Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Kenya:

AfDB Eases Investor Risk in 105 MW Menengai IPP Geothermal Project (ADFB)

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved an USD 12.7 million African Development Fund partial risk guarantee (ADF PRG) for the 105 MW Menengai Independent Power Producers project. The Menengai project will provide power to about 500,000 households and 300,000 businesses.

The ADF PRG will mitigate the risk to independent power producers (IPPs) – and the providers of debt financing to IPPs – of non-payment by state-owned enterprise Kenya Power and Lighting Company Limited under the Power Purchase Agreement (KPLC) and non-supply of steam by state-owned enterprise, Geothermal Development Company (GDC) under the Project Implementation and Steam and Supply and Agreement.

The Menengai geothermal steam field development project involves the supply of steam by the GDC to three power plants at the Menengai Geothermal field, as well as the purchase by KPLC of the power generated by those plants. The plants are to be financed, designed, constructed, installed, operated and maintained on a build-own-operate basis by three independent power producers – Sosian Menengai Geothermal Power Limited, QPEA GT Menengai Limited and OR Power Twenty-Two Limited.

Read More......

Iceland:

Geothermal Energy in Iceland (Iceland Review)

Question: Does Iceland run 100 percent on geothermal energy? If not, are there any plans to convert the entire energy system of the island to 100 percent renewable energy with no emissions of poisonous substances? What does the population think about this? Alexander, Italy.

Answer: According to the report 2013 Energy Statistics in Iceland from the National Energy Authority, geothermal energy was used to produce 29 percent of Iceland’s electricity in 2013 compared to 71 percent by hydropower. Around 90 percent of space heating is produced by geothermal energy.

The SulFix sequestration project aims to develop a method to lower hydrogen sulfide (H2S) emissions from high temperature power plants that has lower operation costs and is more environmentally friendly than current H2S cleaning methods.

CarbFix, on the other hand, is among the projects being carried out to develop an industrial solution for mineral sequestration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in basalt. The project consists of, among other methods, field injection of CO2 charged water at the Hellisheiði power plant in Southwest Iceland.

Iceland:

Global Geothermal Energy Summit 

18-19 February 2015, Reykjavik, Iceland



Save £300 on registration for the 4th Global Geothermal Energy Summit taking place in Reykjavik on 18-19 February 2015 with early-bird rates. Book your place today as rates will go up after 31 October. Through case study presentations, keynotes, panel discussions and interactive sessions, this two day summit will take a deep dive into:

  • Global geothermal energy policy update and industry outlook
  • Meeting the latest government & environmental policy and compliance requirements to ensure project approvals
  • Case studies of latest technological advances to ensure cost reduction and project success for your geothermal projects
  • Financing geothermal projects with regards to location, market conditions, geological potential, water flows, political environment and developer specifics
  • Capturing accurate geological data in a timely and cost effective manner
  • Investigating best methods, tools and strategy in geothermal exploration drilling
  • Detailed design and construction
  • Optimised operations and maintenance of geothermal power plants

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

China:

Sinopec Seeks to Commercialize Geothermal Energy (South China Morning Post)

(Courtesy CIA.gov)
China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec Group) the nation's second-largest oil and gas producer, is seeking to commercialize geothermal energy after spending about 1 billion yuan (HK$1.26 billion) in the past few years to develop more than 10 pilot projects on the mainland.

Zhou Zongying, a researcher at Sinopec Star Petroleum - China Petrochemical's geothermal energy development arm - said the renewable energy had good potential to partially replace coal-fired heat and electricity generation in big cities.

"So far, geothermal energy's development has been limited by the high initial investment required, but as more local governments are imposing restrictions on coal-fired heat and power generation, geothermal energy will have more room for development," Zhou said at the sidelines of the China Mining conference.

Read More......

Romania:

World Renewable Energy Congress 2014 – WREC XIV

June 8 to 12, 2015, Bucharest, Romania


Clean Energy for a Sustainable Development

Renewables are the cornerstones and the foundation of a truly sustainable energy future. Our mission is to promote enabling policies and to further develop a broad range of renewable energy technologies and applications in all sectors – for heating and cooling, agricultural applications, water desalination, industrial applications and for the transport sectors leading to a better, cleaner and safer world.

Call for Papers (PDF) - Deadline 31 January, 2015

USA:

FORGE Newsletter (EERE/GTO)


The U.S. Department of Energy's Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) provides an update on Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) news and developments.

Deadline Extensions
To encourage the submission of the most robust and thorough FORGE FOA applications as possible, GTO has extended the submission date for applications to November 12, 2014. As a result of this extension, several other deadlines have also changed:
  • Deadline for FOA Questions – 11/6/2014 
  • Deadline for Application – 11/12/2014 
  • Deadline for Optional Replies to Reviewer Comments – 1/16/2015
  • Expected Date for Selection Notifications – 3/3/2015.
For more information on the application requirements and to view to the modified FOA document, please visit the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's (EERE) Funding Opportunity Exchange website.

USA, Michigan:

Abandoned Michigan Mineshafts Could be New Geothermal Energy Option (Midwest Energy News)

Abandoned mine shafts, like this one near Painesdale, Michigan,
could provide a source of geothermal energy.
(Photo by Joel Dinda via Creative Commons)
As Michigan’s Upper Peninsula grapples with a looming electricity crisis, the region’s copper-mining past could play a role in its energy future.

“Mineshaft geothermal” is gaining attention here as researchers investigate the energy potential stored hundreds of feet below the ground. The water in these abandoned and flooded mines, which expand throughout the U.P., is just now starting to be used to heat and cool buildings.

“Wherever anyone has a mineshaft and access to it, the potential is there,” said Jay Meldrum, director of the Keweenaw Research Center at Michigan Technical University in Houghton. Meldrum and his team are investigating the potential of more than 30 mineshafts in the historic village of Calumet, population around 700.

Philippines:

Davao City Approves Geothermal Exploration (Sun.Star)

Davao City Council is bent on setting up more power plants in the city after it approved on second reading on Tuesday a resolution endorsing the request of AboitizPower Corp. to conduct exploratory activities for geothermal resources.

Davao City is the third local government unit that approved the Aboitiz's request for exploration.

Councilor Louie John Bonguyan, City Council committee chair for energy, said the council approved the request for exploration phase to support the establishment of more power plants in the city to fully meet its demand for energy in coming years.

He said the city is quite fortunate "because power companies enter the city and suggest means of supplying power."

Read More.......

Monday, October 20, 2014

Kenya:

Geothermal Overtakes Hydro Power for First Time (Business Daily Africa)

The share of electricity generated from geothermal sources in Kenya has for the first time surpassed that of hydro power, pointing to lower electricity bills from reduced reliance on costly thermal power.

Data from the Kenyan Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) indicates that geothermal power accounted for 38.85 per cent of the 754.8 million units of electricity bought by homes and businesses in September while hydro power accounted for 36.7 per cent. Thermal power accounted for 22.2 per cent.

The decline follows the injection of 210 MW of geothermal power into the national grid, with 140 MW having been added in late July and 70 MW on September 16.

By the end of this year, KenGen will have added 280 MW in geothermal capacity, helping cut power bills that businesses say make Kenyan industries uncompetitive.

Read More......

Denmark:

Global Geothermal Development Plan Roundtable

23-24 October, UN City, Copenhagen, Denmark


The Climate Investment Funds (CIFs) is partnering with the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) and the Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) to organize the 2nd Global Geothermal Development Program (GGDP) Roundtable in Copenhagen, Denmark on October 23-24, 2014. (Agenda)

The objective of the GGDP Roundtable 2 is to provide a platform for donors, multilateral financing institutions, government officials, and practitioners to exchange experiences and lessons on geothermal resource risk mitigation schemes.

The second day of the roundtable will be dedicated to the Geothermal Development Dialogue, the first in a series of targeted workshops hosted by the CIF and CPI that will take place over the next year, aimed at bringing together major actors in financing geothermal development to enable a global sharing of experiences and to explore emerging lessons in the quest to scale up effective geothermal finance.

Agenda (PDF)........

United Kingdom:

Cornwall’s Geothermal Warders on Show (Academies Week)

Peter Ledingham, Director at Geothermal Engineering Ltd
pumping water into a borehole at Rosemanowes
A group of South Korean students visited a Cornish academy last week as part of an international program.

Camborne Science and International Academy (CSIA) hosted guests from The Korea Science Academy of KAIST, based in Busan, who stayed with local families for 10 days.

They participated in various cultural and scientific activities, including Cornwall’s underground geothermal properties on a trip to the famous Rosemanowes quarry.

Read More.......

Tanzania:

5th African Rift Geothermal (ARGeo) Conference

27th Oct to 2nd Nov 2014, Arusha, Tanzania


The theme of ARGeo-C5 is “Geothermal: Solution to Africa Energy needs”. The main objective of this conference is to promote regional cooperation, create an information exchange platform on exploration, development, investment and utilization of the geothermal resources ion the region and elsewhere in the world.

This international conference will bring together policy makers, technical experts as well as developers and financiers of international and regional delegates.

The conference will provide a platform to explore solutions how to:

  1. mitigate the risks associated with resource exploration, 
  2. attract private developers to fast track geothermal development, 
  3. reduce lead times in developing geothermal projects, 
  4. to leverage investment to stimulate the growth of industry, and 
  5. to effectively develop, construct, and operate successful geothermal power plants. 

New Zealand:

Geothermal 'Has Big Potential for NZ' (Voxy)

Professor Rosalind Archer
(Courtesy The University of Auckland)
New Zealand is a world leader in geothermal energy technology which has significant potential for the country’s energy supply, says GRC Member Professor Rosalind Archer who will lead tonight’s third lecture in the University of Auckland’s Vice-Chancellor’s Lecture Series for 2014.

Professor Archer is Director of the Geothermal Institute and the Head of the University’s Department of Engineering Science. She holds the Mighty River Power Chair in Geothermal Reservoir Engineering at the University.

The consistent nature of the geothermal energy production process helps facilitate the use of other renewables in the national grid, she says.

"We are unlikely to build more large hydro stations. Geothermal has the lowest cost per unit of electricity generation capacity so it’s an attractive technology for future generation.

Read More.......

Australia:

Raya Group Ltd Annual Report to Shareholders (Yahoo!7 News - News Release)

Raya Group Ltd formerly Panax Geothermal Ltd, holds some of the most prospective geothermal sites available in Australia and Indonesia. Whilst the Geothermal sector has been extremely challenging, Raya has been active with Indonesian joint venture partner Bakrie Power. Activity in the Indonesian Geothermal sector has increased, and the company continues to discuss opportunities with various EPC Groups and Funding parties showing renewed interest in our Indonesian Geothermal projects.

Raya surrendered its geothermal exploration licenses (GEL) held in the Cooper Basin at the start of the year which further removed an $8m work commitment from its accounts. Restoration and general cleanup was spent on the Salamander-1 well site in February this year which has left the site in good standing order. The site remains on care and maintenance until further interest is revived in the geothermal sector.

View the annual report at: http://media.abnnewswire.net/media/en/docs/ASX-RYG-823699.pdf

Read More......

Colorado:

New Geothermal Hot Springs Breaks Ground (Aspen Times)

An architects' rendering of the Iron Mountain Hot Springs site,
which will soon be under construction.
Developers of what’s officially being called the Iron Mountain Hot Springs at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in central Colorado, are wasting little time getting into the ground and starting construction, in hopes of having the new geothermal hot springs along the Colorado River open by May.

Following unanimous Glenwood Springs City Council approval Thursday night, a 1 p.m. groundbreaking ceremony is planned today at the site of the historic Iron Springs Spa on Centennial Street, located west of Two Rivers Park.

Plans now include a larger 40-by-60-foot family hot pool that will run at about 95 degrees Fahrenheit and four smaller pools for soaking and relaxation that will range from 101 to 106 degrees.

Read More......

Kenya:

Geothermal Project Shows we Mean Business (The Standard Digital News)

By Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya


Uhuru Kenyatta,
President of Kenya
The commissioning of the 140 MW geothermal plant in Olkaria IV is a milestone in our country’s journey to self-sufficiency, competitiveness and prosperity. It gives the Government’s transformative agenda and the Kenya Vision 2030 a much-needed boost. Our developmental momentum is now unstoppable. The Ministry of Energy, the Kenya Electricity Generating Company, KenGen and financiers have done a good job. The impact of this project on our lives and Kenya’s development is transformative.

KenGen devised a pioneering geothermal technology, which has enabled Kenya to harness wells instantly upon drilling, saving us the five years it usually takes to build a traditional power plant. The mobile wellhead unit is an innovation that has revolutionized power generation. As a result, Kenya has made history by delivering the largest single geothermal project in the world. These serial firsts are the kind of examples we require of our organisations. The ministry and KenGen have the leadership that will enable us to steward our development.

Read More........

USA:

Geothermal Power Industry Lost Steam but May be Poised for Comeback (Los Angeles Times)

Geothermal power was once king of California's renewable energy. So many companies were clamoring to transform steam into electricity that they sucked the world's largest geyser field dry.

But the industry's shortsightedness — and its slowness to innovate — left geothermal floundering for three decades in the shadows of the solar and wind energy juggernauts. Now, industry leaders say the energy harnessed from the Earth is poised for a renaissance, powered by new technology that will boost production, pare costs and expand its reach.

"We had been in a gradual decline, but we've turned the corner," said Doug Hollett, director of the federal Energy Department's Geothermal Technologies Office. "The growth curve for geothermal is extremely exciting."

Some impetus for the change has come from within. The geothermal industry's not-so-politically-savvy leaders, mostly geologists and mechanical engineers, had since the 1980s been eclipsed by hard-charging solar and wind energy developers who play the lobbying game, and play it well.

Geothermal's leaders watched and learned. Their challenge now, they say, is regaining some of the lost political and financial ground.

Read More.......

Philippines:

‘Green’ Finance Firms Plan to Invest in 40 MW Mindoro Geothermal Plant (Business Mirror)

Pro-Environment financing companies have expressed their intention to invest in the $185-million geothermal facility of local renewable-energy firm Emerging Power Inc. (EPI) in Oriental Mindoro following President Aquino’s call for more investments in the RE sector to address the country’s power shortage.

EPI Chairman Martin Antonio G. Zamora said Mekong Brahmaputra Clean Development Fund (MBCDF), under management of the Dragon Capital Group, and the Netherlands Development Finance Co. (FMO) are advocates of sustainable-development projects.

He said 30 percent of the total investment would be direct equity and 70- percent debt financing sourced from Philippine banks.

In line with this, Dragon Capital’s MBCDF and FMO are looking to invest around 15 percent in equity.

Read More......

Philippines:

PSALM Targets Mt. Apo Geothermal IPPA Turnover this Month (BusinessWorld Online Edition)

The POWER Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) is eyeing the turnover of the Mt. Apo geothermal power plants’ contracted capacities within this month, the firm’s top official said. The state-run power firm is currently completing the post-qualification evaluation of the bids for the contract.

Last month, Gotianun-led FDC Misamis Corp. was named as the top bidder during the auction for the deal with its P128-million offer. FDC Misamis is a subsidiary of FDC Utilities, Inc., which in turn is the utilities arm of the listed conglomerate Filinvest Development Corp.

The top bidder bested its only competitor, SMC Global Power Holdings Corp., which submitted a P50-million bid. While both companies passed the technical and financial requirements, Mr. Ledesma said only FDC Misamis met the reserve price set by PSALM Board.

The winning bidder for the auction will be in charge of selling the capacity generated by the Mt. Apo power plants under two separate IPP contracts. Each of the power plants has a capacity of 54.24 megawatts.

Read More......

Global:

38th GRC Annual Meeting Attracts International Geothermal Industry

Over 1,400 attendees from 39 different countries gather for the largest annual meeting of the global geothermal community 


The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC), one of the world’s premier geothermal associations, has completed a successful 38th GRC Annual Meeting at the Oregon Convention Center, Portland, Oregon, USA.

At the Opening Session, GRC Annual Meeting Chair Alex Sifford welcomed the attendees from 39 different countries and introduced an array of speakers from the regional, national and global energy communities.

There was an overwhelming consensus that the event was a great success. The numbers tell the story. 844 attendees registered with the GRC for the Annual Meeting, more than last year’s meeting in Las Vegas. This included 81 students who attended for just $5. The GRC registration also included entry to the GEA Geothermal Energy Expo.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Global:

Become a Member of the Geothermal Resources Council - the Global Geothermal Community

With the experience and dedication of its diverse, international membership and a 40-year plus track record, the Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) has built a solid reputation as one of the world’s premier geothermal associations. The GRC serves as a focal point for continuing professional development for its members through its outreach, information transfer and education services.

To join or renew download: GRC Membership Application (PDF)

Current GRC Members can update profile information, renew membership or search the Membership Database by using your Member ID and Password.

East Africa:

The Geothermal Appeal in East Africa: 80 Years in the Making


From the September 2014 issue of Energy Access Review

USA, Oregon:

Map View of Geothermal Project on Newberry Volcano (Bend Bulletin)




Officials with the company trying to create a geothermal resource south of Bend say they’re moving closer to power production but first need more testing and more funding. In this video, Trenton Cladouhos, AltaRock senior vice president, shows a map view of how the geothermal system works.

USA, Oregon:

Newberry Geothermal Project (BLM Oregon)

Kyla Grasso, Staff Geologist and David Stowe at Altarock Energy shows how her company is working on a project involving new technology, techniques, and advanced monitoring protocols for the purpose of testing the feasibility and viability of enhanced geothermal systems for renewable energy production.



AltaRock Energy is working on a project involving new technology, techniques, and advanced monitoring protocols for the purpose of testing the feasibility and viability of enhanced geothermal systems for renewable energy production.

Read More......

Kenya:

Kenya Opens World’s Largest Geothermal Plant (Capital FM Kenya)


Kenya:

Olkaria Geothermal Power Helping Kenya Achieve Clean Energy Dream (Daily Nation)


President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto unwind a turbine valve during the official Commissioning of the 140 Mega Watt Olkaria IV Geothermal Power Plant, in Naivasha on October 17, 2014. The Olkaria power project is a clear indication that Kenya in on the path to achieving clean energy production. PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Read More......

Republic of Dagestan:

New Geothermal Greenhouses to Be Built in Dagestan (FreshPlaza)

One of the advantages encouraging the development of greenhouse business in Dagestan is its geothermal energy resources


30 hectares of new greenhouses for growing vegetables, using geothermal heat resources, are to be built in Dagestan, a federal subject of Russia, - Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Republic Sharip Sharipov has informed.

The Republic is self-sufficient in vegetables and exports 500-600 thousand MT to other regions of the country. Most of these products consists of vegetables grown in the open ground, while the share of greenhouse grown vegetables is relatively small. Therefore, during the past two years our priority has been the construction of greenhouses for growing vegetables, said Sharipov.

Dagestan has signed a number of agreements to attract investors from Azerbaijan, Spain, Iran, and Israel for the construction of greenhouses. The Republic is currently negotiating with an Israeli company Yamko Yadpaz Industries LTD a project of building a three-hectare greenhouse and a logistics center in the Kayakent region of the republic.

One of the advantages encouraging the development of greenhouse business in Dagestan is its geothermal energy resources. Having examined the geothermal wells, the local authorities identified the suitable areas for the building sites.

USA, California:

Desert Energy Plan Gets Key Approvals (U-T San Diego)


A regulatory plan that would speed up renewable energy development across a vast section of Southern California's deserts got a public vetting at a meeting in San Diego on Tuesday.

Federal and state public agencies have endorsed a draft Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan designed to minimize the impact of solar, wind and geothermal power plants on delicate wildlife and habitat in an area spanning 22 million acres. The framework would streamline renewable energy permitting in areas within Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and a portion of eastern San Diego County (268,000 acres).

The California Energy Commission calculated that the state's needs will result in the construction of close to 20 gigawatts of renewable energy generation capacity by 2040 in the conservation area, with or without the new guidelines.

Documents and a webinar about the draft Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan are available at www.drecp.org.

Read More......

USA, Hawaii:

Puna Geothermal Will Go Offline Friday Morning, County Says (Big Island Video News)

Ormat Power Plant will go offline Friday in anticipation of Tropical Storm Ana, according to Hawaii County Civil Defense


Inside the Puna Geothermal Venture control room,
courtesy Hawaiian Electric Companies. 
On August 7th, winds from Hurricane / Tropical Storm Iselle blew trees onto transmission lines, which forced the 38-megawatt power generating facility in Pohoiki to shutdown, and release steam. Numerous residents in the area – many of whom were unable to evacuate due to the storm – said the venting made them sick. They later demanded to know why Puna Geothermal Venture remained online as Iselle approached.

Now that Tropical Storm Ana is nearing Hawaii Island, concerns have been raised again. Earlier today the Hawaii Electric Light Company told us they were in discussions with Puna Geothermal and have asked them to report what load PGV can safely operate their facility during the storm. In the afternoon, Darryl Oliveira informed media during a conference call that PGV will be going offline Friday morning in order to avoid a situation similar to what happened on August 7th.

Kenya:

140 MW Olkaria IV Geothermal Power Plant Commissioned (allafrica.com)

A section of the giant pipes used for channeling steam to the generating turbines is pictured at the Olkaria Geothermal power plant (Reuters/Noor Khamis)
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday commissioned the 140 MW Olkaria IV Geothermal Power Plant in Naivasha.

Uhuru said the plant, key to Jubilee's infrastructure strategy, is expected to reduce the cost of electricity in Kenya. Since geothermal energy is not subject to fluctuations in international oil prices, it offers a more affordable source of power in the long run.

The cost of generating electricity from geothermal sources, at seven US cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), is far lower than using diesel at 22 US cents per kWh.

German Development Cooperation partially funded the plant and the German government contributed more than €70.6 (Sh10.1 billion) million to Olkaria I and IV for construction and drilling.

Read More......

Thursday, October 16, 2014

USA:

Energy Department Releases new JASON Report on State of Stress in Engineered Subsurface Systems (EERE/GTO)

A new report by an independent panel suggests that the science and technology needed for developing engineered subsurface systems are ripe for breakthroughs. 

The JASON group –scientific thought leaders who have provided independent consultation to the U.S. government for over 50 years – undertook the study on behalf of the new Subsurface Technology and Engineering Research, Development, and Demonstration (SubTER) Crosscut in the Department's Office of the Under Secretary for Science and Energy. 

Successful utilization of subsurface systems – for energy production and management of waste streams – fundamentally hinges on understanding and controlling the state of stress and mechanical deformation of rocks in the upper crust. Examples include creating and sustaining fracture networks in enhanced geothermal systems and unconventional oil and gas reservoirs; predicting and controlling geomechanical stability of reservoir rocks and seals in CO2 storage reservoirs; and predicting geomechanical evolution at the interface between geologic media and engineered materials in nuclear waste storage and disposal settings.

USA:

GEA Welcomes New Leadership

Yoram Bronicki, Ormat
Technologies, new GEA President
at the GRC Annual Meeting
The U.S. Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) Board of Directors has elected new leadership for 2014-2015.

The GEA officers are:
  • Joe Greco, Terra-Gen, Chairman of the Board; 
  • Yoram Bronicki, Ormat Technologies, President; 
  • Terry Page, Enel Green Power, Secretary-Treasurer; and 
  • Doug Glaspey, US Geothermal; Vice President
  • Joe Ronan, Calpine Corporation; Vice President
  • Jonathan Weisgall, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, Vice President

USA, Colorado:

Drilling Approved for Pagosa Waters Geothermal Project (Pagosa Springs Sun)

Drilling to begin in late October or early November


According to a statement from Pagosa Verde released shortly after yesterday’s meeting, “Drilling of six thermal gradient wells for the Pagosa Waters Geothermal Project is anticipated to begin in late October or early November after an extensive permitting and environmental process.  Various governmental agencies including the Department of Energy, Colorado Division of Water Resources, and Fish and Wildlife Services have been involved.”

At yesterday’s meeting, Pagosa Area Geothermal Water and Power Authority board member Steve Wadley made the motion “to approve resolution 2014-2, authorizing the execution of three drilling service agreements with DOSECC Exploration Services, LLC, in a total amount not to exceed $943,918.”

Read More.....

USA:

Total U.S. Energy Use Continues to Decrease (Natural Resources Defense Council)

New report lauds rise of non-hydro renewable energy resources over hydro


Here are some of the highlights from NRDC’s 2nd Annual Energy Report, “Positive Energy Trends Bode Well for U.S. Security and the Economy,” which underscores that the economic and environmental performance of America's energy systems has never been better:

Perhaps most impressive, however, was the DOE’s announcement earlier this year that the combined contribution of all non-hydro renewable energy resources—including wind, solar, and geothermal—was well on its way to exceeding the generation from hydropower.

Historically, hydropower was a much more dominant source of renewable generation, accounting for three times as much generation in the United States as non-hydro renewable energy sources just a decade ago. But as of June 2014, non-hydro renewables had surpassed the total generation of hydro resources over a full year.

Read More.......

Nicaragua:

Nicaragua Approves Law to Acquire up to 10% Stake in Geothermal Projects Through State-run Nicaraguan Elec. Co. (National Assembly of Nicaragua)

(Courtesy CIA.gov)
The State of Nicaragua, through the Nicaraguan Electricity Company (ENEL), will have a 10 percent equity interest in the activities of exploration and exploitation of geothermal resources after approval of the October 15 draft Law Reform N or 443, "Law of Exploration and Exploitation of Geothermal Resources".

Deputy Jenny Martinez, president of the Committee of Infrastructure and Public Utilities, said the amendment to the Law of Exploration and Exploitation of Geothermal Resources will extend from 25 to 30 years, the license generation and concessions maintained by the Ministry of Energy and Mines.

The State as represented by ENEL will not assume any reason, risk, debt, guarantee, or responsibility. They must be assumed by the national or foreign investor, as stated in the amendment to the Law of Exploration and Exploitation of Geothermal Resources.

Read More.......

Technology:

Baker Hughes : Patent Issued for Graph to Analyze Drilling Parameters (4-traders)

A patent by the inventors Rudolf C. Pessier of Houston, TX; Stephen Nicholas Wallace of Oldmeldrum, GB and Hatem Oueslati, of Spring, TX, filed on March 8, 2012, was published online on October 7, 2014.

The assignee for this patent, patent number 8854373, is Baker Hughes Incorporated of Houston, TX.

A method for presenting drilling information includes presenting a display including a graph having a first axis and a second axis. The first axis represents a rate of penetration (ROP) of a drill bit into a borehole and the second axis representing a mechanical specific energy (MSE) of a drilling system that includes the drill bit. The method also includes plotting time based or foot based data with a computing device for one or more drilling runs on the graph and overlaying the graph with lines of constant power.

Boreholes are drilled into the earth for many applications such as hydrocarbon production, geothermal production and carbon dioxide sequestration. A borehole is drilled with a drill bit or other cutting tool disposed at the distal end of a drill string. A drilling rig turns the drill string and the drill bit to cut through formation rock and, thus, drill the borehole.

Read More......

USA, Oregon:

Newberry EGS Demonstration Project - Update from the Field: Stimulation Underway (AltaRock Energy)

The first microseismic events associated with stimulation were recorded on September 28


As part of the Geothermal Resource Council’s Newberry field trip, 26 visiting scientists, government officials, journalists, professors and others interested in geothermal research visited the Newberry EGS Demonstration site in late September just after stimulation began. (CourtesyAltarock)
Stimulation of the Newberry EGS Demonstration injection well, NWG 55-29, began on September 23. Since then, we’ve successfully injected approximately 3,000,000 gallons of water into the expanding EGS reservoir. 

The first microseismic events associated with stimulation were recorded on September 28, and to date over 200 events have been located by the microseismic array (MSA). These events continue to be reviewed by seismologists as data streams in from the field. Data from a number of the MSA stations is available for viewing on the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network  and the Lawrence-Berkeley Nation Laboratory website.

Read More......

USA, Oregon:

Geothermal Project Continues on Newberry Volcano (The Bulletin)

Trenton Cladouhos, senior vice president of research and  development
for AltaRock Energy Inc. explains and points out the equipment used for 
the ongoing geothermal exploration experiment at Newberry. 
(Courtesy Andy Tullis / The Bulletin)
Officials with the company trying to create a geothermal resource south of Bend say they’re moving closer to power production but first need more testing and more funding. Any power coming from Newberry Volcano is still years away.

Seattle-based AltaRock Energy started cracking hot rock deep within Newberry Volcano two years ago by pouring water down a 10,000-foot well. It stopped in late 2012 because of weather and didn’t do any work in 2013 so scientists could examine data and crews could reinforce a steel and concrete casing extended 5,300 feet into the well, said Dave Stowe, an AltaRock Energy spokesman.

“It took some time,” he said.

AltaRock restarted the work Sept. 23 and it could continue until early November if weather allows, said Trenton Cladouhos, senior vice president in charge of research and development for the company and GRC Member.

Read More......

USA, Idaho:

U.S. Geothermal Announces Acquisition of Earth Power Resources (Wallstreet online)


U.S. Geothermal Inc. announced today that it has signed an Agreement and Plan of Merger to acquire Earth Power Resources (EPR).

Under the terms of the agreement, EPR will be merged with and into U.S. Geothermal. EPR shareholders will receive a total of 692,769 shares of U.S. Geothermal stock in exchange for all outstanding shares of EPR stock.

EPR will have no outstanding debts or unpaid obligations at the time the transaction closes. The transaction is expected to close by the end of November 2014 following shareholder approval by EPR Shareholders.

The assets acquired from EPR include geothermal leases covering 26,017 acres in Nevada representing three projects, as well as EPR's complete geothermal resource database of new project opportunities located throughout the western United States. EPR's management evaluated and compiled the database over its nearly 40 years of geothermal exploration experience.

Read More.....

Indonesia:

Sarulla Geothermal Power Project To Serve As Blueprint For Future Projects (JD Supra - press release)

The 330-MW Sarulla geothermal power project stands to be the largest geothermal power project in Indonesia to date. A Latham & Watkins team led by partners Joseph Bevash, Clarinda Tjia-Dharmadi and Andrew Roche advised the lenders on the $US1.17 billion financing of the project.

In this Q&A interview Tjia-Dharmadi discusses the significance of the deal, the unique financing challenges it presented, and the project’s potential to serve as a blueprint for future geothermal projects in Indonesia.

USA, Hawaii:

Big Island Utility Targets 92% Renewable Energy By 2030 (CleanTechnica)

Geothermal Energy could deliver a big part of the additional capacity


The Hawaii Electric Light Company (HELCO) submitted a long-term energy plan to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission that includes a target goal of hitting 92% renewable electricity by the year 2030. So, if this goal is reached, the big island would be almost energy independent in just sixteen years.

Currently, the big island gets its geothermal power from the 38 MW Puna Geothermal Venture plant. HELCO has spent some time investigating the feasibility of constructing a new 50 MW geothermal plant, but there has been some criticism that the process has taken too long. For example, Senator Malama Solomon wrote a letter to the Public Utilities Commission expressing disappointment over the delay, “For the past several years consumers on Hawaii Island have sought to expedite the production of affordable renewable geothermal energy…geothermal development has not progressed because HELCO/HECO have refused to retire their old fossil fuel plants in order to integrate cheaper renewable energy, including geothermal energy, onto the grid.”

Governor Neil Ambercrombie is for geothermal power, “If there is anything on Earth, or in Earth, that says to us as a species, as stewards of this planet, that here is a resource for your utilization and for your proper regard, and to be a steward of, it’s geothermal. And the Big Island could not be better situated for it.”

The big island is the renewable energy leader among the Hawaiian islands. About 24% of its electricity comes from geothermal power.

Read More......

Technology:

Turkish Geothermal Power Plants Use Industrial Internet to Save Water (Yahoo! Finance)

Three geothermal power plants in Turkey, owned by Kipaş Holding, have significantly reduced water usage, lowered CO2 emissions, decreased corrosion and are using the Industrial Internet to analyze data with help from GE’s InSight* Knowledge Management Solution.

GE honored Kipaş Holding with the Return on Environment award to recognize the company for its noteworthy reductions in water usage, lowered CO2 emissions and decreased corrosion.

Kipaş Holding recently expanded three of its existing Maren Enerji geothermal plants and is constructing one new plant—all with GE water treatment technology. The three existing plants, together, produce a total of 68 MWe. The new facility will produce 24 MWe.

Read More.......

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Africa:

Renewable Energy In Africa Is Set To Surge By 2040 (Climate Progress)

Projections to 2040 sees geothermal becoming second-largest source of power supply in East Africa, mainly in Kenya and Ethiopia. 


Renewable energy will make up almost half of sub-Saharan Africa’s power generation growth by 2040, according to a report by the International Energy Agency.

The report, which is the IEA’s first major analysis of sub-Saharan Africa, looked at the region’s potential to supply energy to the approximately 620 million people who still lack access to electricity.

The reports sees the potential supply of energy from geothermal resources as limited to the East African Rift Valley. It is already proving itself to be a valuable element in the generation mix in Kenya and other countries have stated their intention to explore their national potential.

In the New Policies Scenario, East Africa’s geothermal capacity grows to over 1 GW in 2020, more than 3 GW in 2030 and around 8 GW by 2040 – an average rate of 0.3 GW capacity additions per year, but weighted towards the second-half of the projection period.

Africa Energy Outlook (PDF)

Read More......

USA:

Student Project to Harness Geothermal Water From Abandoned Mines Advances in National Competition (EPA - News Release)

Students at Number 3 Calumet shaft near
Calumet-Laurium-Keweenaw School (Courtesy MTU).
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the winning P3 student teams for pioneering projects to solve environmental problems. A team from Michigan is recognized for a project using geothermal energy.

Since 2004, the P3 Program has provided funding to student teams in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, committing over $10 million to cutting-edge, sustainable projects designed by university students. Projects from this year’s teams include a project to harness geothermal water from abandoned mines.

Funding for the P3 projects is divided into two phases. In the first phase, student teams submit a proposal for a project, and if they are selected, they compete with other Phase I winners at the National Sustainable Design Expo in Washington, D.C. At the Expo, teams compete for Phase II funding of up to $75,000. This is the 11th year for the EPA P3 Program.

A team from Michigan Technological University has been chosen in Phase I for their project: Developing a Guide for Harnessing Low-grade Geothermal Energy from Minewater for Heating and Cooling Buildings. The goal of this project is evaluate the technical and social feasibility of tapping water in abandoned mines for geothermal heating and cooling. Geothermal heating and cooling systems are regarded as the most efficient and an environmentally benign alternative to burning fossil fuels, which emit air pollution and contribute to climate change.

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Kenya:

Kenya's Main Electricity Producer To Increase Output (CNBC Africa)




The Manufacturing sector in Kenya was a key driver in the expansion of the Kenyan economy going by the latest statistics however this sector has been bedevilled by the high cost of operation occasioned by high power cost, the Kenyan government promised to install 500 MW into the national grid by the year 2016, Kengen, Kenya's electricity generating company is responsible for the production of 80 per cent of the power consumed in the country, Albert Mugo the managing director of Kengen joins CNBC Africa to talk about this ambitious plan.

Iceland:

Farming Lobster in Iceland Using Geothermal Energy (Undercurrent News)

(Courtesy Norwegian Lobster Farm)
With lobster remaining strong amid high market prices, European lobster could be one of the most promising potential aquaculture species, said researcher at University of Iceland Soffia K. Magnusdottir.

Based on this, the European Lobster Center of Excellence was established last year and, now, a project joining partners from Iceland, Denmark, Norway and UK aims to estimate the viability of land-based farming of European lobster using geothermal energy in Iceland.

The idea is something already used by some farmers in Iceland to farm Arctic char, Atlantic salmon and sole.

“So far 8% of geothermal energy is used for aquaculture, green houses and other industries. We would like to see this percentage increased,” Magnusdottir said.

Read More......

United Kingdom:

Opinion: Geothermal Energy Could be the Way Forward (The Journal)

It’s good to see the North East was well represented at a conference on geothermal energy in London yesterday.

We live in an age where we are desperate to source energy – yet opposed to many means of producing it. Fracking, wind power, nuclear power and imports all have their place – but all have their counter-arguments too. In the meantime, there are growing concerns about power cuts.

Dr Charlotte Adams, from Durham, research manager for the BritGeothermal Partnership, says this is a source of energy that is “carbon neutral, home-sourced, sustainable and reliable.”

That ticks a lot of boxes. Maybe it is time that the Government started taking a little more notice of what is going on in the North’s boreholes and getting behind geothermal.

United Kingdom:

Test Well Fuels UK Geothermal Hopes (Financial Times)

Heat is flowing from the UK’s first deep geothermal test well in 20 years, aimed at establishing the renewable energy source as a viable component of the country’s low-carbon economy.

The well has been installed by Geothermal Engineering, which is being backed by £800,000 of funding from the Department of Energy and Climate Change and £100,000 by the company’s founders.

The test has been running at the Rosemanowes quarry site near Falmouth in Cornwall in recent weeks, exploiting a borehole previously drilled to a depth of 2.5km in the 1980s as part of an abandoned geothermal project.

Mr Law said the pilot scheme aimed to provide direct warmth rather than electricity using heat exchange systems by flowing water through rocks at a temperature of 65 to 75 degrees centigrade.

He suggests that up to 500 kilowatts – enough to heat 400 apartments – could be available from wells costing about £1.4m if newly drilled.

USA:

IRS Wants PTC Action (reNews)

The head of the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is urging federal lawmakers to act on a package of tax extenders that includes wind and other renewable energy tax credits “as early as possible.”

IRS commissioner John Koskinen said in a letter to Senate Finance Committee chairman Ron Wyden: “It would be detrimental to the entire 2015 tax filing season and to millions of taxpayers if Congress fails to provide a clear policy direction before the end of November.”

The production tax credit (PTC) and investment tax credit (ITC) were among about 50 tax breaks that expired in 2013.

In April the finance committee approved a tax-extenders bill, which was later delayed by unrelated procedural issues in the Senate

“The IRS is currently facing a great deal of uncertainty related to the expired provisions, which raises serious operational and compliance risks,” said Koskinen, who sent similar letters to Senator Orin Hatch and Congressmen Dave Camp and Sander Levin.

The legislation is unlikely to be reconsidered until after the US general elections on 4 November 2014.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Mexico:

Special Geothermal Seminar at Mexican Geological Convention

Th e Sociedad Geológica Mexicana A.C. (Mexican Geological Society) invites the geosciences community to take part in a special course after the National Geological Convention:

New Perspectives on Geothermal Exploitation in Mexico


13-14 November, 2014
Crowne Plaza Hotel, World Trade Center. Dakota #95, Col. Napoles, P.C. 03810,
Mexico City

Speakers:

  • Roberto Hernández Zúñiga
  • Michelle Ramírez Bueno
  • Xavier Pérezcano Díaz
Brochure (PDF)