Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Education:

A Guide to the Energy of the Earth (Joshua M. Sneideman)

Energy is neither created nor destroyed — and yet the global demand for it continues to increase. But where does energy come from, and where does it go? Joshua M. Sneideman examines the many ways in which energy cycles through our planet, from the sun to our food chain to electricity and beyond.



"A Guide to the Energy of the Earth" is an animated TED-Ed video featuring the seven energy literacy principles in action. Use the associated lesson in your classroom or create your own questions for the videos to flip the lesson. The video is applicable to all ages and can be tailored to your lessons on earth's energy systems.

USA:

Geothermal Power a Leader in Permanent Job Creation (Yahoo! Finance - News Release)

Geothermal power plants are a leading provider of permanent, on-site employment in California and the West. 


As part of its annual industry assessment roll out, the U.S. Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) released preliminary data showing that there were 3,150 permanent, on-site employees at their power plants, or 1.17 permanent jobs per megawatt installed. This is 19 times reported onsite employment of wind projects and 5 times reported onsite employment for solar projects according to GEA.

GEA will be releasing employment and other data on the U.S. and global geothermal power industry at its State of the Geothermal Energy Industry Briefing at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, February 24.

Read More........

USA, Oregon, Washington:

Report: Washington, Oregon Could Vastly Expand Renewable Power Production (KUOW)

Solar, wind, hydropower, biomass, geothermal and waste-to-energy electricity production could account for 98 percent of Oregon’s and Washington’s electricity needs in just 15 years, according to two new reports.

The reports from the Wind Energy Foundation's Renewable America project, which promotes wind development, say developing renewables would create hundreds of thousands of jobs for the region.

The analyses, “Powering Up Oregon” and “Powering Up Washington,” put forth two scenarios for alternative energy production. One documents the power production path each state is currently following. The second scenario – under which each state would reach nearly 100 percent renewable energy by 2030.

Despite the concern to support growth of wind energy the reports recommend expansion of all renewable energy supplies.

For Oregon, the report includes a feature on the geothermal and solar projects at the Klamath Falls campus of the Oregon Institute of Technology. The authors call for up to 155 MW more of geothermal energy production.


However, in the Washington report both scenarios estimate an extremely limited deployment of geothermal energy.

Read More........

Canada:

Government of Canada Supports Yukon Geothermal Energy Study (Canada NewsWire - News Release)

The Kaska Geothermal Project offers the potential for development of a much-needed energy source in southeastern Yukon


Yukon MP Ryan Leef, on behalf of Minister Aglukkaq, announced today the Government of Canada is supporting the second phase of a study focused on assessing the potential of geothermal energy development in the Ross River area by the Dena Nezziddi Development Corporation.

This investment will assist the Dena Nezziddi Development Corporation to complete a more detailed study of the location and extent of a local geothermal energy source that has the potential to be developed into a commercial scale electricity generation facility. Geothermal development could provide a less expensive local power source for the community by replacing diesel generation, as well as offering potential revenue from providing power to the Yukon energy grid.

Read More........

USA, California:

Calpine Celebrates “Women in Energy Day” at the Capitol (News Release)

2015 Will Be Year of the Woman in California Energy Policy


Geothermal energy developer Calpine today will host a diverse group of female employees in Sacramento to learn more about appointments, personal brand management, and how the legislative process affects their business. The day of meetings will be held in concert with California Women Lead’s annual legislative reception.

“It is a priority at Calpine to provide the outstanding women we have working with us opportunities to develop into leaders not only within Calpine but also in their communities,” said Kassandra Gough, Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs at Calpine. “This is a great opportunity to connect these women directly with the people making energy policy for the state – many of whom are women.”

With 15 geothermal power plants at The Geysers, Calpine is the proud steward of that unique, powerful source of geothermal energy that is, providing roughly 18% of California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Iceland:

A Look Inside Hellisheiði Geothermal Power Station 



A quick look inside the Hellisheiði Geothermal Power Station located in Hengill, southwest Iceland which opened in 2006. It is the largest geothermal power station in the world. Production capacity is 303 MW electricity and 133 MW thermal energy.

USA, Hawaii:

Big Island Geothermal Supporters Explore Possibility of Buying Island's Electric Utility (Honolulu Civil Beat)

A group of Big Island residents who have pushed for more geothermal development and lower electricity rates is exploring the possibility of converting the island’s electric utility, Hawaii Electric Light Co., into a publicly owned cooperative in light of the pending sale of the utility’s parent company, Hawaiian Electric Co., to Florida-based NextEra Energy.

Hawaiian Electric Co. operates the electric utilities on Oahu, the Big Island and in Maui County.

NextEra’s purchase of the utilities is expected to close in December, pending regulatory approvals, including that of Hawaii’s Public Utilities Commission. But some Big Island residents are worried that the sale, and HECO’s focus on importing liquefied natural gas in particular, could derail efforts to bring down electricity rates.

Read More.......

Science:

Staircase Fractures in Microbialites and Travertines (Science Codex)

In the new Geological Society of America Bulletin, Matteo Maggi and colleagues from Italy and Brazil present a new model of the development of fractures showing a stairway trajectory, commonly occurring in finely laminated rock, such microbialites and travertines.

These fractures strongly enhance permeability by connecting several highly porous zones enveloped in tight impermeable levels. Understanding and predicting this fracture pattern geometry, distribution, and interconnection is valuable not only for locating water supplies, but also for oil, gas, and geothermal exploration.

Read More.......

USA, California:

Alternative Earth Resources Outlines Plans for Disposal of New Truckhaven Geothermal Project (News Release)

Alternative Earth Resources Inc., headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, today outlined progress in transitioning from geothermal to mineral resource development. The company has cash or cash equivalents of approximately C$2.4M as a result of divesting itself of all of its former geothermal project assets.

Alternative Earth currently remains responsible for two geothermal wells at its former New Truckhaven property in California which is optioned to a third party. Well abandonment liabilities are approximately US$200,000; however, these wells are expected to be transferred along the well bonding responsibility to the Optionee, or alternatively, to the underlying geothermal rights owner(s) in the first quarter of 2015. Alternative Earth has previously recovered well bonds from former properties in Oregon and Nevada and would recover a further US$125,000 when the New Truckhaven wells are transferred.

Read More.......

North America:

One Step Forward & One Step Back - The Attempted Growth of Geothermal Power (North America Clean Energy)

As a baseload, renewable power provider, one would think geothermal energy would have quite the pull. Once fully engineered and established, a geothermal power plant can generate reliable power around the clock with minimal costs. It also fills the intermittency gaps other renewables face, such as with wind or solar power. However, no new geothermal power plants were put online in the United States in 2014. And Canada has yet to see any commercial power plants whatsoever, which leads to the question: why isn't geothermal energy gaining more popularity in North America?

Despite a lack of new added capacity in the United States this past year, it is worth noting that the US still remains in the top three in terms of countries with installed geothermal power capacity (alongside the Philippines and Indonesia). California provides nearly 80% of the 3,440 megawatts (MW) of US geothermal capacity, and another 16% is found in Nevada.

Read More........

Monday, January 26, 2015

USA, Nevada:

NV Energy Seeks Proposals for Additional 100 Megawatts of Renewable Energy (News Release)

2014 and 2015 RFP is for a total of 200 MW Renewable Energy


NV Energy has announced that it is seeking proposals to secure an additional 100 megawatts of renewable energy resources for Southern Nevada customers as part of its 2015 Request for Proposals (RFP) for renewable energy resources.  The 2015 RFP will be combined with the previously issued 2014 renewable energy RFP for a total of up to 200 megawatts of new renewable energy resources.

The company had issued a 100-megawatt Renewable Energy RFP in October 2014, with plans to issue an additional 100 megawatt RFP in late 2015. However, in response to comments raised by the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada and interested stakeholders regarding the ability to develop additional renewable energy resources prior to the expiration of certain federal energy tax credits and other public-interest benefits, the Commission recently issued an order that requested NV Energy to accelerate issuance of the 2015 RFP and combine it with the previously-issued 2014 RFP for evaluation and negotiations with winning bidders. Bidders in the original 2014 RFP will be provided an opportunity to refresh their original proposals.  More information.........

Read More........

Caribbean:

Caribbean Energy Security Summit Joint Statement (The White House)

Caribbean Countries Commit to Support Renewable Energy


(AP photo by Jacquelyn Martin).
The U.S. Vice President, U.S. Secretary of Energy Moniz, other senior Administration officials, Caribbean Heads of Government, multilateral development banks, and other international partners participated in the Caribbean Energy Security Summit January 26 in Washington, D.C. to work together in support of Caribbean energy security.

Included in a Joint Statement is a "commitment to support .....to pursue the following in accordance with national laws: Where technically and commercially feasible, promote and develop affordable: (i) no- or lower carbon electricity generation through wind, solar, geothermal power, hydropower, bioenergy, ocean energy, energy recovery from waste, and other clean energies.

Read More........

GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo

GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Expo - Update

Latest news from the biggest annual meeting of the global geothermal energy industry:


USA, New Mexico, Arizona:

Transmission Line That Could Bring Renewable Energy To Millions In West Gets Go-Ahead (Think Progress)

On Saturday, the U.S. federal government approved a major renewable energy transmission line that could help open up the West to stranded solar, wind and geothermal energy assets and enable up to 3,000 megawatts of renewable energy — enough to power over one million homes — to feed into the grid. The $2 billion project, overseen by SunZia, will span 515 miles across New Mexico and Arizona, and support more than 6,000 jobs during construction and more than 100 permanent jobs according to the Department of the Interior.

The SunZia Southwest Transmission Project, which will tap wind resources in New Mexico and solar and geothermal in New Mexico and Arizona, was proposed in 2009.

Read More.......

USA, Hawaii:

Uncertainties Surrounding Lava Flow Prompt County to Put Geothermal Relocation Program on Hiatus (West Hawaii Today)

An aerial view of Puna Geothermal Venture and its environs
Friday afternoon. Hollyn Johnson/Hawaii Tribune-Herald
A program that allows neighbors of Puna Geothermal Venture to sell their homes to Hawaii County is on hold, a move that leaves 30 applications in limbo.

The Planning Department, which administers the geothermal relocation program, placed a moratorium on new purchases and auctions of purchased properties in response to uncertainties surrounding the June 27 lava flow, said Joaquin Gamiao, planning administrative officer.

The decision was made this month following the purchase of five homes through the program late last year. Those purchases were the first made since the program was flooded with applications in 2012 following renewed controversy regarding geothermal power.

While the power plant and its neighbors aren’t directly impacted by lava, the concern is the flow could hamper access to the area and result in the 38 MW plant shutting down if it loses its transmission lines, Gamiao said.

Read More........

USA, Nevada:

Ram Power Announces Notification of TSX Continued Listing Review (News Release)

Ram Power, Corp. announced today that it has been notified by the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) that it is being placed under delisting review in respect of its common shares and common share purchase warrants.

The TSX has advised the Company that it is reviewing whether the Company meets the TSX's continued listing criteria in the following areas: (i) the Company's financial condition and operating results; (ii) whether the Company has adequate working capital and an appropriate capital structure; (iii) whether the Company's common shares have an appropriate trading price and minimum public float; and (iv) the fact that the Company has an interim chief executive officer (i.e. its Executive Chairman) and interim chief financial officer.

Read More.......

Iceland:

President of Iceland Boosts Geothermal Energy (CleanTechnica)

(by Zachary Shahan) One of the greatest privileges of the week was speaking with the President of Iceland, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson. He has been on the Jury of the Zayed Future Energy Prize for years (since the beginning, actually), and I was able to interview him one-on-one following the Zayed Future Energy Prize press conference.

Ólafur is a strong advocate for climate action. It is one of his true priorities. Luckily, Iceland has thoroughly tapped geothermal energy. It gets ~26% of its electricity and 87% of its buildings’ heating and hot water requirements from this source. I asked Ólafur about geothermal energy potential around the world, and he had a very interesting answer:

USA, Oregon:

Olene-Poe Valley Geothermal Plant Ready to Sell Power

Plans call for building and commissioning a minimum 20 MW power facility by 2017


The once-visible drilling equipment is gone, but steps by Klamath Basin Geopower to develop a network of commercial geothermal production wells in the Olene and Poe Valley area are continuing.

“We’re on the business end of it,” said Bill Honjas, president and CEO of Klamath Basin Geopower, of the project. “The project is ongoing. The last well was a good well. Now we’re down to the business of getting the power sold.”

Honjas said he cannot discuss any aspects of negotiations with possible geothermal energy purchasers.

Read More.......

USA, Idaho:

U.S. Geothermal Provides Company Update (Yahoo! Finance)

U.S. Geothermal Inc. has provided an update on the results of its three operating projects for the fourth quarter of 2014, and the status of development activities.

In light of recently passed federal legislation that extended the qualification for the 30% Investment Tax Credit to projects that began construction prior to December 31, 2014, drilling of the first production well CVP-001 (67-3) was initiated at the Crescent Valley, Nevada project in December of 2014 following completion of gravity surveys, and analysis of prior temperature gradient drilling data. The first string of production casing was set and cemented before year end, and drilling operations on Well 67-3 are continuing. The Crescent Valley properties were acquired in the merger with Earth Power Resources on December 12, 2014.

Read More......

USA, California:

Stanford Geothermal Workshop

The workshop continues January 26-28


The prestigious Stanford Geothermal Workshop opened this morning at the Frances C. Arrillaga Alumni Center on the Stanford Campus.

Roland Horne welcomed the attendees from around the world and gave an overview on the history of the event: "The first Stanford Geothermal Workshop was held in December 1975, as the brainchild of Prof. Paul Kruger one of the three founders of the Stanford Geothermal Program, the other two being Prof. Henry J. Ramey, Jr., and Prof. Lou London. In 1975, geothermal energy development was in its infancy in the US, but expanding rapidly as a response to the 1973 Energy Crisis. The Department of Energy was just being formed, out of the ashes of ERDA, the Energy Research and Development Agency."

Jay Nathwani, Acting Director of the Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) part of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) then gave an update on the activities of the DOE Geothermal Program.

Some research results to be presented:

  • First progress report on AltaRock Energy Inc.'s Newberry volcano project in Oregon, which is the first U.S., commercial-sized enhanced geothermal system (EGS).
  • Some physical mechanisms of injection-triggered seismicity near a fault--like fluid pressurization and stress due to cooling of reservoir rock--have the potential to control earthquakes during injection, a new Stanford study finds.
  • Researchers at the Raft River EGS in Utah have experimented with water temperature, injection rate and wellhead pressure in low-rate thermal fracturing as an alternative to hydraulic fracturing. Greater permeability and water conductivity have improved injectivity rates ten-fold.

Preliminary workshop program

Global:

2015 Geothermal Resources Council Scholarships Announced (Renewable Energy World)

A total of $15,000 in educational awards to be given to six students in the global geothermal energy community


Nastaran Arianpoo of the University of British Columbia,
Canada receives her 2014 GRC Scholarship award from
GRC President Louis E. Capuano, Jr.
The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC), is pleased to announce the availability of the 2015 GRC Scholarship Awards.

Selection of recipients will be based upon a variety of factors, including the individual’s academic record, student activities, geothermal industry experience, and career goals.

To qualify for one of these awards a student must be a GRC member (student memberships are only $5 per year) as well as a student in an accredited academic institution. Selection of recipients will be based upon a variety of factors, including the individual’s academic record, student activities, geothermal industry experience, and career goals.

The following awards are available:
  • Two (2) GRC Undergraduate Scholarship Awards of $1,500 – to be eligible for one of these awards, the candidate must be a third or fourth year undergraduate majoring in engineering or geosciences at the time of the award (Fall 2015).
  • Three (3) GRC Graduate Scholarship Awards of $2,500 – to be eligible for one of these awards, the candidate must be enrolled in a graduate-level program in engineering or geosciences at the time of the award (Fall 2015).
  • One (1) Student Geothermal Project Award of $4,500 – selection of recipient will be based primarily upon the creation and description of a geothermal-focused project, though other factors such as the individual’s academic record, student activities, geothermal industry experience, and career goals will factor into the determination as well. The project can represent a variety of academic subjects, including, but not limited to, geosciences, engineering, and economics. The primary requirement is that the project be focused on some aspect of geothermal power production, geothermal direct use applications or geothermal heat pumps.
Applications must be received by May 4, 2015 to be considered. Successful recipients will be notified by June 2, 2015.

For application instructions and other details see the announcement on the GRC website at: www.geothermal.org/students.html

Please direct questions regarding the scholarship awards to: Brian Schmidt, bschmidt@geothermal.org or 530-758-2360, ext. 107

Friday, January 23, 2015

USA:

State of the Geothermal Industry Briefing (GEA)

24 February, Washington D.C., USA

The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) is a proud supporter of the event


The U.S. Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) will be holding a “State of the Geothermal Industry Briefing” on Tuesday, February 24th at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. This program will provide an update on the U.S. and international geothermal industry featuring release of the 2015 Annual U.S. and Global Geothermal Power Production Report as well as presentations and panel discussion by key leaders in US and international development, finance, technology, policy and regulatory issues. This event will be widely attended by the geothermal industry, congressional staffers, government agencies and the DC community at large.

Attendees of the Briefing will receive the first view of GEA's Annual Report which will not be released to the public until the following week. To view the full agenda for the Briefing and to register to attend, please visit: http://www.geo-energy.org/events/2015/Geothermal_Industry_Briefing_2015.aspx.

USA, Hawaii:

Unexpected Geothermal Reserves Found in Hawaii’s High Country (EOS)

Temperatures at depth may exceed 250°C, enough heat to create steam from extracted water


Tests reported at the 2014 AGU Fall Meeting reveal groundwater pockets at high elevations in the remote saddle region between the Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea volcanoes on the island of Hawaii. The groundwater, which could be pumped to the surface to supply much-needed water or developed into a source of geothermal electricity, could help solve the region’s water and energy woes.

Not only is the water close to the surface, but its deeper reaches get progressively hotter. Temperatures at depth may exceed 250°C, enough heat to create steam from extracted water. This steam can drive turbines and generate electricity.

New measures of resistivity indicated hydrothermal activity at 2-3 kilometers depth, plus evidence of magma storage at around 5 kilometers.

Read More.......

Technology:

Enel's Hybrid Geothermal Energy Future (Enel)

In an age of consumption efficiency and fight against climate change, a number of industrial sectors are moving towards hybridization. Even Porsche has released three hybrid models that ensure higher performance levels and care for the environment, reduce consumption and offer new technological possibilities. And although the automotive sector has almost monopolized the technology by producing an increasing number of hybrid vehicles, the energy sector is not lagging too far behind.

A few months ago in the town of Castelnuovo Val di Cecina in Tuscany, Enel Green Power (EGP) opened the worksite for the construction of the world's first plant to use biomass to heat geothermal steam, increasing energy efficiency and the electricity output of the geothermal cycle. The existing plant will be supplemented by a small plant powered with locally sourced virgin forest biomass produced within a radius of 70 km of the facility. The steam entering the plant will be heated to raise the initial temperature to between 370°-380° from 150°-160°, increasing net power generation capacity, thanks to both the greater enthalpy of the steam and the enhanced efficiency of the cycle due to lower humidity in the generation phase.

Read More.......

France:

Euro Disney Plans Holiday Village Powered by Geothermal (TourMag.com)

97% of the site's heating requirement will be supplied by geothermal energy



Euro Disney and the group Pierre et Vacances – Center Parcs, two big actors of international tourism, allied to create a new type of accommodation.

Villages Nature, to be built near the Disneyland Paris Park is a cluster of 2,300 housing units based on the quest of harmony between Man and Nature, in accordance with the principles of sustainable development. The most important thing of this project is the geothermal technology which will seduce nature’s fans. Villages Nature designers were inspired by the local geothermal and created a central heating network for the village.

The presence of a geothermal water represents the "genius loci" and allows the project to be a sustainable tourist destination. 97% of the site's heating requirement will be supplied by this renewable and sustainable energy.

Geothermal energy provides a bathing temperature of 30°C in all season, without emitting greenhouse gases. Deep geothermal energy is thus completely constitutive of the visitor experience at Villages Nature.

Read More.......

United Kingdom:

Council asks for Local Views on Future of Renewable Energy in Cornwall (West Briton)

Report suggests geothermal power in Cornwall could generate up to 4 GW of electricity


Cornwall Council in south-west England has published the draft Renewable Energy Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) (PDF) containing guidance on a range of renewable energy technologies including geothermal, inviting comments until Friday March 27.

From the section on "Deep Geothermal" in the document, "Water is injected to a depth of approximately 4-5km where it is heated by suitable rocks temperatures exceeding 150˚C. The rock is fractured, allowing the injected water to circulate and heat-up. Water or steam is then recaptured through another borehole and returned to surface to produce renewable heat or drive steam turbines to generate renewable electricity.

Cornwall was the location for Europe’s first deep geothermal research and development facility, the Hot Dry Rocks (HDR) project, which took place at Rosemanowes, near Penryn, between 1976 and 1991. It has been estimated that geothermal power in Cornwall could generate up to 4 GW of electricity."

Read More.......

Canada:

Report Claims Geothermal Creates More Jobs than Site C Hydro-Electric Project (Journal of Commerce)

A recent report by the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association (CanGEA) says geothermal operations can create more permanent jobs than the Site C dam in northeastern B.C.

According to Geothermal Energy: The Renewable and Cost Effective Alternative to Site C, 1,100 megawatts – the same amount as Site C – of geothermal power projects would create more sustainable employment for surrounding communities.

"While Site C promises only 160 permanent jobs, U.S. Department of Energy statistics indicate that the equivalent amount of geothermal energy would produce 1,870 permanent jobs. This does not include jobs that result from the direct use of geothermal heat, which are also significant."

Read More........

USA:

DOE to Announce Plans for Geothermal R&D at Stanford Geothermal Workshop (Phys.Org)

Jay Nathwani, acting director of the U.S. Dept. of Energy's Geothermal Technologies Office, will discuss the DOE's plans to accelerate the development of geothermal energy at the 40th annual Stanford Geothermal Workshop. The event takes place Jan. 26-28 at Stanford University's Arrillaga Alumni Center.

Geothermal energy produces 5% of California's electricity and is used to heat buildings in 43 countries. However, it could become a far larger global resource with the successful development of some technologies, like the application of hydraulic fracturing to get water to hot, dry rock thousands of feet below ground. This three-day workshop will feature research and development results from dozens of universities around the world, U.S. federal research laboratories and private companies.

Read More........

USA, Idaho:

A Warm, Grassy Park in Wintry Boise? Yup (The Idaho Statesman)

The Edwards Pop Up Park has one great advantage — natural geothermal heat that keeps temperatures inside the greenhouse as warm as a late spring day


Last year, the staff at Edwards Greenhouse, a Boise institution since 1930, thought of an innovative way to remind customers that while spring and summer are gardening high seasons, the greenhouse is a year-round operation.

Taking advantage of its natural geothermal heat and lots of space, Edwards created its first Pop Up Park in 2014. Part of the compound became a public indoor garden complete with a sod lawn, benches, trees, bulbs in bloom, and bright, impressionistic murals painted by staffer LeeAnn Town.

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

Indonesia, Australia:

Raya, Bakrie Plan Sale of 85% in 30 MW Sokoria Geothermal Project (SeeNews Renewables)

Australia's Raya Group Ltd (ex Panax Geothermal) and its Indonesian partner PT Bakrie Power Corp have signed a pact to sell an 85% stake in the 30 MW Sokoria geothermal project in Indonesia to Sydney construction company Space Con Pty Ltd.

Raya said in a press release on Friday that, together with Bakrie Power, it has entered into a heads of agreement on the matter with the Space Con Pty Ltd, which is currently conducting due diligence on the Sokoria project. Once the process is completed, the joint venture partners will sign a final deal with Space Con that would be valued at about USD 3 million (EUR 2.7m).

More specifically, Space Con will be required to pay USD 2 million to Raya and Bakrie and also to pour USD 1 million into an account of the Sokoria project company for project development and working capital. The transaction needs to be cleared by Indonesian state-owned utility PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN), also known as Persero, which will be buying the plants output at USD 0.125 per kWh. The first 5 MW unit of the geothermal power facility, located on Flores Island, is expected to come online in December 2018, where the whole facility is to reach commercial operations between 2023 and 2024.

Read More........

USA:

Former U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu Weighs in on the Future of Energy (Scientific American)

Steven Chu, professor of physics and
molecular and cellular physiology at
Stanford University, and former Energy
Secretary in the Obama administration. 
The price of oil has plummeted from more than $100 a barrel in July to less than $50. Meanwhile the U.S. has become the world’s leading producer of natural gas, helping the country become more self-sufficient on energy. Will this abundance of fossil fuels derail the world’s shift to renewable sources of energy, such as wind and solar power? And what does this shifting energy landscape mean for the role of fossil fuels in the U.S. energy mix? And what about nuclear power—should concern of the safety of nuclear waste trump the benefits of exploiting this noncarbon-polluting source of energy?

"As renewable energy becomes an increasingly larger fraction of the total energy, the cost of standby electricity and storage becomes part of the cost of renewables. Sometimes the wind does not blow and the sun does not shine."

Read More.......

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Mexico:

Mexico's Geothermal Round Zero Slated for Q1 (Business News Americas)

(Courtesy CIA.gov)
Mexico will launch its geothermal 'Round Zero' in the first quarter to determine which projects will be developed by state utility CFE and which ones will be tendered out to the private sector.

Luis Carlos Gutiérrez Negrín, president of the Mexican geothermal association (AGM), was quoted by local media as saying that the sector will grow 40% by 2020 to surpass 1,400 MW through US$1.6bn in investments.

The AGM had previously said that Round Zero would be carried out in January.

Read More.......

Africa:

Africa Needs to Move Forward on Renewable Energy (Inter Press Service)

Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General of IRENA
believes that all African countries can reduce their
dependence on fossil fuels and leapfrog into a
sustainable future. Credit: Wambi Michael/IPS
Diversification of Africa’s electricity sources by embarking on renewable energy solutions – such as solar, wind, geothermal and hydro power – is being heralded as a solution to the continent’s energy poverty.

But although a number of countries are already reaping benefits from investment in renewables, there is concern that many of the countries are yet to exploit those resources.

African ministers and delegates at the IRENA Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi from January 19-22 noted that a mere handful of countries in the continent are tapping into renewable energy resource.

Davis Chirchir, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Energy said that despite the long-term benefits, many of the countries in the region lacked their own initial resources for investment in projects.

“While renewable projects are often cheaper, they tend to require up-front capital costs. So for many, we shall require more targeted financing if we are to kick off many from the ground,” said Chirchir.

“In Kenya, our investment in geothermal energy displaced some 65 percent of fossil fuels, and brought down the cost to the customer by about 30 percent,” he added.

Read More.........

Global:

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Indonesia:

Geothermal: A Potential Tectonic Shift in Indonesian Energy Production (cogitASIA)

The Kamojang Geothermal Power Plant in West Java.
(Courtesy Sangap Yohanes Berutu)
For years observers have decried that Indonesia possesses 40 percent of the world’s potential geothermal reserves but utilizes only 5 percent of that renewable energy potential. With domestic energy demand increasing rapidly and a new reform-oriented administration in power, Indonesia may finally have the pieces coming together to take its rightful place as a geothermal powerhouse.

Most estimates put Indonesia’s potential geothermal reserves at 28,000 megawatts. As an energy source geothermal is very clean, emitting a fraction of the carbon produced by fossil fuel driven plants. Geothermal is also a reliable energy source, capable of running 24 hours a day every day with no reliance on volatile markets or unpredictable weather events.

While initial costs are high—drilling just one geothermal well can cost $8-9 million and constructing a geothermal plant can take more than five years—variable costs, including maintenance, are very low. Overall the average cost of electricity from a geothermal plant over the course of its lifetime is half of that from a conventional coal plant and 28 percent lower than from a natural gas fired plant.

Read More........

USA, California:

8th Annual Imperial Valley Renewable Energy Summit (IVEDC)

March 11-13, Quechan Resort, Winterhaven, California


Imperial Valley currently exports over 500 MW of renewable energy to surrounding communities. With the addition of new renewable energy projects that are under development and upon construction would produce up to 2,500 MW of renewable energy. Imperial Valley is poised to be a major contributor in helping California achieve its renewable energy portfolio standards of 33% renewable energy by 2020.

The Imperial Valley Renewable Energy Summit offers an exciting, comprehensive program of engaging and informative speakers to discuss the issues that are most relevant to the renewable energy industry. In addition, the Summit includes: a business exposition, ample networking opportunities, a banquet and a golf tournament.

More information........                             Register.........

USA, California:

Yesterday, Geothermal Energy Was the Number One Renewable in California

Geothermal energy in California supplies a steady 1,078 MW, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year


The weather here in northern California has been foggy recently. The visibility can be just a few hundred yards and when it burns off the fog gives way to a lot of low cloud. A high pressure system sits over the west coast and refuses to budge.

This affects electricity generation especially wind and solar. When the wind doesn't blow and the sun doesn't shine these renewable energy providers suffer.

The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) measures the output from renewable energy providers to the State grid. As you can see in the graph above it never got very windy in California yesterday. There was enough sun to energize solar panels for 10 hours. The weather isn't cooperating.

However, geothermal energy was still plugging away, supplying a constant supply of clean, dependable, renewable energy 24/7, 365 days a year.

In fact, yesterday in California, geothermal energy was the biggest provider of electricity to the CAISO grid, with almost 26,000 MWh. Solar energy (PV and thermal) peaked at noon and only supplied 16,700 MWh. Wind provided a meagre 4,600 MWh.

Yesterday, geothermal energy was the number one renewable energy provider in the Golden State again - and this is not the only day when it supports the economy here in California.

China:

China Nears Publication of Plan to Guide Geothermal Developments (Bloomberg)

(Courtesy CIA.gov)
China could be nearing publication of a plan to guide the development of geothermal energy resources over the next few years as it plunges ahead with efforts to get more of its energy from renewable sources.

The plan will cover the years 2016 to 2020 and could be ready as soon as July, according to Liu Jinxia, head of the geothermal research institute at Sinopec Star Petroleum, which acts as a government think tank and is authorized to research geothermal energy.

The National Energy Administration and the Ministry of Land and Resources are currently reviewing the geothermal development plans from dozens of local governments.

A detailed plan would map out China’s geothermal resources and outline how companies and governments could commercialize the energy source, Liu said.

According to Sinopec Star Petroleum, China has one-sixth of the world’s geothermal resources, but just 28 megawatts of geothermal generating capacity at the end of 2014.

Read More.......

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

USA, California:

Imperial Irrigation District Presses State to Live Up to Salton Sea Commitment (The Desert Sun)

The Imperial Irrigation District has for the past year been promoting a plan to develop more geothermal energy plants near the Salton Sea.


The Imperial Irrigation District (IID) is pressing for the state to take the lead in settling on a plan for the Salton Sea and paying for it as a deadline nears in less than three years for the lake’s decline to accelerate.

IID officials say they never would have approved the 2003 water transfer deal known as the Quantification Settlement Agreement, or QSA, without the state’s commitment to be responsible for much of the costs of “restoration” of the Salton Sea. The deal called for the IID to deliver “mitigation” flows to the Salton Sea for a period of 15 years. After 2017, those deliveries are scheduled to end as increasing amounts of water are sent to urban areas in San Diego County and the Coachella Valley.

The Imperial Irrigation District has for the past year been promoting a plan to develop more geothermal energy plants near the Salton Sea. The agency, which owns portions of the lake bed, proposes to generate money through leases and use the funds for dust control projects.

Read More.......

In Memoriam:

Robert T. Forest (1929 - 2015) (Reno Gazette-Journal)

Robert T. Forest of Sparks, Nevada, died of Leukemia on January 14, 2014, surrounded by his family.


A funeral service will be held at Ross, Burke & Knobel, 2155 Kietzke Lane, Reno, Nevada on Friday, January 23, 2015 at 2:00 P.M. A short graveside ceremony will immediately follow.

Robert T. Forest
(Courtesy Reno Gazette-Journal)
Long-time GRC Member Robert Forest has passed away. The last 13 years of Bob's work with Phillips Petroleum Company involved geothermal exploration and development. Some of the important geothermal sites Bob was involved in discovering and developing in Nevada were the Steamboat site in southwest Reno, Desert Peak and Stillwater sites where they're still operating geothermal power plants. Bob retired from Phillips in 1985 after 25 years with the company.

Following his retirement from Phillips, Bob went on working as a full-time consultant for Coral Gold Corporation for several years at their Crescent Valley, Nevada gold operation. Following that, he provided consulting services for OESI Power Corporation at Soda Lake and Stillwater in Churchill County and worked on the development of the Rye Patch geothermal field in Pershing County Nevada until 1994.

Read More.......

Indonesia:

Indonesia International Geothermal Convention & Exhibition (IIGCE) 2015 (INAGA)

August 19–21, 2015, Jakarta Convention Center, Indonesia



The Indonesian Geothermal Association (INAGA) is proud to present the 2015 Indonesia International Geothermal Convention & Exhibition (IIGCE) to be held at the Balai Sidang Jakarta Convention Center.

Iceland:

Course: Thermodynamics in the Land of Fire and Ice (UC Davis Study abroad)

27 June - 24 July, 2015, Reykjavik, Iceland


 
Summer Abroad, Iceland "Thermodynamics in the Land of Fire and Ice" from ucdavisabroad

Technology:

Scientists Turn CO2 From Geothermal Plant Into Solid Rock (CCTV)

In Iceland scientists are developing a new way to cut carbon emissions and improve air quality by turning toxic air into solid rock. China Central Television (CCTV)’s Zhang He reported this story from Reykjavik, Iceland.

To store carbon dioxide underground, Iceland scientists dissolve CO2 in water, and inject it into reactive volcanic basalt rock. Within a year, over 80 percent of the CO2 will transform into solid carbonate minerals, experts said.

The test are being conducted close to Hellisheidi Power Plant, a geothermal power plant in Reykjavik, that offers excellent conditions for the study as it has water, CO2, and basalt rocks.

Read More.........

Climate Change:

Graph of the Day: The Plunging Cost of Geothermal

The IRENA report, Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2014, concludes that biomass, hydropower, geothermal and onshore wind are all competitive with or cheaper than coal, oil and gas-fired power stations, even without financial support and despite falling oil prices.

Geothermal energy offers some of the cheapest renewable electricity.


Saint Vincent and the Grenadines:

St. Vincent’s Geothermal Project Gets US$15 Million Loan (I-Witness News)

US$6 million in IRENA/ADFD concessional loans will also go towards a 5 MW geothermal plant in Iran


St. Vincent and the Grenadines has been granted a loan of US$15 million to help fund the development of a 10 to 15 megawatt geothermal project, expected to come on stream by 2018.

The funds are part of US$57 million in concessional loans for five renewable energy projects in developing countries financed under the second cycle of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD).

Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves said that when the geothermal power plant is complete, it will reverse the ratio of electricity generated by fossil fuel and renewable sources.

“This project is over 50 per cent of our current demand,” he said, noting that it has the potential to generate 10 to 15 megawatts of electricity.

US$6 million in IRENA/ADFD concessional loans will also go towards a 5 MW geothermal plant in Iran. The 5 megawatts small-scale geothermal project, located in Ardebil, will receive $6m to help provide local heating and power for various agricultural activities benefiting 150,000 people.

Read More......

Peru:

Peru Agrees to Cancel Exploration Permit for Crucero Geothermal Area (SeeNews)

(Courtesy CIA.gov)
Peru's energy ministry has approved a request from Magma Energía Geotérmica Perú S.A. (Magma Perú) to cancel a permit for exploration of geothermal resources in the Crucero area.

The company decided not to proceed with the second exploration phase and requested to return the whole area, the ministry said in a resolution published on Wednesday.

The request was filed in May 2014, three years after Magma Energia received the permit.

Canadian company Alterra Power Corp, currently holds 30% in early-stage geothermal assets in southern Peru, while the controlling 70% is in the hands of Philippine geothermal power producer Energy Development Corp (EDC).

Read More.......

Ethiopia:

Electroconsult Wins Aluto Langano Geothermal Exploration Contract (Africa News Hub)

Italian engineering firm ELC Electroconsult SpA recently won a USD-499,000 (EUR 429,300) contract, through a tender, for surface exploration in the Aluto Langano geothermal field in Ethiopia.

The company sealed the deal with the Icelandic International Development Agency (ICEIDA) on January 7, the latter said in a statement Thursday.

ICEIDA and the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) are co-funding a bigger project whose aim is to encourage and support geothermal exploration and capacity building in East Africa. The aim is to help countries in the region boost their geothermal knowledge and capacity.

ICEIDA and the Government of Ethiopia are partnering on the geothermal initiative.

American Samoa:

Geothermal Power Testing in American Samoa Positive (Radio New Zealand)

3D Simulation of Geologic Conditions of the NNW Rift Zone of
Tutuila, American Samoa (Courtesy of University of Hawaii, 2014)
American Samoa is moving forward with a geothermal study as the territory seeks out ways to replace imported diesel fuel.

The governor, Lolo Matalasi Moliga, says the American Samoa Power Authority, in collaboration with the American Samoa Renewal Energy Committee is exploring the feasibility of geothermal energy as an alternative energy source.

He says there have been positive results from a study by a team of scientists and engineers probing part of the main island of Tutuila.

The next step is to conduct drilling to further analyse geothermal resources.

USA:

Heat Exchange Industry News (Geothermal Exchange Organization)

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

GEO Industry News is an electronic publication of GEO, 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.

New Zealand:

Mighty River Power Depends More on Geothermal Power (News Release)

Utility Boasts Geothermal Now NZ’s Second Electricity Fuel Source


Mighty River Power has released its latest Quarterly Operational Update for the three months ended 31 December 2014

During the second half of CY2014 New Zealand reached a significant milestone in renewable electricity supply, with geothermal generation replacing gas as the second most important electricity fuel source behind hydro. Geothermal generation has increased by more than 150% in the past decade. Unsubsidized investment, including $1.4 billion by Mighty River Power, has boosted geothermal output from 6.5% of national supply, to 16%. Geothermal is the only renewable not dependent on the weather – running 24/7. It has played an important role in displacing non-renewable generation, and overtaken both coal and gas-fired generation in the past six years, cutting millions of tonnes of emissions. Geothermal made up 40% of Mighty River Power’s total generation for the quarter.