Monday, October 20, 2014

Global:

38th GRC Annual Meeting Attracts International Geothermal Industry

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


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

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

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

Friday, October 17, 2014

Global:

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

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

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

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

East Africa:

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


From the September 2014 issue of Energy Access Review

USA, Oregon:

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




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

USA, Oregon:

Newberry Geothermal Project (BLM Oregon)

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



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

Read More......

Kenya:

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


Kenya:

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


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

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Republic of Dagestan:

New Geothermal Greenhouses to Be Built in Dagestan (FreshPlaza)

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


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

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

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

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

USA, California:

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


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

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

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

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

Read More......

USA, Hawaii:

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

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


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

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

Kenya:

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

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

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

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

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

Read More......

Thursday, October 16, 2014

USA:

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

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

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

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

USA:

GEA Welcomes New Leadership

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

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

USA, Colorado:

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

Drilling to begin in late October or early November


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

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

Read More.....

USA:

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

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


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

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

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

Read More.......

Nicaragua:

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

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

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

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

Read More.......

Technology:

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

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

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

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

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

Read More......

USA, Oregon:

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

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


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

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

Read More......

USA, Oregon:

Geothermal Project Continues on Newberry Volcano (The Bulletin)

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

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

“It took some time,” he said.

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

Read More......

USA, Idaho:

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


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

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

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

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

Read More.....

Indonesia:

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

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

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

USA, Hawaii:

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

Geothermal Energy could deliver a big part of the additional capacity


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

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

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

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

Read More......

Technology:

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

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

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

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

Read More.......

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Africa:

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

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


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

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

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

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

Africa Energy Outlook (PDF)

Read More......

USA:

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

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

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

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

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

Read More......

Kenya:

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




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

Iceland:

Farming Lobster in Iceland Using Geothermal Energy (Undercurrent News)

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

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

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

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

Read More......

United Kingdom:

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

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

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

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

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

United Kingdom:

Test Well Fuels UK Geothermal Hopes (Financial Times)

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

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

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

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

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

USA:

IRS Wants PTC Action (reNews)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Mexico:

Special Geothermal Seminar at Mexican Geological Convention

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

New Perspectives on Geothermal Exploitation in Mexico


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

Speakers:

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

USA, California:

California Power Purchase Agreements to Take Different Shape (PV Insider)

The two year deadline for projects to qualify for the Renewable Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC) by December 2016 is beginning to cast a shadow over new contracts for utility-scale PV projects in the US. 


Along with US Department of Energy’s Loan Guarantee Program, the 30% ITC blazed a sudden bright comet of big solar onto the US grid.

More than half went to California to meet its ambitious mandate for 33% renewable energy by 2020. Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with the state’s big three Investor-Owned Utilities (IOU)s; PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E now include most of the world’s largest solar projects.

In a gigantic solar gold rush that was brought into being by the Recovery Act funding of the DOE’s Loan Guarantee Program, which backed loans with nearly $5bn in guarantees, and the ITC - making solar investment attractive, and California’s 33% demand; all three worked together and created the biggest solar boom in US history.

But with the end of the renewable loan guarantees, and the sating of California’s 33% demand; the looming end of the ITC threatens to return the US to the dark ages in two years.

Read More......

USA, California:

For Renewable Energy in the Desert, a New Beginning (The Desert Sun)



For six years, state and federal officials have worked on a sweeping plan that would promote renewable energy development while protecting California's pristine and largely undisturbed landscapes.

But when the 8,000-page Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan was finally released, its proposals prompted as much criticism as they did relief.

Geothermal advocates see the document as a victory for their industry, but even some of the plan's strongest supporters have as many questions as they do answers. National environmental groups in particular — while optimistic that the plan strikes a reasonable balance between development and conservation — have wondered whether there will be too great a burden on the desert.

Read More.......

Kenya:

Video: Olkaria Geothermal Power Project (AOL)

A report on how the sweeping vistas of Kenya's Rift Valley are now marked by a web of pipelines. These pipelines are the start of Kenya's geothermal breakthrough in using renewable energy to give clean power to the country.

USA, California:


Alameda Municipal Power which serves customers in the east San Francisco Bay Area, took a bus tour of The Geysers geothermal field



A few hours north of San Francisco, in the Mayacamas Mountains, sits the world’s largest geothermal field. The Geysers steam field covers more than 2,000 acres and provides electricity to thousands of Californians, and Alameda Municipal Power owns a significant share of its output.

The utility took more than 60 customers and staffers on a tour of one of The Geysers’ power plants Friday, leading a pair of tour buses through the Bay Area fog, the vines of wine country and a winding maze of steam and water pipes to the Northern California Power Agency plants.

USA:

Big Solar Company to Branch Out into Other Renewables (Recharge)

SunEdison, one of the biggest global players in the solar energy industry, has announced an intention to invest in other renewable energies, including geothermal energy.


SunEdison, based in Missouri, USA, has doubled its credit facility to $800m, and made amendments to the facility that would allow it to invest into other energy sources – including geothermal, wind, biomass and natural gas.

The doubling of the company’s outstanding credit facility, from $400m to $800m, “will enable SunEdison to capture additional business opportunities and continue our rapid volume growth”, says chief financial officer Brian Wuebbels.

In addition to expanding the size of the facility, SunEdison made two amendments:

The first will allow it to use the money to invest in SunEdison subsidiaries “formed for the purpose of owning subsidiaries that own and operate renewable-energy systems” – a possible reference to yieldcos.

The second amendment made to the credit facility will allow SunEdison to use the funds to invest in “wind, biomass, natural gas, hydroelectric, geothermal or other clean-energy generation systems or hybrid-energy generation systems”.

Read More.....

Global:


In September 2014, the International Geothermal Association (IGA) (of which the GRC provides about one-fifth of the membership) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop a globally applicable harmonized standard for reporting geothermal resources. Such a standard will ensure greater consistency and transparency in financial reporting and enhance management of geothermal resources.

Under this MoU, the IGA will work towards providing technology-specific rules (‘specifications’) for the application of the United Nations Framework for Fossil Energy and Mineral Reserves and Resources 2009 (UNFC) to geothermal resources. This work will be overseen by the UNECE Expert Group on Resource Classification (EGRC).

Governments, international organizations, industry, investors, professional societies, academia and other key stakeholders engaged in activities related to the classification and reporting of energy resources will all benefit from a common and transparent framework applicable at project level, as well as at regional and global level. From a strategic point of view, a universal geothermal energy classification framework compatible with fossil energy and other renewable energy classification frameworks will help facilitate choices for providing optimal responses to energy demands in light of technical and commercial maturities and uncertainty.

Monday, October 13, 2014

United Kingdom:

'Free Heat for a Century' Plan by North East Green Energy Experts (The Journal)

As the energy debate hots up, North East experts have outlined how the UK could tap into a clean supply deep beneath the ground.

They were speaking at a London conference yesterday on geothermal energy organised by EGS Energy Ltd and a partnership managed at Durham University.

The event was set against a backdrop of concerns over climate change emissions from fossil fuel burning, rising energy bills and fears over security of supplies, and controversy surrounding alternative power generation such as onshore wind farms.

The conference saw the launch of the BritGeothermal Research Partnership, which consists of Durham, Newcastle and Glasgow universities and the British Geological Survey.

Read More......

USA, Nevada:

Video: Fly Geyser


Fly Geyser from Justin Majeczky on Vimeo.

Fly Geyser is located by the Black Rock Dessert in Northern Nevada where the famous Burning Man festival is held every year. It's a place of our magic and bliss. Fly Geyser is not an entirely natural phenomenon; it was accidentally created by well drilling in 1964 exploring for sources of geothermal energy. The well may not have been capped correctly, or left unplugged, but either way dissolved minerals started rising and accumulating, creating the travertine mound on which the geyser sits and continues growing. Water is constantly released, reaching 5 feet (1.5 m) in the air. The geyser contains several terraces discharging water into 30 to 40 pools over an area of 30 hectares (74 acres). The geyser is made up of a series of different minerals, but its brilliant colors are due to thermophilic algae.

Technology:

Research of Supercritical Water May Bring Geothermal Revolution (Geothermania)

In recent years, a large effort has been done to utilize a heat from the earth. Geothermal companies all over the world try to make another step to this goal. They get started an intensive research of supercritical fluids, mainly supercritical water (SCW).

SCW is a specific state of water which is very hot and under so much pressure that it exists somewhere between water and steam.  The boundary of this state are conditions with temperature higher than 374°C (705°F) and pressures over 22.1 MPa. SCW has several interesting features; its main disadvantage is the fact that it is very corrosive. On the other hand, advantages can be utilized in several industry segments.

Read More......

Kenya:

Geothermal to Help Reduce Cost of Power (Daily Nation)

KenGen managing director Albert Mugo
Soon, Kenyans will begin enjoying the benefits of cheaper power thanks to the Olkaria IV 140 MW geothermal project, which will be commissioned by President Kenyatta later this week.

This project, alongside two new units at the Olkaria I power plant, will add 280 MW megawatts of electricity to the national grid.

Since geothermal is not subject to fluctuations in international oil prices, it offers a more affordable source of power in the long run. At US 7 cents per kilowatt hour, geothermal is far cheaper than diesel at US 22 cents. Moreover, it is highly available.

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Turkey:

U.S. and Turkish Geothermal Stakeholders Discuss Project Implementation at Upcoming Workshop (Benzinga - News Release)

Provides U.S. and Turkish Companies Opportunities to Engage in Turkey's Growing Geothermal Market



Registration is still available for the U.S.-Turkey Geothermal Workshop on October 21-22, 2014 in Ankara, Turkey, sponsored by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA).

The workshop will connect U.S. and Turkish stakeholders to support the implementation of geothermal projects in Turkey, which is ranked first in Europe and seventh worldwide in geothermal energy. The workshop, which will be attended by public and private sector representatives from the U.S. and Turkish geothermal sectors, will feature both plenary and panel sessions, as well as business-to-business meetings and networking opportunities.

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USA, California:

The Receding Salton Sea Might Not Be All Bad News for California (Hydrogen Fuel News)

As much as 2,000 megawatts of geothermal power could be made available


According to what officials said at the Southern California Energy Summit, which took place last week, while the shrinking of the Salton Sea, which is predominantly located in California’s Imperial and Coachella Valleys, could cause a serious public health hazard, it could also increase geothermal energy development in the region.

It is believed that the exposed lake bed will have both negative and positive effects on the area.
The more the sea recedes, the more lake-bed is exposed. The exposed land is anticipated to discharge huge amounts of dust into the air. The concern is that this dust will contribute to an increase in asthma and lung cancer rates and could also lead to damage that could costs tens of billions of dollars. On the flip side of the coin, however, some of this exposed lake-bed may actually be land that contains top geothermal hotspots.

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USA, Nevada:

GRC Annual Meeting Venue Wins Sustainability Leader Award (Reno Gazette Journal)

The Geothermal Space and Water Heating
system at the Peppermill (Courtesy The Peppermill Resort Spa Casino)
The Peppermill Resort Spa Casino, host to the 39th GRC Annual Meeting & Expo next year, received the 2014 Sustainability Award at the Stars of the Industry Hospitality Awards Gala on Oct. 2 in Las Vegas.

All Nevada properties including Las Vegas were considered for the award chosen by the Nevada Hotel and Lodging Association.

Peppermill Reno's 2 million-square-foot property is the only U.S. hotel to be heated completely by an on-site geothermal well. The resort has invested $9.7 million and completed 4,400 feet of drilling. As a result, the resort has reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by 12,000 metric tons per year.

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Japan:

Japanese Government Plans to Promote Geothermal Power (Chicago Tribune)

(Courtesy CIA.gov)
The Japanese government will revise the current feed-in tariff system, which requires power companies to purchase electricity generated by solar power and other renewable energy sources at fixed prices, to make utilities buy more electricity from geothermal power generation, sources said.

While maintaining its policy of promoting the use of renewable energy, the government is trying to correct the system's current overemphasis on solar power, to control the rise of electricity rates by lowering the feed-in tariffs for solar power.

Geothermal power is said to be economical in price and stable in supply.

The government plans to begin discussions on the revision Wednesday at the meeting of a subgroup of the Advisory Committee for Natural Resources and Energy under the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry, the sources said. It intends to decide on a final course by the end of this year.

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo:

Photos from the GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Expo

Images from the geothermal energy event of the year!


Over 1,000 photos from the GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo have been posted to the GRC Flicker website.

The event, held at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon, USA from September 28 - October 1, was a huge success attracting over 1,300 attendees from over 33 countries.

Next year's GRC Annual Meeting & Expo will be held at the Peppermill Resort Spa and Casino in Reno, Nevada from September 20 - 23, 2015.

Friday, October 10, 2014

USA, Oregon:

GRC Field Trip to Klamath Falls Oregon, USA

Fish-farming using geothermal waters





Laura Garchar and Andy Sabin at the “Gone Fishing” aquaculture farm where geothermal water is used to raise Tilapa. The owner has plans to use the heat to generate up  to 10 MW of electricity.

USA, California:

IID General Manager: Salton Sea ‘Begging for Dignity’ (The Desert Sun)

Officials on Friday sparred over the future of geothermal development by the Salton Sea, dredging up a controversial bill that failed in the state Legislature earlier this year.

Speaking at the Southern California Energy Summit in Palm Springs, Imperial Irrigation District general manager Kevin Kelley criticized state officials on his panel for not supporting the bill, which would have mandated 500 megawatts of new geothermal development in California.

“None of your agencies were a hell of a lot of help,” Kelley said to a panel that included top officials from the California Public Utilities Commission and the California Independent System Operator.

“I hope I’m not still here next year, reminding everybody that the Salton Sea is begging for dignity.”

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Kenya:

Olkaria Geothermal Power Plant Photos (Reuters/Noor Khamis )



Workers repair a section of a giant pipe used for channelling steam to the generating turbines at the Olkaria Geothermal power plant


Workers walk near a hot spring at the Olkaria Geothermal power plant
Workers repair a section of a giant pipe used for channelling steam to the generating turbines at the Olkaria Geothermal power plant
Workers repair a section of a giant pipe used for channelling steam to the generating turbines at the Olkaria Geothermal power plant
Workers stand near spurting hot spring water at the Olkaria Geothermal power plant near Naivasha west of Kenya's capital Nairobi
A section of the giant pipes used for channelling steam to the generating turbines is pictured at the Olkaria Geothermal power plant


Kenya:

40 MW Akiira One Geothermal Project Awarded Grant (News Release)

GreenMax Capital Advisors, a leading global clean energy transaction advisor, has secured a $950,000 grant from the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) Africa Clean Energy Facility (ACEF), one of the Power Africa programs sponsored by the US Government, for Akiira One Ltd., a Kenyan renewable energy project development firm, to support the final stages of project preparation for a 40 MW geothermal energy project in Kenya.  Akiira One Ltd. is today owned by Kenyan, US and international investors including Ram Power.

The planned project will be constructed on land concessioned to Akiira One Ltd. adjacent to the Olkaria geothermal fields, less than 100km outside of Nairobi. A first phase of 40 MW will be followed by additional generation capacity totaling 140 MW.

The grant will pay for a highly qualified set of international and Kenyan consultants to perform the final technical and legal work necessary to commence drilling for the geothermal resource early next year.