Saturday, April 18, 2015

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Friday, April 17, 2015

United Kingdom:

UK Coal Miners Investigating Geothermal Energy (Resource)

Professor Amin Al-Habaibeh of Nottingham
Trent University led the study
Water from derelict UK coal mines could be used as a source of geothermal energy, according to a two-year joint study by Nottingham Trent University and Alkane Energy.

Researchers found that lukewarm water could be ‘condensed’ to provide additional heating, or cooling to local buildings.

A ground source heat pump takes water from an abandoned mine shaft and brings it to the surface where the heat can be extracted using a heat exchanger.

This is condensed and enters a heating system similar to central heating where the water is heated to a higher temperature, whilst the groundwater is replaced in the mine where it is then reheated by the geothermal energy.

USA:

Energy Department Extends Deadline for Geothermal Technologies Office Director Position (EERE/GTO)

The announcement is open through April 30, 2015.


The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy, is seeking applications for the permanent position of Director to lead a national program in the development of innovative geothermal technologies that advance geothermal's role in the U.S. energy portfolio. The program includes enhanced geothermal systems, hydrothermal systems and exploration, low-temperature technologies, and analysis.

With a technical portfolio of more than 150 projects, recent initiatives include play fairway mapping for geothermal systems and a novel field observatory for research into new mechanisms for rock stimulation and geothermal reservoir creation. The position also includes responsibility for a new and exciting Department of Energy initiative in subsurface science and engineering that crosscuts multiple sectors including oil and gas and environmental management, and which has an overall theme of adaptive control of subsurface fractures and fluid flow.

The announcement has been extended through April 30, 2015. Please find complete details and the application process at: https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/399393200.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Canada:

Opinion: Lots of Potential, Still No Geothermal (Power Engineering)


With the international geothermal energy industry experiencing near record growth in 2014, it is curious that not a single megawatt of geothermal power is being produced in Canada.

In fact, Canada is nearly the only developed country on the Pacific Rim not producing geothermal power. This is despite British Columbia possessing world-class resources that have been identified by CanGEA's internationally peer veviewed Geothermal Favorability Maps and Resource Estimates. Indeed, this viability should not come as a surprise since Western Canada is dotted with over 150 known hot springs, which are surface manifestations of geothermal activity.

Read More.......

Turkey, Italy:

Exergy To Build Two 25 MW Geothermal Power Plants In Turkey (News Release)

Italian company EXERGY have announced the sale of two 25 MW geothermal plants to Kipaş Holding - a Turkish owner and operator of geothermal power plants. Already the owner of four geothermal plants, Kipaş continue to expand their profitable venture with this partnership.


The first unit will be delivered at the start of 2016 and will make use of a 2 pressure level cycle, where higher efficiency will be achieved by using EXERGY’s Radial Outflow Turbine.

Read More........

Philippines:

PetroEnergy Raising P600-M for Geothermal Expansion Project (Manila Bulletin)

Maibarara geothermal plant (Courtesy PetroEnergy)

Filipino listed firm PetroEnergy Resources Corporation will be raising P600-million via stock rights offering to partly bankroll its expansion projects.

PetroEnergy vice president Francisco G. Delfin has noted that the proceeds of the offer will partly bankroll their expansion projects – primarily the 10 MW expansion of the Maibarara geothermal plant.

Company officials have indicated that they will reach decision point soon on the Maibarara plant expansion. The geothermal plant was initially developed at 20 MW capacity, but based on assessment, the steam extraction from the field could still be optimized.

Read More.........

Science:

Goce Gravity Boost to Geothermal Hunt (BBC News)

The hunt for sources of geothermal energy is getting a boost from new observations of the Earth made from space.


The Goce satellite
Information about variations in gravity across the planet could help prospectors find promising locations where sub-surface heat can be exploited to generate electricity.

The data comes from Europe's Goce satellite. It mapped Earth's gravity field from 2009 to 2013 at high resolution.

This keen sensing is now expected to narrow the search for prime spots to put future power stations.
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has released the information in a special global atlas.

In parallel, Goce scientists have been discussing the work here at the European Geosciences Union General Assembly in Vienna, Austria.

Science:

New Tool Sheds Light on Global Geothermal Energy Potentials (IRENA)

Online maps promise to decrease investment risk and increase development of geothermal energy



A new tool to investigate global geothermal energy potentials is now available online, just ahead of next week’s World Geothermal Congress in Melbourne, Australia. The new and freely available gravity anomaly maps, the product of collaboration between the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the European Space Agency (ESA), offer a new technique to gauge geothermal potentials around the world.

As geothermal energy exists underground, it is extremely difficult to measure. Accordingly, exploration is expensive, time consuming, and risky for investors and governments. This new technique, using Global Bouguer and Free Air Gravity Anomaly Maps, enables prospectors to gauge geothermal potentials at minimum risk and minimum cost.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Iceland:

In a Melting Iceland, Drilling Deep to Stem Climate Change (Phys.org)

Tiny Iceland is a prime exemplar of the complexities wrought by warming climate. It is 11 percent covered by ice, but it is basically also one very large, very active volcanic system. The island has seen fast-increasing temperatures since the 1970s, and glaciers–a big source of tourism and runoff for hydropower–are visibly receding.

This cuts various ways. Iceland gets almost all its electricity and heat from hydropower and geothermal wells. Increased glacial runoff means increased generation potential; on the other hand, in 50 or 100 years, Iceland may be mostly land and very little ice, and the runoff could dry up. (And, as ice melts, pressure exerted on many of the 200 volcanoes declines, and some scientists believe that this could uncork more destructive eruptions.) For the time being, the country's 325,000 residents have more renewable energy than they can use, and there is a controversial proposal to extend a $2.1 billion undersea extension cord some 1,100 miles to Europe to sell the excess.

Read More.........

Philippines:

Six Firms Interested in Bidding for Unified Leyte Geothermal Power Plant (BusinessMirror)

The sale of supply contracts for the output of the Unified Leyte Geothermal Power Plant (ULGPP) drew strong interest from 6 firms. The Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM) Corp. is bidding out the selection and appointment of an independent power producer administrator (IPPA) for ULGPP’s bulk output.

For the ULGPP bulk privatization, PSALM President and CEO Emmanuel R. Ledesma Jr. said in a text message that six companies have expressed their interest to participate in the bidding process.

“However, out of the figure, only four prospective bidders paid for participation fee and executed confidentiality agreement and undertaking,” Ledesma said.

ULGPP consists of the 125 MW Upper Mahiao, 232.5 MW Malitbog, 180 MW Mahanagdong and 51 MW Optimization plants.

Read More.......

Science:

New Fracking Fluid Lowers Water, Energy Use (tcetoday.com)

Expanding fluid useful for oil, enhanced geothermal systems


Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Washington, U.S., have developed a new fracking fluid which requires less energy, less water and fewer chemicals than conventional fluids.



The researchers, led by Carlos Fernandez, say that the stimuli-responsive fluid could be used for oil and gas exploitation and Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS). EGS uses geothermal energy in rocks which do not naturally have hydrothermal systems, by artificially pumping water through. It could be a significant alternative energy source in the U.S., but development has been limited as the necessary high permeability, high-pressure reservoirs are difficult to maintain in what is naturally dry rock. Fernandez and the team believe that their new fracking fluid could help to solve this problem and make the technology commercially viable.

The new fluid is a type of aqueous polyallylamine which converts very rapidly into a hydrogel in the presence of CO2, which is commonly found in fracked wells. The hydrogel is 2.5 times the original volume of the fluid, increasing the pressure in the well and aiding the fracking process, as well as reducing the amount of water necessary for the fracking process. It is not harmful to the environment, is non-toxic, a corrosion inhibitor, a biocide, an antioxidant and is made of cheap, readily-available materials. The multi-purpose nature of the fracking fluid means that extra chemicals are not necessary.

Stimuli-responsive/rheoreversible hydraulic fracturing fluids as a greener alternative to support geothermal and fossil energy production, H. B. Jung, et al. (Green Chem., 2015, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C4GC01917B)

Read More.........

United Kingdom:

Lib Dem Manifesto: Shale Gas Companies to Give Exhausted Wells to Geothermal Industry (Business Green)

The United Kingdom general election of 2015 will be held on 7 May 2015. The Liberal Democrat party are the junior member of the current 2010–15 Coalition Government with the Conservative party. The "Lib-Dems" put the environment on the front cover of their election manifesto today.

Among the ideas is a proposal to make it compulsory for shale gas firms to offer their exhausted wells to the geothermal energy industry free of charge.

"Once a shale gas well has been used, it must be offered at no cost to geothermal heat developers “to enable faster expansion of this renewable technology”.

On the innovation side, the party would introduce new legal framework to require regulators to facilitate the development of deep geothermal heat, large-scale heat pumps, waste industrial heat and energy storage systems.

Read More.......

Canada:

Thoughts on Geothermal Energy Growing Pains (Proactive Investors USA & Canada)
Ross Beaty, Executive Chairman
of Alterra Power


Interview with Ross Beaty, Executive Chairman of Alterra Power


"I wanted to do something environmentally friendly that would be good for the world. That would satisfy my desire to try to reduce our carbon emissions and produce electricity that’s in clean technology, meaning geothermal, wind, hydro and solar power."

"So it was something different for me. I started the company focused on geothermal power. Both Rick Rule and I thought it was really going to be a great long term solution for the world and it turned out not to be. It turned out to be a very risky, very difficult business and we both had a lot of investment, you could say, ‘disasters’ in looking at different geothermal plays."

I had bought some assets that were producing though in the company which we have to this day. It wasn’t just an exploration play. It was a producing company right from the beginning and we took it public in 2009. In 2011, I had realized just how tough the geothermal business was. But I still wanted to build a clean energy company bigger and bigger. So I acquired a company in British Columbia called Plutonic Power and joined the two companies together into the company that is today Alterra Power."

Read More........

Philippines:

Maibarara Geothermal Plant Expansion is On Track (Manila Standard Today)

Maibarara Geothermal Inc. said Wednesday it will proceed with the P1.3-billion expansion of the 20 MW geothermal power plant in Batangas.

Maibarara Geothermal president Francisco Delfin Jr. told reporters the company started drilling two steam wells last year to expand the project by another 10 MW. The wells are undergoing testing “to determine how much capacity it can accommodate.”

“Testing is ongoing…In the next two weeks, we believe that we have sufficient steam based on reserves estimation for the 10-MW expansion,” Delfin said.

He said the company would proceed with the financial closing for 70-percent of the project cost. Construction will start soon after that, in line with the target of completing the project by July 2017, he said.

The 20 MW Maibarara geothermal project in Sto. Tomas, Batangas started commercial operation in early 2014.

Read More........

USA, California:

California Power Grid Seen Able to Handle 100% Renewables (Bloomberg Business)


Michael Picker, president of the 
California Public Utilities Commission
California’s power grid could handle taking 100 percent of its supply from renewables such as wind and solar, and meeting the goal for half that amount will be no problem, the state’s chief energy regulator said.

Governor Jerry Brown in January set one of the world’s most ambitious targets for cleaning up power generation, saying 50 percent of supply should come from renewables by 2030, a dramatic increase from the current goal of 33 percent by 2020. He didn’t make clear how the goal could be achieved.

Michael Picker, president of the California Public Utilities Commission, said the grid already is comfortably managing solar and wind energy that reached as much as 40 percent of the total a few days last year. In the years ahead, authorities can add the flexibility needed to manage power that flows only when the wind blows or the sun shines.

Read More.......

USA:

Warren Buffett's PacifiCorp Considers Joining California ISO (Utility Dive)

Expanded grid would include geothermal energy from Utah


PacifiCorp, the vertically-integrated Western utility owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc., is considering joining the grid operated by California Independent System Operator (CAISO).

PacifiCorp and CAISO have signed a memorandum of understanding indicating that the utility will study the feasibility of becoming a transmission-owning member of the California grid.

Bloomberg Business reports that joining the grid would see CAISO take operational control of PacifiCorp's 16,300 miles of transmission lines, expanding the grid operator's territory by nearly 40%.

If PacifiCorp does join the grid operator's system, it would fully open up the California energy market to PacifiCorp's generation, including large amounts of cheap renewables, principally wind and hydropower but also the Blundell 34-megawatt geothermal facility near Milford, Utah.

Read More.......

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

USA:

DOE Estimates Annual 5.5% Growth in Geothermal Energy to 2040 (USEIA)

Projections in the Annual Energy Outlook 2015 (AEO2015) focus on the factors expected to shape U.S. energy markets through 2040. The projections provide a basis for examination and discussion of energy market trends and serve as a starting point for analysis of potential changes in U.S. energy policies, rules, and regulations, as well as the potential role of advanced technologies.

Rising long-term natural gas prices, the high capital costs of new coal and nuclear generation capacity, state-level policies, and cost reductions for renewable generation in a market characterized by relatively slow electricity demand growth favor increased use of renewables.

Renewable electricity generation in the AEO2015 Reference case increases by 72% from 2013 to 2040, accounting for more than one-third of new generation capacity. The renewable share of total generation grows from 13% in 2013 to 18% in 2040.

Geothermal generation grows at an average annual rate of about 5.5% over the projection period, but because geothermal resources are concentrated geographically, the growth is limited to the western United States. The report estimates that geothermal electricity generation will increase from 16.88 billion kilowatthours in 2015 to 69.56 billion kilowatthours in 2040.

Read More........

Global:

2015 Geothermal Resources Council Scholarships - Deadline for Applications is May 4

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), a non-profit educational association dedicated to the promotion of geothermal energy and associated technologies around the world, reminds applicants of the deadline for the 2015 GRC Scholarship Awards.

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.

GRC Workshop/Field-trip to Yellowstone National Park:

GRC Yellowstone National Park Workshop/Field-trip

June 22-26, 2015


The GRC reminds interested individuals to sign-up for the GRC Workshop/Field-trip to Yellowstone National Park as places are filling fast. The workshop will include a tour of the major geologic features of the park, the site of the greatest concentration of geothermal features in the world, and discussions of its volcanic history, geochemistry, and hydrology. Limited number of spaces are available.

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

The Cost of the workshop:

  • Double-Occupancy Room: $1,500 for GRC Members, $1,700 for Non-GRC Members.
  • Single-Occupancy Room: $2,050 for GRC Members, $2,250 for Non-GRC Members ($550 upgrade fee for those who have already paid for a double-occupancy room).
  • GRC Student Rate (Double-Occupancy Only): $700 (Must provide a copy of your current student ID with a valid date or a copy of your class schedule when registering).
The price will include bus transportation and 4 nights DOUBLE-OCCUPANCY accommodation in West Yellowstone. Also included are 4 lunches, one reception, trip materials and one dinner. NOT included are the cost of flights to/from, and accommodation in Salt Lake City on June 21st and 26th, and the cost of breakfasts each day and 3 dinners.

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

Highlights include:
GRC Workshop Registration Flyer
GRC Workshop Registration Form

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

Kenya:

KenGen Invites Bids for Wellhead Plants (Kenya Broadcasting Corporation)

The Kenya Electricity Generating Company, KenGen has opted to lease equipment in an initiative aimed at fast tracking geothermal generation. The firm has invited bids from firms interested in putting up wellhead plants on nine steam wells in Olkaria and Eburru geothermal fields with a capacity of 48 megawatts.

To reduce development costs, geothermal exploration firms in Kenya have adopted well head generation. Here a small generation plant of for instance 10 MW or less is installed on a well after its drilled.

To further cut generation costs, the firm now plans to lease power generation equipment for its wellhead plants from private firms with 10 years experience in geothermal power plant design, operation maintenance and transmission.

The firm is keen to get the services for power generation on 9 wells located in the Olkaria and Eburru geothermal fields totaling 48 MW.

A request for an expression of interest has already been published by the firm which currently has an installed capacity of 1,575 MW translating to 70% of the country’s total installed capacity.

Read More.......

Science:

How do Geysers Erupt Over and Over? (Scientific American)

Yellowstone National Park's Old Faithful mystifies and delights tourists with its recurrent eruptions. But because of its popularity, it is heavily protected: the government limits access to curious scientists and restricts experiments on its plumbing.

At least 80 smaller but equally percussive geysers also burst forth in Chile's Atacama Desert, offering an analogous opportunity to probe the earth's inner workings. Geologists laden with temperature and pressure sensors, GoPro cameras and a host of other gadgets recently observed one such geyser, nicknamed El Jefe, over the course of five days and more than 3,500 eruptions—one every 132 seconds. The result? The most detailed data set yet on the explosive choreography between water and steam.

Dynamics within geyser conduits, and sensitivity to environmental perturbations: Insights from a periodic geyser in the El Tatio geyser field, Atacama Desert, Chile Carolina Munoz-Saeza,et al.

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

USA, California:

Modoc Schools to Add Geothermal Heat (Herald and News)

Efforts to provide heat Alturas schools with geothermal energy are heating up. Construction of a $4 million geothermal heating system that will be used at three Alturas schools and the Alturas swimming pool is expected to begin this fall and be operable for the 2016, according to Tom O’Malley, Modoc Joint Unified School District superintendent.

He said the project will go out for bid in July with construction expected to begin in September. Tentative plans envision completing the work by mid-February 2016 with the system online after that.

The project will use an existing geothermal well, which previously tested at producing 400 gallons of 183-degree water a minute. According to a project report, the system will provide geothermal heat for the neighboring Modoc Middle and Elementary schools, expand the heating system at Modoc High School, and heat the Alturas swimming pool.

The entire system will be routed to a re-injection well for discharge back into the aquifer. O’Malley said the system will be designed to allow for potential future use by Modoc County facilities and a proposed new hospital.

Read More.......

Monday, April 13, 2015

Iceland:

Þeistareykir Geothermal Power Station Reaches the Construction Phase (Market Watch - News Release)

Today marks the start of construction of the Þeistareyki Geothermal Power Station in the North East of Iceland.

The development of the Þeistareykir Power Station is in line with Landsvirkjun’s policy on the responsible utilization of renewable energy resources. The first phase of the development involves the construction of a 45 MW station. The further expansion of the station is under consideration as the National Energy Authority has issued a power production licence for a 100 MW geothermal station in Þeistareykir.

The facility is scheduled to commence power production in the autumn of 2017. The project schedule includes the erection of a steam supply system, civil works such as the construction of the power station, the installation and commissioning of mechanical and electrical equipment as well as control equipment.

Read More........

USA, Hawaii:

Opinion: Could Hawaii Geothermal Plant Become a Windfall for Public? (Honolulu Civil Beat)

If power plant on Big Island were to start extracting valuable minerals like lithium on state-owned land, royalty payments should increase.


Puna Geothermal Venture (Courtesy Ormat)
An emerging technology is making it possible to extract lithium from the hot, mineral-rich brine that geothermal power plants pump out of the ground to generate energy. And the technology is not limited to extracting lithium — it can also recover a variety of other rare earth elements and valuable metals out of what is now being treated as wastewater.

In the parlance of geothermal engineering, this is called “solution mining by nature,” and the potential profits to be made from it are immense — so much so that it has gained the attention of two Hawaii County Council members, Margaret Wille and Daniel K. Paleka Jr., who are convening a hearing on the subject next month.

Does Ormat Technologies Inc. — the owner of Puna Geothermal Venture, which operates Hawaii’s only geothermal power plant — have plans in the works to adopt the technology?

Read More........

USA, Washington:

Forest Service Considers Thousands of Acres For Geothermal Leasing (KUOW)

Geologists Dave Tucker (left) and Pete Stelling (right) at the Mount Baker hot springs in Washington's Cascade Mountains. The Forest Service says the springs will not be disturbed, but they are within the large tract of federal land that could one day be open for geothermal development. (Couretsy KUOW)
(Download Audio 3:50 Minutes) The volcanic ridges of the Cascades have long been poked and prodded by people who want to know what kind of geothermal energy they'll find beneath the surface.

But many of the Northwest's hot spots are on public lands. And in some cases, federal land managers have prevented access by companies seeking to convert that magmatic force into clean electricity.

That could soon change. The U.S. Forest Service is pursuing plans to make more than 80,000 acres in Washington's Mt. Baker/Snoqualmie National Forest available for lease to energy companies. A final decision on that is expected as early as this month.

“A baseload renewable resource is something to treasure. We view it as a very attractive possibility,” said Adam Lewis with the Snohomish Public Utility District. The district has spent $5 million researching geothermal developments in Washington and is interested in building a traditional geothermal plant in the Mt. Baker/Snoqualmie National Forest to power roughly 20,000 homes.

Read More........                   (Download Audio 3:50 Minutes)

Italy:

Enel Green Power in Renewables Agreement with Marubeni (International Water Power and Dam Construction)

Italian geothermal energy developer Enel Green Power (EGP) and Japan-based Marubeni Corporation are to evaluate potential opportunities for renewable energy projects, including geothermal, in the Asia-Pacific region.

The firms signed a two-year Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate in geothermal, wind, solar and hydro projects mainly located in the Philippines, Thailand, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Australia as well as other areas that may be identified at a later stage.

Only projects in the development phase will be considered, therefore projects under construction and operating assets will be excluded from the scope of the cooperation. The MoU is expected to be implemented by means of development agreements aimed at setting the structure of the projects. Under each agreement, EGP and Marubeni will have to establish a joint venture to build, own and operate the relevant projects. The structure of every joint venture will secure a controlling stake on each project to EGP.

Under the MoU, EGP and Marubeni will also establish a joint working group to regularly exchange information and data on project opportunities.

Read More.......

Chile:

Chile Identifies 14 Geothermal Zones in Los Lagos (SeeNews Renewables)

(Courtesy Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería)
Chile's geological institute Sernageomin has identified 14 interesting zones for geothermal energy projects in the southern region of Los Lagos, according to the results of a study presented last week.

The geothermal zones are located in the central valley and the main mountain range, along the border with Argentina. In the first region, there are low-temperature resources of between 16 and 23 degrees Centigrade at depths of up to 70 m (230 ft), along with an aquifer of 30-44 degrees Centigrade at a depth of 800 m in Los Muermos municipality. In the mountains, the institute detected temperatures of up to 250 degrees Centigrade and estimates several possible reservoirs. The most interesting systems there are the Antillanca-Casablanca volcanic complex, the Reloncavi stream and Huequi peninsula.

Read More......

USA, California:

Ormat Explores Solar Initiative at Heber Geothermal Plant (Imperial Valley Press)

At an investor’s conference at the end of March, Isaac Angel, chief executive officer of Ormat Technologies, Inc., said his company will be launching two game-changing initiatives in the coming year. At the top of the list for the multimillion-dollar Israeli alternative and renewable energy tech provider is widening its portfolio and the number of countries in which it operates. It also intends to expand its customer base, which has thus far been government and utilities.

Widening its technology portfolio will enable Ormat to offer power combining geothermal and solar technology to generate electricity. It has recently done so on a trial basis at its station in Heber, a press release said. The Imperial Valley complex is one of the company’s 19 geothermal power solutions in the United States. With 92 megawatts of capacity divided between three sites, it is also one of the largest.

Ormat has already built a solar array at Heber. Back in March 2014 Ormat sold a 10.8 MWe photovoltaic Heber Solar project.

Read More.......

Canada:

Vancouver Commits to Run on 100% Renewable Energy (The Guardian)

Canadian city of 600,000 people is the latest to announce it will use only green energy for electricity, transportation, heating and air conditioning within 20 years.


(Courtesy CanGEA)
Vancouver has become the latest city to commit to running on 100% renewable energy. The city of 600,000 on Canada’s west coast aims to use only green energy sources for electricity, and also for heating and cooling and transportation.

Vancouver can achieve 100% renewable electricity in a few years but heating, cooling and transportation will take longer. The city’s ambition is to be the world’s greenest city by 2020 despite the fact Canada has had one of “the most environmentally irresponsible national governments” for the last 10 years, said Andrea Reimer, Vancouver’s deputy mayor.

Read More.......

Friday, April 10, 2015

USA, California:

Lake County’s Geysers Provides Electricity, Jobs — and Tours (SFGate)

The Sonoma power plant converts steam into energy
at the Geysers near Middletown in Lake County.
Way up in the Mayacamas Mountains of Lake County, great plumes of steam stretch toward the clouds, and the ground speaks, conversing in burbles and gasps, belches and sighs. On the hillsides all around, 83 miles of huge, silver gray pipe snake in a serpentine that looks like a massive water park slide.

It’s a magical place called the Geysers, a natural wonder spanning 45 square miles of geothermal hot springs fed by the Earth’s molten core.

Harnessed as a power plant, the site is the world’s largest geothermal electricity production facility, creating renewable, non-fossil-fuel-burning energy for large swaths of the North Bay.

Around the clock, seven days a week, its 15 plants hum quietly and efficiently, cranking out 6 million megawatts of natural, clean energy a year, enough to supply 39 percent of the United States’ geothermal generation, and 18 percent of California’s renewable electricity resources.

Read More.......

Belgium:

Next Step in Belgium Deep Geothermal Energy Project (VITO)

Earlier this week, VITO, a research and technology organization in areas of cleantech and sustainable development based in Belgium, launched an international call for tender for the soil borings up to 4 km deep, searching for hot water on the Balmatt site in Mol, in northern Belgium.

The first drilling will be realized before the end of this year. This will be the so-called exploratory drilling of the research project “deep geothermal energy” on the Balmatt site.

VITO has mapped the deep subsurface of Mol area to a depth of more than 4 km. According to the results of the measurements, researchers expect to find hot water at a depth of approximately 3.5 km, possibly even 124°C hot. Via two drilling wells, they want to pump up this hot water and pump back the cooled water. The extracted heat will be used for eg heating the VITO buildings. In case the water is hot enough, there will be tried to produce electricity in a second phase.

Read More.......

Mexico:

Modular Geothermal Desalination Plant is Developed in Mexico (invdes.com.mx)

The Instituto de Ingeniería Desalación y Energías Alternas (IDEA) of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) has developed and tested a laboratory prototype of a modular geothermal desalination plant, which is up to 20 percent more efficient than those presently available in the market.

The plant would use heat exchangers to evaporate seawater, and the condensed steam would become a source of potable water for communities in arid regions, like those in Mexico's Baja California Peninsula.

Thanks to GRC Member Marcelo Lippmann, Staff scientist (retired) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for the news submission.

Read More (in Spanish)

USA, California:

California’s Grid Operator Presents Vision For 50% Renewables In 2030 (CleanTechnica)

California already generates 5% of its electricity needs from the sun and boasts huge potential for even more solar (and geothermal) power capacity. Recently, California Independent System Operator (ISO), the state’s operator for the vast majority of the state’s power grid, released a strategic vision designed to guide the state to its goal of generating 50% of the state’s power needs from renewables by 2030.

“The strategic vision summarizes the opportunities and challenges facing California and the West in the ongoing transition to a low-carbon electric grid, through the integration of more renewable energy generation into our power mix,” said Richard Maullin, Chair of the ISO Board in a statement. “The vision statement emphasizes strategies for matching supply with energy demand and coordinating usage to match energy production, and the benefits of enhanced regional cooperation for assuring grid reliability along with carbon reduction.”

Pursuing a Strategic Vision for a Sustainable Energy Future (PDF)

Read More........

Philippines:

Bac-Man 3 Unit Resumes Operations (Manila Standard Today)

Bac-Man Geothermal Inc., the wholly-owned subsidiary of  Energy Development Corp. (EDC) that owns and operates the Bacman Power Plants, is now operating Unit 3 at 20 MW, following the completion of repair work.

EDC said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange the Bacman Unit 3 resumed operations April 8 after it tripped early March due to a minor lube oil leak. EDC said Bacman Geothermal would take the opportunity to initiate planned facility upgrades during the plant shutdown.

EDC also assured that the unit was expected to be back in service in time for the peak energy demand in the summer months. BacMan Geothermal earlier completed the installation of the brand new Toshiba steam turbine for unit 2 with a capacity of 55 MW.

Read More.......

Canada:

CanGEA Rejected as Site C Dam Project Intervenor (Alaska Highway News)

An artist's rendering of the Site C project.
Three groups that hoped to speak in court about the Site C dam project have all been rejected. They include CanGEA, the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association.

Site C, approved last December, is a dam that could cost around $8.8 billion, and would be built seven kilometers from Fort St. John. Affected landowners and several local First Nations have attempted to challenge the project in court to keep it from going forward. They are set to appear in court later this month to argue their cases in a judicial review that will determine whether it can or should go to court.

On Monday, various groups argued that they should be granted “intervenor” status in the judicial review. An intervenor is a person who, even though they aren’t named as a plaintiff or defendant in a law case, wants to be added as a party to defend their interests which may be affected by the court case.

CanGEA wanted to be deemed intervenors in the landowner's case. CanGEA wanted to intervene because they have offered geothermal as an alternative to the Site C project. This court case would affect whether or not that alternative would go through.

Read More........

USA, Caribbean:

Obama Pledges Effort to Fight Energy Cost in Caribbean (The Hill)

The initiative includes a $20 million finance facility for clean energy projects


During a trip to Jamaica Thursday, President Obama announced various efforts to encourage the development of low-carbon energy sources in the Caribbean. Obama said moving Caribbean countries toward clean energy is a priority in the United States’ relations with those countries.

“This region has some of the highest energy costs in the world,” the president said in a speech to the Caribbean Community, or Caricom, a coalition of the region’s nations.

The initiative includes a $20 million finance facility for clean energy projects in Caribbean and Central American countries, a United States-Caribbean task force and collaborative efforts to lend the United States’ expertise to countries wishing to expand low-carbon energy.

Fact Sheet: U.S.-CARICOM Summit – Deepening Energy Cooperation

GRC Annual Meeting:

2015 GRC Annual Meeting Call For Papers Deadline is Today



The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) invites you to present your latest technical work in geothermal research, exploration, development and utilization at the GRC's 39th Annual Meeting, September 20 - 23, 2015 at the Peppermill Resort in Reno, Nevada. Our theme this year is "Geothermal: Always On."

Anyone who wants to present at the GRC Annual Meeting must first submit a completed draft paper. Successful selection to present at the GRC 2015 Annual Meeting is prestigious and recognizes the presenter as a top industry expert. International participation is key to the success of the GRC Annual Meeting technical programs and we encourage geothermal researchers and experts from around the world to submit their work for consideration.

Draft Paper submission deadline is this Friday, April 10, 2015

Please direct all content related questions to: Mariana Eneva, Technical Chair, at meneva@imageair-inc.com

Please direct all format and general submission questions to: Anh Lay, GRC staff, at alay@geothermal.org or (530)758-2360 ext. 100

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Saint Lucia:

First Round of Helicopter and Ground Surveys for Geothermal Development Completed (StLuciaNewsOnline.com)

Experts from New Zealand and the United States carried out helicopter surveys over the town of Soufriere over a two day period. Equipped with special devices the helicopter surveyed aeromagnetics with the aim of detecting various faults in the earth`s surface which provide conductivity for geothermal development.

Geophysicist John Seabert headed the helicopter surveys and says that the data collected is of high quality and will aid in pinpointing specific areas for possible geothermal development.

The data is being studied by scientists and processors in Denver, Colorado who are expected to submit data maps detailing their findings in the coming weeks.

Concurrent with the aerial surveys, geochemical studies were undertaken in and around the Town of Soufriere by a special team of geoscientists. Samples of water, gas, rock and soil were collected for testing that will better inform the geothermal exploration process. The results of the surveys are scheduled to be released in September 2015. The experts will next take to the air in June 2015 to conduct lidar surveys using a special small aircraft.

Read More.........

USA:

U.S. Power Sector Emissions Poised To Fall To Two-Decade Low In Transformative Year (BNEF)

Annual records for renewable build, coal retirements and gas burn all expected to be broken in 2015



This should prove to be a watershed year for the “de-carbonization” of the US power sector, with record volumes of coal-fired capacity to be shuttered, renewables capacity to be built, and natural gas to be consumed. The result, according to research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF): CO2 emissions from the power sector should drop to their lowest level since 1994.
  • This year, the US will install more renewables than ever before, with 18 new gigawatts (GW) coming online.
  • This is expected to be a record year for coal retirements in the US with 2 GW forecast to come offline. 
The result of this churn is that CO2 emissions from the power sector should fall to their lowest levels since 1994, BNEF has found. This would put power sector emissions 15.4% below 2005 levels. Overall, the US has pledged to cut all CO2 emissions (inclusive of the power, transport, agricultural, industrial, and residential sectors) by 28% by 2025 from a baseline of 2005.

The white paper is available for download here. The findings will be discussed in-depth at BNEF’s Future of Energy Summit, April 13-15 in NYC. For more information please visit: http://about.bnef.com/summit/

Fiji:

Geothermal Energy Can Help Power Fiji (Fiji Times)

Tim Daniel, CEO of Geothermal Electric Limited (right),
 and Jack Swan of Radial Drilling, inspecting drill bits to be
used in drilling for geothermal.
Geothermal power generation can supplement Fiji's hydro power and help reduce reliance on fossil fuels, says Geothermal Electric Ltd. CEO Tim Daniel.

He said Costa Rica was the first country to achieve 100 per cent of its electricity generation without fossil fuels for a period of more than 75 days.

"This is a remarkable achievement built on the backbone of hydro-generation and geothermal power, supplemented by solar and wind. A power generation mix we are likely to be able to emulate here in Fiji should our geothermal power projects be successful."

"And it looks like the savings on fossil fuels will deliver a cut in the electricity price of up to 15 per cent in the near future for Costa Ricans - putting cash back in the pockets of the people," he said.

He said these were the kind of savings Fiji needed and were achievable with geothermal power generation.

Read More.......

Technology:

Civil Engineer Explores Use Of Geothermal Energy To Melt Ice on Bridges (University of Texas at Arlington)

A team of researchers from The University of Texas at Arlington is exploring ways to use geothermal energy to make bridges and overpasses safer during winter weather.

Xinbao Yu, an assistant professor of civil engineering, is the lead investigator on a 17-month, $193,000 grant from the Texas Department of Transportation that will determine the feasibility of using geothermal energy to melt ice and snow from Texas roads.

The researchers will evaluate available technology to harness geothermal energy and efficiently use it for de-icing. The process works by pumping groundwater through a circulation pipe to bring thermal energy from the ground to the surface. One end of the circulation pipe is embedded into the bridge deck, which warms to the point where ice and snow melt instead of sticking to the surface. The technology also could be used to cool road surfaces during summer months, resulting in longer life of the pavement.

Read More........

USA:

Enel Green Power to Sell Stake in N. America Assets for $440 Million (Reuters)

Reported last week, Italy's Enel Green Power has agreed to sell a 49 percent stake in a newly created company holding its North American renewable energy assets to GE Energy Financial Services for around $440 million in a bid to fund growth.

The new company, EGPNA Renewable Energy Partners LLC, includes a 560 megawatt (MW) portfolio of wind, 72 MW of geothermal, hydropower and solar generation assets in operation as well as a 200 MW wind farm currently under construction, Enel Green Power said in a statement on Tuesday. All assets are based in North America.

Enel Green Power's North American subsidiary will hold the remaining 51 percent stake, it added.

Read More........

USA, Nevada:

'Geothermal Features of Yellowstone, Iceland and Nevada'

April 23, Nevada State Museum, Carson City, Nevada


A rock-bordered pool at sunset taken at Diana’s Punchbowl
Hot Springs, Monitor Valley, in central Nevada. Photo by Chip Carroon
Dr. Chip Carroon is presenting a slide lecture titled “Geothermal Features of Yellowstone, Iceland and Nevada,” which answers the question, what do Yellowstone National Park and Iceland have in common with Nevada?

The presentation, at 6:30 p.m. April 23 at the Nevada State Museum, will focus on the geologic origin of geothermal and volcanic features of Yellowstone, Iceland and Nevada, three of the most geothermally active places in the world.

Doors open at 6 p.m. for exhibit viewing in the main building. Museum members and children under 17 have free entry; nonmember admission is $8 per adult.

Read More........

Indonesia:

Unlocking Indonesia's Geothermal Potential (Asian Development Bank)

This report produced jointly by the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank is based on a series of technical assistance activities conducted during 2013-2014.

The study documents key issues that have constrained the development of Indonesia's geothermal power development sector, including tariffs, tendering processes, financial considerations, permitting, and inter-agency coordination.

The report then makes a set of comprehensive recommendations to unlock the potential of the sector, including a new tariff regime, improvements to the tendering process, re-negotiation of power purchase agreements, and innovative modes of financing and project de-risking.

Report (PDF)

Ethiopia:

Financing Agreements Signed for Tendhao Geothermal Energy Project (Walta Info)

Financing Agreements for the Development of Geothermal Energy in the Tendhao area (Afar) of north-east Ethiopia, were signed on April 7, 2015 between the Ethiopian Government and French Agency for Development (AFD) and the European Commission at a ceremony held at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.

As per the agreements, the total financing amounting to 16.5 million euros has been jointly provided by the French Agency for Development, through a euro 9 million soft loan, and by the European commission, through a euro 7.5 million grant of the EU Trust fund for infrastructure in Africa.

The project aims at identifying a low-carbon geothermal resources and contributing to the development of this energy sub-sector in the country where there is huge potential. The funding will also be dedicated to the development of shallow reservoir, equipment purchase and to strengthen the capacities of Ethiopia Electric Power (EEP) and the Geological Survey of Ethiopia (GSE).

Read More......

Indonesia:

GE, Pertamina to Partner in Developing Drilling Solutions (WorldOil)

USA company GE has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Pertamina Drilling Services Indonesia (PDSI) to cooperate in developing integrated solutions for oil, gas and geothermal equipment and services.

The MoU sets the framework for GE and PDSI to jointly develop efficient and innovative drilling equipment and solutions for onshore and offshore applications. In addition, the cooperation will allow GE’s Oil and Gas solutions to be more closely aligned with Pertamina’s strategic objectives to better anticipate technology needs and streamline the delivery process.

This will include assessing the possibility of joint business development to market equipment and services to support oil, gas and geothermal operations in Indonesia, as well as explore potential opportunities to develop equipment maintenance workshop facilities, spare parts inventory, and a technical training center, which will build local service capabilities for Pertamina.

Read More.......

Science:

Our Energy Vocabulary: The Words We Use for the Stuff We Can't See (Energy Collective)

Is geothermal energy renewable or sustainable?


It’s hard to talk about energy. Just ask any science teacher who has tried to define energy in a classroom. People stare blankly when you say, “It’s the ability to do work.” They furrow their brow when you tell them it’s not the same thing as “power.” You lose them completely if you bring up the laws of thermodynamics.

And yet, this thing that defies simple definition is critical to everything we do. Energy is fundamental to all facets of life on Earth. So it’s no surprise that folks who spend their days talking about energy have had to develop a special vocabulary, in order to have concrete discussions about an enigmatic concept.

Consider geothermal energy, which is commonly referred to as a renewable energy source. When underground hot water is tapped to generate electricity, the lost heat is then replenished over time from the large reserves of heat inside the planet. (See Chapter 4 of this IPCC special report for some helpful information on geothermal energy.) While the amount of heat stored in Earth’s core is massive (~1031J), it is also finite. We can’t get more after it’s gone. So is geothermal energy actually renewable?

To avoid this kind of semantic quibbling, many people (especially fans of nuclear energy) prefer the word “sustainable” to describe energy sources which humans could continue to exploit for many, many years.

Read More........

Global:

Consultation on IRENA Global Atlas Work Programme 2016 – 2017 (IRENA)

This survey is a request to users and contributors of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)'s Global Atlas for Renewable Energy, to provide suggestions that would guide future developments of the initiative.

The Global Atlas for Renewable Energy (Global Atlas) is an initiative coordinated by IRENA, aimed at closing the gap between countries having access to the necessary data sets, expertise and financial support to evaluate their national renewable energy potential, and those countries lacking such elements.

Several parts of Australia show great potential for developing
geothermal energy, according to the Global Atlas for Renewable Energy.
The Global Atlas platform facilitates a first screening for areas of opportunity for renewable energy deployment all over the world where further assessments can be of particular relevance. It enables the user to overlay information listed in a catalog of more than 1,000 data sets, and to identify areas of interest for further prospection.

This survey would take a maximum of five (5) minutes to be completed and results would be collated latest by Tuesday 14th of April, 2015.

Take the survey.........