

KenGen managing director Albert Mugo said the power generating company will be advertising a tender for the construction of the 140 MW Olkaria V and 70 MW Olkaria I power plants early next year.

Read More........

Hungary: Completed Geothermal Energy Plant Heats Audi Car Factory

PannErgy inaugurates geothermal energy project (Budapest Business Journal)

Budapest-based geothermal energy company PannErgy inaugurated a power supply center in Bóny, on the outskirts of Győr, northeastern Hungary, which was built as part of a HUF 10.2 billion investment project in Győr, Hungarian news agency MTI reported.

Thermal energy from the center will supply 60% of heating required by vehicle-manufacturer Audi Hungariaʼs plant in Győr as well as provide heating for 24,000 households in the city.

As part of the project PannErgy built two extraction wells, two reinjection wells, a power supply center and a 17-kilometer-long pipeline, said Dénes Gyimothy, acting CEO of PannErgy, at the inauguration event. The water surfaces at about 100°C at 150 l/s with an estimated heat capacity of 52 MW.

News Release (PDF)........                         Read More.........

United Kingdom: Eden Project Would Tap 180°C Geothermal Resource for 3-4 MW Power Plant

Eden project goes geothermal (Cogeneration & On-Site Power Production Magazine)

(Courtesy Eden project )
Plans have been revealed for a new geothermal on-site heat and power project to be located at the UK’s Eden project in Cornwall.

The environmental complex of geodesic domes aims to develop the project in partnership with Cornwall-based EGS Energy. Planning permission for a 3-4 MW geothermal power plant is already in place.

If developed, the geothermal plant would produce enough power for the Eden Project and around 4000 houses, plus heat for space and water heating using water pumped up to the surface at about 180°C. This hot water will runs through a binary cycle turbine to make electricity.

Advances in engineering mean that lower temperature resources in geologically stable regions are now usable and the plant at the north end of the site will be an 'engineered geothermal system'.

Eden says it is currently raising funds to proceed with the development.

Read More........

Science & Technology: Batteries and Compressed Air Storage Adds Flexibility to Geothermal Energy

Geothermal Developers Consider Energy Storage as a Way to Grow Business in a Tough Market (Greentech Media)

With the geothermal business in a rut, developers look to batteries and compressed air storage.

Steam venting at dusk at Zorlu Energy's Alaşehir
geothermal power plant in Turkey, by Tim Dunford,
POWER Engineers, Inc., Hailey, Idaho, USA
Ormat Technologies, a leading geothermal developer based in Nevada, is being secretive about plans to get into the energy storage business.

The company, which is dealing with a stagnating U.S. geothermal market, indicated in April that it wanted to explore other areas of business -- both geographically and technologically. Those plans will include storage.

During a third-quarter earnings webcast earlier this month, CEO Isaac Angel claimed that the company is “progressing well” in storage and would soon have a development deal. He also indicated that Ormat would be combining geothermal with solar to offer a “blended solution.”

Read More.......

Monday, November 23, 2015

India: Paper Outlines Geothermal Energy Exploration in Gujarat

Geothermal exploration in Gujarat: case study from Dholera (Geothermal Energy)

Results suggest that Dholera is a promising site from geothermal point of view

Utilization of Geothermal resources is an alternate, sustainable energy, which needs to be harnessed in India. Exploration of the resource is the first step to understand potential leads and prospects in the subsurface.

An attempt has been made to understand the subsurface picture using geoscientific data, for example, Gravity survey, Landsat imagery, magnetotelluric (MT) survey and water chemistry.

Dholera, Gujarat is a potential site for geothermal exploration and exploitation, which is the chosen study area. Dholera also falls under proposed Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation Limited (DMICDC), making it a suitable candidate for setting up geothermal power plant in future.

The energy potential of prospects identified in Dholera through the above-mentioned studies may help industries in creating geothermal power plant and utilization of energy in space heating & district heating/cooling. Dholera is located 30 km away in southwest direction from Dhandhuka village of Ahmedabad district and 60 km away in north direction from city of Bhavnagar.

Read More........

Climate Change: IRENA Report Calls for More Renewable Energy to Combat Climate Change

Renewables Poised to Deliver Climate Solution (IRENA)

IRENA report presents actions to limit global temperature rise to below 2°C by accelerating transition to renewable energy

Emission reductions from renewables, coupled with energy efficiency improvements, must be at the heart of any effort to limit global temperature rise to two degrees Celsius, according to a report released today by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

REthinking Energy 2015 – Renewable Energy and Climate, finds that achieving a 36 per cent share of renewable energy by 2030 would result in half of all emission reductions needed to maintain a two degree pathway. Energy efficiency measures could supply the rest.

Read More........                                    Download the Full Report........

GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Expo: Reserve Your Hotel Room Now!

Reserve Your Hotel Rooms for GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo (News Release)

Hotel room reservations can now be made for the biggest geothermal energy event of the year to be held in Sacramento, California, USA from October 23-26, 2016

Reservations can now be made for hotel rooms for the 40th Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) Annual Meeting & Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) Expo, being held in Sacramento, California, USA, October 23 – 26, 2016.  All the events and accommodation are in one central location, at the Sacramento Convention Center and neighboring Sheraton Grand and Hyatt Regency hotels.

The GRC has contracted with the Sheraton Grand and Hyatt Regency for a discounted block of rooms. At both hotels there is a choice of rooms with either two double beds or a king bed starting at $145 a night excluding taxes and fees. The discount ends September 28.

Attendees can make their reservations on secure websites prepared specially for the GRC and GEA. The links are available from the GRC Annual Meeting website at: www.geothermal.org/meet-new.html.

The GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo is the industry’s largest annual gathering of leading geothermal energy scientists, producers, renewable energy industry stakeholders, regulators, utilities, and key associated business leaders. The four-day event will offer technical, policy, and market conference sessions, educational seminars, tours of local geothermal and renewable energy projects, trade show and numerous networking opportunities.

More information on the biggest geothermal event in the world in 2016 can be found on the GRC website at: www.geothermal.org/meet-new.html

United Kingdom: Geothermal Energy from Abandoned Mines Can Heat Scotland

Could Scotland’s old mines provide clean energy to homes? (The Scotsman)

Major research into whether Scotland’s old coal mines can deliver low cost heating to hundreds of homes is now underway.

The Scottish Government earlier awarded around £200,000 to four projects across Scotland to research the potential of turning the thermal energy stored deep in the ground into clean electricity.

An abandoned mine at Hartwood in North Lanarkshire is amongst projects being examined for the potential use of geothermal energy in Scotland.

The heat is pulled out by pumps which work like fridges, concentrating heat energy from the water in the mines that is naturally warmed by the earth’s crust.

It is then stored before being distributed to homes through a district heating network.

Read More.........

Canada: Saskatchewan Utility Outlines Plan for 50% Renewables by 2030 - Includes Geothermal

SaskPower announces plan for renewable resources (620 CKRM.com)

SaskPower, the principal electric utility in Saskatchewan, Canada has set a target to double the percentage of renewable electricity generation capacity by 2030.

The plan is to develop wind, solar and geothermal power to meet up to a 50 percent target over the next 15 years.

President and CEO Mike Marsh says today is about setting the directional target and details on infrastructure still need to be sorted out.

"The timing of where the wind and solar facilities will be located have yet to be worked out. That's something we will be working with the industry through competitive solicitation processes over the next 15 years."

For the average household, this means adding about a dollar to each bill over the next 15 years.

Read More.......

UAE: Geothermal Energy Could be Used for Desalination

Masdar research boils up hot idea for water desalination (The National)

Savvina Loutatidou is hoping more research and development on geothermal 
desalination could reduce costs. Irene García León for The National
Amid the UAE’s celebration of Innovation Week, which kicks off Sunday, students at the Masdar Institute are working on projects to support the development of the Emirates, including drinking water made from geothermal energy.

However, using this resource as a desalination method, or removing salt from water to make it potable, is under-explored. Savvina Loutatidou, 26, from Greece is trying to change that. “Solar desalination will be implemented in the UAE, but I … thought it would be interesting to know about other [methods],” said the researcher and PhD candidate at the Masdar Institute.

The consumption of desalinated water in Abu Dhabi has nearly doubled over the past decade to 1,126 billion cubic metres from 667 million cubic metres, according to Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi. Yet the price associated with desalination is often high because it is an energy intensive project.

The geothermal resources present in the UAE is of the low temperature kind – up to 150°C compared with up to 300°C for high “enthalpy”, resources – which means it would not be viable for power generation but more suited for direct applications such as cooling and desalination. However, geothermal in the UAE is not yet proven to be cost competitive for desalination even though there are potentially huge fuel savings compared with conventional methods. “If we can get the cost down enough to compete with other sources, then maybe it could be possible,” said Ms Loutatidou.

Read More.........

Science & Technology: Hellisheiði Geothermal Power Plant Minimizes CO2 Emissions

Three diverse European companies with a handle on climate change (euronews)

Global climate change is one of humanity’s biggest problems, but what can we do with the CO2 that is emitted into the atmosphere? In Iceland, scientists are working on a solution.

Iceland largely relies on geothermal power, one of the greenest energy sources available. But the underground steam contains CO2 of volcanic origin which also ends up in the atmosphere.

Edda Sif Aradóttir, Reservoir Engineer, Reykjavik Energy, CARBFIX project coordinator: “Geothermal power plants do not emit a lot of CO2. For example, the Hellisheiði [pronounced Khedlis-kheidi] power plant which generates 300 megawatts of electricity emits about 40,000 tonnes per year, which is around 3% of what a fossil fuel-powered power plant of the same size would emit. So we do not emit a lot, but we’re still trying to reduce our emissions.”

Instead of emitting the carbon dioxide and other gases into the atmosphere, here it is captured, mixed with water that comes from the same steam, and then pumped deep into the ground. The technology involving the recycling of the CO2 tested at the plant can also be used by other industry.

Taiwan: 100 MW Geothermal Power Plant Project Questioned

Geothermal well-drilling proposal impractical: EPA (Taipei Times)

A geothermal power plant project proposing to drill geothermal wells thousands of meters deep in Yilan County received mixed criticism during the project’s environmental review yesterday, with experts saying the project is ill-planned and technically unfeasible.

Headed by anti-nuclear activist and National Taiwan University professor Kao Cheng-yan (高成炎), the project proposes drilling 10 geothermal wells 6km deep in Lize (利澤) in Yilan County’s Wujie Township (五結) to set up a power plant with a capacity of 100 megawatts, which could generate about 867 million kilowatt-hours per year, making it the largest thermal power station in the nation.

During the project’s geologic safety assessment meeting yesterday, in which drilling experts and interested parties were invited to participate, local business owner Chang Ping-he (張平和) said that the development could cause ground subsidence, as it would remove a large amount of soil at a geologically unstable sandy structure, adding that the developer has not communicated with local businesses and residents to clarify the risks involved.

Read More........

Kenya: Chinese Companies Keen to Do Geothermal Businness

Chinese firms to assist Kenya to develop geothermal power (GlobalPost)

H.E. Dr. Liu Xianfa,
People Republic of China,
Ambassador to Kenya
Chinese firms are ready to assist Kenya to develop its huge geothermal resources, a Chinese official said on Monday.

Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Liu Xianfa told an investment conference in Nairobi that Chinese firms have the expertise required to tap into the renewable energy source.

"Chinese companies are well prepared to partner with Kenyan enterprises to assist Kenya to improve geothermal power production ability," Liu said during the opening ceremony of the Second Edition of the Kenya International Investment Conference.

Friday, November 20, 2015

United Kingdom: Possible Geothermal Energy Resource on South Coast of England

Could Havant be sitting on its own hotbed of untapped energy potential? (Portsmouth News)

Heat from the earth could be used to provide hot water for thousands of homes and public buildings. A growing group of people believe Havant, in Hampshire, could be sitting on a hotbed of untapped geothermal potential.

The technology draws up hot water that has been heated by rocks from hundreds of metres below the ground.

Southampton has been a pioneer of the technology since the 1980s and the scheme now heats a number of buildings, including Southampton Civic Centre and West Quay. Geological studies appear to show the same geothermal aquifer stretches across the south coast to Havant.

Havant Friends of The Earth now plans to talk to Havant Borough Council about the potential of a feasibility study, which could be supported by EU funding.

Read More........

USA, California: AltaRock Buys Bottle Rock Geothermal Power Plant

Bottle Rock Power LLC acquired by Baseload Clean Energy Partners (News Release)

Company plans to add energy storage to Geysers’ geothermal facility

Bottle Rock Power plant in the Geysers steam field,
Northern California. - Betsy Phillips
Baseload Clean Energy Partners (BCEP), a clean energy portfolio owned and operated by AltaRock Energy, today announced the acquisition of Bottle Rock Power LLC

The Bottle Rock Power Plant was originally constructed as a 55 MW dry-steam geothermal plant situated on a 350-acre site in Lake County, California. BCEP purchased the remaining equity in the plant and associated leases for an undisclosed sum from Riverstone Holdings and U.S. Renewables Group. The company plans to upgrade the existing facilities to include energy storage in an effort to better manage supply and demand on the power grid.

“The next step in our strategy is the integration of energy storage within existing plants,” said Aaron Mandell, chief executive officer of BCEP. “Bottle Rock is an extremely valuable asset given the project’s access to the Northern California energy markets and future expansion potential of the geothermal resource. In the near term, we will focus on safely maintaining the existing plant and well field, but are actively working towards adding performance enhancements to enable flexible generation using energy storage.”

As the cost of utility-scale solar continues to drop, it becomes an increasingly larger portion of the overall energy supply. Grid operators are already adapting to accommodate new load profiles and adding energy storage will provide a way to both curtail excess solar during the day and tailor baseload generation to better reflect real-time demand. Geothermal is unique clean energy resource because it is always available and combining it with storage will pave the way for renewables to become the largest source of electric power, worldwide. Ultimately, flexible energy resources will be the key to delivering a carbon-free energy grid.

USA, Hawaii: Employment Opportunity for Geothermal Geologist in Downtown Honolulu

State of Hawai'i Career Opportunity - Geologist II - Geothermal (Sr-28) - Oahu

Recruitment Number 215385 - Downtown, Oahu Employment Only - $5,410 to $8,008 per month

This position is located in the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Engineering Division and serves as head of the Mineral Resources Section. 

The position is responsible for planning, directing and coordinating activities for the regulation of geothermal activities related to the exploration and development of geothermal resources, including resources assessment and protection, and environmental monitoring. 

The duties and responsibilities of this position include coordinating the development and implementation of plans for maintenance and disposition of state-owned or state operated geothermal wells and/or mining leases, including assessment of potential public health and safety impacts; the review of applications for geothermal well construction and mining leases; the compliance reviews of geothermal resource mining leases; and the regulatory oversight of existing geothermal operations and associated activities; and performs other related duties as assigned.

Turkey: CO2 from Geothermal Power Plant Helps Crop Production

Linde Gaz Turkey brings CO2 plant on-stream (gasworld)

Linde Gaz, owned by the German Linde Group, has finalized investments for its new carbon dioxide (CO2) production facility in Denizli in southwestern Turkey, and has brought the facility into service connected to the highly anticipated ‘Organized Greenhousing Zone’ in the region.

According to gasworld Business Intelligence, the $15m investment sources raw CO2 from the nearby Zorlu Energy geothermal electricity plant, then purifies and liquefies the product. The majority of the plant’s capacity will be delivered to food and beverage clients in the region.

Linde Gaz A.Ş. Bulk Operations Director, Bora Uluğ, added, “Through the presence of geothermal energy in the region, more than 250 sunshine days per year, use of natural carbon dioxide for photosynthesis in fertilization, and the utilization of lands unsuitable for organic farming, we can obtain the competitive edge, export products to the European market with packaging/freezing technology, and use our strategic advantage as a benefit to our country.”

Read More.......

Thursday, November 19, 2015

USA, France: General Electric Renewable Energy Unit Completes Move to France

GE moves renewable energy headquarters from Schenectady to Paris (Times Union)

General Electric Co. (GE) has officially moved its renewable energy business from Schenectady, New York, United States, to Paris following its $10 billion acquisition of the energy business of French conglomerate Alstom SA.

GE's renewable energy business was located in Schenectady and operated under Anne McEntee until the Alstom deal closed on Nov. 2. Jérome Pécresse is the new GE Renewable Energy CEO.

GE employs roughly 4,000 people at its Schenectady campus, home to GE Power, including a large GE steam turbine and generator plant.

Read More........

Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis: Geothermal Power Plant Slated for 2020

Busy Years Ahead for Geothermal Development in St. Kitts (ZIZ Live)

Public Infrastructure Minister, Hon. Ian Liburd capitalixed on Tuesday’s National Assembly Sitting to give an update on his administration’s pursuance of Geothermal Energy.

He said based on the recently discussed plans, the Geothermal Power Plant is expected to be commissioned by 2020.

“In April 2016, we anticipate the launch of Slim Hole Drilling, a phase slated for completion in approximately six months. Important to note, all this is being done at absolutely no cost to the government of St. Kitts and Nevis,” the Minister said.

He continued, “A Geothermal workshop will be facilitated in November 2016 which will focus on the launch of grants, subsidies and concession loans. Then, in 2017, there is a proposed launch of commercial sized demonstration well drilling and the anticipation of a Geothermal resource final assessment and power plant in 2018.”

Just last week, Minister Liburd engaged a team from Teranov Exploration Consultants which is working on the project.

Read More.......

United Kingdom: University Gets Royal Recognition for Volcanology Research that Aids the Geothermal Energy Industry

Royal award recognizes global impact of Bristol’s volcanology research (University of Bristol)

The University of Bristol in west England has been awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher Education – the highest accolade for any academic institution – in recognition of its world-leading research in volcanology.

The work of Bristol’s Volcanology Research Group has been applied across the globe to reduce a variety of risks posed by active volcanism including work that helps the geothermal energy industry.

This includes monitoring the world’s forgotten volcanoes from space. Only a small number of the world’s known volcanoes are monitored from the ground so the team are developing satellite monitoring tools to identify signs of volcanic unrest. This work has been piloted using volcanoes in Ethiopia which are not monitored locally and have no risk assessment but are showing signs of activity. Data generated are also being used to help inform the geothermal energy sector, improve geothermal production and reduce the uncertainty and risk associated with geothermal energy development.

The Queen will present the prestigious accolade, which is part of the UK’s national Honors system, to the University during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace next year.

Global: Latest News from the International Geothermal Association

IGA Newsletter N°101, October - December 2015 (IGA)

The latest IGA Newsletter N°101 for the period October - December 2015 is available for download.

Highlights include a good overview of the 39th Annual Meeting of the GRC.

Science & Technology: Geothermal (and other renewables) Could Power the World

139 Countries Could Get All of their Power from Renewable Sources (Scientific American)

Mark Jacobson and Mark Delucchi have done it again. This time they’ve spelled out how 139 countries can each generate all the energy needed for homes, businesses, industry, transportation, agriculture—everything—from wind, solar, water power technologies (and geothermal), by 2050. Their national blueprints, released Nov. 18, follow similar plans they have published in the past few years to run each of the 50 U.S. states on renewables, as well as the entire world. (Have a look for yourself, at your country, using the interactive map below.)

Read More........

United Kingdom: 3-D Survey Set to Begin for Geothermal Resources in Stoke

Scheme to Tap Cheap Energy (City News - Stoke-on-Trent)

Surveys to assess feasibility of turning hot water into heating

Seismic surveys will help Stoke-on-Trent City Council decide the future of its multi-million pound scheme to turn hot water locked deep underground into cheap heating.

The latest feasibility work on the deep geothermal District Heat Network will involve two trucks travelling from Keele across the Etruria Valley to Birches Head – using sound waves to collect key data for production of a 3-Dimensional geological model.

Experts have measured the deep underground water temperature at 95 degrees Centigrade and believe heating harnessed from it could be up to 10 per cent cheaper than traditional heating systems.

The plan is to pump this hot water to the surface and return it back again through a closed loop using two wells.

A simple heat exchanger would extract energy during the process, passing the heat into a network of pipes for distribution to large scale premises in Hanley, Shelton and Stoke.

Philippines: 750 MW of Geothermal Energy in the Pipeline

RE projects lined up to provide over 12,000 MW (Manila Times)

(Courtesy CIA.gov)
The Philippines has more than 600 renewable energy projects for development in the pipeline, with potential capacity of over 12,000 MW including 750 MW of geothermal energy, data culled from the Department of Energy showed.

The DOE data, however, did not include when these projects would be completed or commissioned, neither which companies would be doing the projects.

The DOE documents showed that as of October 31, a total of 616 renewable energy projects have been approved and awarded by the agency including 43 geothermal projects with a capacity of 750 MW.

Aside from these, the DOE said there are still 272 renewable energy projects that are waiting to be awarded including two geothermal.

Iceland: Geothermal Landscapes Gets Global Recognition

Iceland gets two UNESCO Global Geoparks (Iceland Monitor)

New Reykjanes Geopark contains the Reykjanes and Svartsengi Geothermal Power Stations

Two Icelandic geoparks have been included in a new UNESCO list recognizing “the importance of managing outstanding geological sites and landscapes in a holistic manner” – UNESCO Global Geoparks.

The new branding covers 120 geoparks in 33 countries, including Katla Geopark in South Iceland and Reykjanes Geopark in South-West Iceland.

According to a UNESCO press release, the new label was ratified by UNESCO Member States at the organisation’s General Conference held 3-18 November in Paris.

“UNESCO Global Geoparks tell the 4,600 million year story of Planet Earth and of the geological events that shaped it as well as the evolution of humanity itself [and] strive to raise awareness of geodiversity and promote protection, education and tourism best practices.”

Katla Geopark was Iceland’s first geopark and is named after the Katla volcano in South Iceland, shaped over thousands of years by the joint forces of ice and fire.

Reykjanes geopark stretches over five municipalities in the South-West of Iceland and is a crucible of geothermal energy, seismic activity and tectonic movement.

Italy: Enel Confirms Reintegration of Green Power Subsiduary

Enel to buy back Green Power unit in €3.1bn merger deal (Business Green)

Italian utility Enel is set to buy back its renewables subsidiary Enel Green Power (EGP), which has been listed on the stock market for the past five years.

The company yesterday said it would issue €3.1bn worth of its own shares to EGP shareholders in order to repurchase its green energy arm. 

Francesco Venturini, chief executive and general manager of EGP, said the move comes at the right time due to the rapid evolution of the energy sector and increasing competitiveness of renewable technologies.

"Increased investment firepower, greater flexibility in capitalizing on market opportunities are just some of the many benefits to this transaction," he said in a statement.

Geothermal energy provides 8% of EGP's installed capacity, 761 MW of which are located in Italy and 72 MW in the USA. The company has one geothermal energy project under construction - the 38 MW Cerro Pabellon plant in Chile.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Canada: Saskatchewan Premier Promises 50% Renewables by 2050 Including Geothermal Energy

Wall pledges 50% renewable energy in Sask. by 2030 (Global News)

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall is promising a new goal of producing more than half the province’s electricity through renewable energy sources within 15 years.

Wall made the announcement in response to Opposition NDP attacks of the Sask. Party government’s environmental record.

Details will be released by SaskPower next week, but Wall says the goal will include increasing dependence on solar and wind power, as well as “some geothermal” by 2030.

Read More.......

USA: Interview With Steve Ponder, GRC Executive Director

Geothermal News Report

The Geothermal News Report (GNR) is a weekly podcast wrapping up the top stories in the geothermal industry.

GNR interviews the Executive Director of the Geothermal Resources Council (GRC), Mr. Steve Ponder at the GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Expo 2015 in Reno, Nevada. The discussion covers everything from the international markets, to the new generation of geothermal students and professionals joining the industry.

(AUDIO 8:50 Minutes)

USA, California: Seeking Geothermal Consultant for California Energy Commission R&D

RFP-15-318 - Technical Assistance for the Energy Research and Development Division EPIC Program

DEADLINE TO SUBMIT PROPOSALS - November 23, 2015 by 3:00 p.m.

The California Energy Commission (CEC) is searching for an expert in geothermal resources to provide consultation services to the Energy R&D department at the CEC.

The work would involve occasional consultation with the CEC on R&D trends and needs, and evaluation of grant requests under the EPIC program. Below is the list of topics that the CEC includes in their request for qualifications for this contract.
  1. Geothermal electric generation such as: vapor-and liquid-dominated electric generation technologies (including wellhead units), distributed generation geothermal technologies (e.g., less than 20 MW in capacity), and/or geothermal/oil and gas co-production; alternative thermodynamic cycles, efficiency improvements, well design, material science, corrosion and brine chemistry, pollution abatement, and environmental mitigation
  2. Direct use applications
  3. Geothermal heat pump technologies (GHP), including heat exchangers
  4. Geothermal resources, including: assessment and exploration, production and injection wells, reservoir engineering, and modeling
  5. Hot water and steam reservoirs, magma systems, geo-pressured systems, and hot dry rock
  6. Regulation of geothermal development and use
  7. Geothermal mapping/location techniques
  8. Economic and technical barriers to geothermal development
  9. Environmental impacts associated with geothermal development and production, and mitigation techniques to reduce impacts
  10. By-products assessment – technical and economic feasibility
For more information contact Matt Trask, Senior Associate, Aspen Environmental Group, Cell: 916-804-7271 MTrask@aspeneg.com

USA: Update from the FORGE Staff

Road Tripping through the Geothermal Frontier (DOE/EERE/GTO)

Inside Naval Air Station Fallon, Nevada (Courtesy GTO)
And they’re off!  After more than a year since the announcement of available funding, the project teams selected for our Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) each hosted our geothermal experts at their candidate sites this fall.  We’re calling it our road trip through the geothermal frontier.

The Energy Department’s Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) FORGE staff embarked on two road trips in early September and mid-October to visit the sites, meet with teams and stakeholders, learn more about the individual locations, and check in with the teams on the progress they are making.

Shortly after the whirlwind of site visits, the team made its way back to Washington, D.C. headquarters, where the five candidate site teams provided their first round of quarterly deliverables, including analysis of exiting site characteristic data and comprehensive team structures. The duration of Phase I will be focused on developing and drafting a multitude of plans and processes for the creation of the final field laboratory. These plans range from environmental, safety, and health protocols to the storing and handling of core samples.  At the completion of Phase I, the five candidate sites will go through a down-select process to see which will move on to Phase II. No more than three teams will be selected for the next round of funding next year.

To stay updated about FORGE and the Phase I candidate teams visit Energy.gov/FORGE.

Read More........

Canada: Promotion of Geothermal Energy

Discovering Canada's next hot opportunity (Process West)

Canada possesses significant geothermal energy resources, primarily concentrated in the country’s western provinces and territories. Conventional geothermal resources, those often associated with volcanic activity, can be found throughout British Columbia and the Yukon. These are evidenced by the more than 150 known hot springs in Western Canada, which are surface manifestations of geothermal activity.

Our continental neighbors, the United States and Mexico, have harnessed these resources, producing the first and fourth largest amounts of geothermal power in the world, respectively. Yet no megawatts of geothermal power are currently being produced in Canada. This situation warrants question as geothermal power is internationally recognized as a renewable source of energy that operates 24/7, unlike wind and solar.

Read More........

USA: News from the Geo Heat Pump Industry

Heat Exchange Industry News (Geothermal Exchange Organization)

The latest GEO Industry News is now available from the Geothermal Exchange Organization (GEO).

Headlines and features in this month’s edition include:
  • President’s Message – The Path to Recognition
  • Geo Industry Leaders Confident of Federal Tax Credit Renewal
  • GEO, NEGPA Team Up to Change New Hampshire Cost Calculator
  • USDA Grants $1.5M for Geothermal Projects – Applications Open
  • Permanent Rules for Oregon Residential Energy Tax Credits
  • GEO $1,000 Challenge! Kirk T. Mescher Scholarship Award Fund
  • PLUS More GEO News and Announcements
The Geothermal Exchange Organization, a 501(c)(6) non-profit trade association based in Springfield, Illinois, USA that advocates the environmental, energy efficiency and economic benefits of geothermal heat pump systems for heating and cooling applications in residential, commercial, and institutional buildings in the USA.

GEO Industry News (PDF)

United Kingdom: Energy Minister Suggests Penalizing Intermittent Renewables

What does Amber Rudd’s speech mean for renewables? (Greenpeace)

"We want intermittent generators to be responsible for pressures they add to system when wind doesn’t blow or sun doesn’t shine”.

U.K. energy secretary, Amber Rudd (Courtesy Nick Ansell/PA)
In a speech by the U.K. energy secretary, Amber Rudd on Wednesday it was indicated that the government is going to penalise intermittent renewables generation for its intermittency. She stated: “we also want intermittent generators to be responsible for pressures they add to system when wind doesn’t blow or sun doesn’t shine”.

It’s not clear yet what that means, but it could be some kind of a charge to renewable power producers to cover the costs of balancing supply.

The CCC said in its recent scenarios report that though “It is possible to ensure security of supply in a decarbonised system with high levels of intermittent and inflexible generation”, there are costs associated with variable output. They estimate this would represent around £10/MWh for both wind and solar for the deployment levels in its 2030 decarbonization scenarios.

Energy experts seem to agree that making renewable generators pay for intermittency would be inefficient and expensive – even though opinion differs on whether renewables or the system as a whole should compensate for intermittency.

The British government also announced plans to shutter all coal-fired power plants in the country by 2025, phasing them out with tighter restrictions two years before that.

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India: Invite for Proposals to Develop Renewable Energy

India Innovation Lab to call for funding ideas (The Hindu Business Line)

The submission process will officially open on 23 November 2015 and close in January.

The India Innovation Lab for Green Finance is a public-private initiative to seek out and help implement novel solutions for unlocking and scaling up investment for green infrastructure in India. By addressing investors’ needs, it aims to drive new private investment for clean growth.

The India Innovation Lab for Green Finance seeks proposals to identify financial instruments that have potential to manage investment barriers and scale up attractive capital for green infrastructure in India. The submission process will officially open here on 23 November 2015 and close in January. Up to four winners will be announced in February, and will receive advice and endorsement from Lab Members to develop and implement the ideas over the course of the next year

Ideas should address investors’ needs, in order to unlock more private investment for green infrastructure, including for large-scale renewables, distributed renewables including off-grid electricity, energy efficiency, urbanization, and others. Examples might be credit enhancement of renewable energy projects to attract institutional investors, or tools to reduce the cost of currency hedging to attract more foreign investment.

Read More.......

Ireland: New Legislation to Develop Geothermal Resources Coming

Government’s Legislative Programme for the Autumn Session 2015 (Lexology)

IRETHERM Target Areas (Muller et al., 2012 & Goodman, 2004)
The Irish government has recently announced its Legislative Programme for the Autumn Session 2015. Government Chief Whip Paul Kehoe stated that the Programme includes a number of Bills which are central to the Government’s plans to secure Ireland’s ongoing economic recovery including a Geothermal Energy Development Bill that aims to provide a legislative framework for the vesting, licensing and regulation of the development of geothermal energy.

According to a paper "Geothermal Energy Utilisation - Ireland Country Update" by Riccardo Pasquali, Alistair Allen, John Burgess, Gareth Ll. Jones, Taly Hunter Williams, presented at the World geothermal Congress 2015, the Geothermal Development Bill would define geothermal energy in Ireland and vests ownership of geothermal energy in the State, giving practical effect to the assertion of ownership of natural resources in the Constitution. The Bill would cover the exploration and development of deep geothermal energy resources in Ireland (excluding aspects such as district heating, market regulation and health and safety).

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Philippines: Privatization of Unified Leyte Geothermal Power Plants Contract Before year End

Govt, EDC negotiate bid for Leyte power plants (The Standard)

State-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) said its board approved a negotiated bidding with a unit of Energy Development Corp. for the bulk energy contracts of the Unified Leyte Geothermal Power Plants.

PSALM president Lourdes Alzona said the board decided that the “privatization of UL bulk is through negotiated sale before end of this year.”

Alzona said the Unified Leyte bulk energy privatization was the remaining big ticket power item up for privatization this year.

PSALM declared as failed bidding the selection and appointment of the independent power producer administrator of the bulk energy contract in September, after only Unified Leyte Geothermal Energy Inc., a subsidiary of EDC, submitted a bid.

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United Kingdom: Eden Project Seeks Funds for Geothermal Project

Eden Project bids to power biomes and homes with geothermal power (The Guardian)

Hot rocks beneath the visitor attraction in Cornwall could generate enough clean energy to power the site and 4,000 homes, in one of the UK’s only geothermal plants

A tropical fish farm, medical facility and computer servers could be powered by “hot rocks” underneath the Eden project if plans to create one of the UK’s only geothermal plants get underway.

The visitor attraction is bidding for part of a £12m EU fund awarded to Cornwall, after it said the government had turned down requests to match fund the £37m project. The three-four megawatt (MW) plant’s backers at Eden said it would take three years to build but generate enough clean heat and electricity to power the site, as well as 4,000 homes via the national grid.

Energy would be generated by pumping heated water up from granite hot rocks three miles underground through 25cm-wide bore holes. The city of Southampton has the UK’s only significant geothermal plant, which powers homes and offices.

USA, Hawaii: A History of Development at Puna Geothermal Venture

The past and future of geothermal energy on the Big Island (KITV)


The breath of the earth harnessed to power our homes. You may not realize geothermal power has been a part of Hawaii's energy grid for decades.  It sparked grand plans and protests over its future here.

On the surface, Puna Geothermal looks like labyrinth of pipes -- a complex grid of green.  Below the surface, plunging vertical tunnel grabbing the power of a restless earth.

"We're tapping into resources that have been there for quite a while already," said PGV Operations Manager Ron Quesada.

Read More........

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

USA, Texas: EERE/GTO Staff Co-Chair Geothermal Track at Symposium

DOE to Attend the American Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium (DOE/EERE/GTO)

Lauren Boyd, Enhanced Geothermal Systems Program Lead and Zach Frone, Science and Technology Policy Fellow with the Enhanced Geothermal Systems Team are co-chairing a track, at next years’ American Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium related to geomechanics in geothermal exploration and production. This marks the 50th U.S. Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium scheduled on June 26-29, 2016 in Houston, Texas.

The conference will be accepting abstract submissions on the following:
  •  Geomechanics in: Geothermal, Petroleum engineering, Civil engineering, and Mining engineering,
  •  Geology and geophysics,
  •  Fracture mechanics,
  •  Induced/triggered seismicity,
  •  Numerical/analytical/constitutive modeling.
While the official deadline for abstracts has past, abstracts will be accepted until this Friday (11/20/15).

United Kingdom: UK Geothermal Pioneer On the Radio

Rethinking Energy: Conversation With GRC Member Paul Younger - UK Geothermal Pioneer (BBC Radio 4)

Can we heat our homes using energy from deep beneath our feet? Can we use fossil fuels without damaging the environment? Paul Younger, Professor of Energy Engineering at Glasgow University, discusses these approaches to keeping the lights on in the future with presenter Jim al-Khalili.

The conversation is part of BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival 2015.

Listen to the program..........

Kenya: 50 MW Geothermal Wellhead Contract Cancelled

KenGen cancels disputed Sh52bn wellhead contract (Business Daily Africa)

Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) has cancelled a controversial 50 MW geothermal wellhead leasing contract that is the subject of a court battle.

Rentco East Africa won the tender one month after it was disqualified from participating in another contract for presenting forged documents and irregular financial statements.

USA, Nevada: Yoram Bronicki Resigns as Chair of Ormat Board of Directors

Mr. Yoram Bronicki Retiring as Director and Chairman of Board of Directors, and Mr. Gillon Beck Appointed by the Board as Chairman (News Release)

Yoram Bronicki at a
GRC Annual meeting
Ormat Technologies, Inc. announced today that Mr. Yoram Bronicki has resigned from his position as the Chairman of the company’s Board of Directors, effective November 16, 2015.

Acting upon the recommendation of the Board of Directors' Nominating and Governance Committee, the Board of Directors appointed Mr. Stanley Stern as a director to fill the vacancy on the Board, and appointed current director Mr. Gillon Beck as the Chairman of the Board. Mr. Beck served as Chairman from May 2012 until June 2014. Both appointments are effective upon Mr. Bronicki’s resignation.  

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Science & Technology: Where in the World is the Groundwater?

Earth's underground water quantified (BBC News)

The map above shows the distribution of this modern groundwater around the globe. Dark blue shows where it is very quickly renewed. Light blue shows the older groundwater, which is mostly stagnant and non-renewable.
The total amount of groundwater on the planet, held in rock and soil below our feet, is estimated to be 23 million cubic km. If this volume is hard to visualize, imagine the Earth's entire land surface covered in a layer some 180m deep.

The new calculation comes from a Canadian-led team led by study leader Tom Gleeson from the University of Victoria and is published in the journal Nature Geoscience. 

To quantify just how much water is stored in the top 2km of the Earth's surface, Dr Gleeson's team had to combine large data sets with an element of modelling. They included information on the permeability of rocks and soil, on their porosity, and all that is known about water table gradients, which tell you about inputs from precipitation.

Gleeson et al. “The global volume and distribution of modern groundwater

Kenya: Geothermal Energy Supplies Almost Half of All Electricity

Geothermal power consumption hits record level in October (Business Daily Africa)

(Courtesy CIA.gov)
Data from the Kenyan Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) shows that consumers used 402.1 million units (kilowatt hours) of geothermal power in October, the highest level ever, accounting for 49 per cent of total units consumed.

This is up from 377.5 million units in August and 388 million units in January—just a month after Kenya completed the injection of additional 280 megawatts of geothermal power to the national grid.

“This is the highest level of geothermal power ever generated and consumed,” said John Mutua, ERC senior manager in charge of economic regulation.

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USA, Colorado: Bud Johnston is New NREL Geothermal Laboratory Program Manager

New Geothermal Lab Manager Joins NREL

Henry (Bud) Johnston
Henry (Bud) Johnston joined the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) on October 12 as the new Laboratory Program Manager for the Geothermal Technologies Program.

"NREL's geothermal program capabilities include resource assessments, techno-economic modeling, regulatory and permitting processes, and data analysis and visualization," said Johnston. "I'm excited to lead NREL's geothermal program as we continue to advance our capabilities in key areas during the next five years. These opportunities for growth reside in the development and deployment of technologies supporting geothermal exploration and production, desalination and mineral recovery, and direct use and distributed generation."

Previously, Johnston worked with Shell for 30 years, most recently serving as reservoir engineering discipline lead within international unconventional resources at Shell's headquarters in the Netherlands. In that role, he was responsible for technical assurance of reservoir engineering for Shell's international unconventional resource projects.

At Shell, his experience also included a number of broad engineering, systems analysis, technology assessment, and technology management roles, along with focused assignments that allowed him to develop a deep subject matter expertise in reservoir engineering.

Guatemala: More Geothermal Next Year

Guatemala Considering 200 MW Geothermal RFP in 2016 (Renewable Energy World.com)

(Courtesy CIA.gov)
The country of Guatemala is considering the issuance of a 200 MW geothermal request for proposals sometime in 2016, US Geothermal President and COO Doug Glaspey said on Nov. 10.
The company “fully supports” the government’s plan, Glaspey said during US Geothermal’s 3Q15 earnings call.
US Geothermal is currently seeking out and meeting with potential purchasers for the output from its planned El Ceibillo geothermal project in Guatemala, according to Glaspey.
With an initial development of 25 MW, the El Ceibillo geothermal project will include a flash steam power plant to be located southwest of Guatemala City.