Thursday, July 31, 2014

USA:

Obstacles in Permitting Geothermal Energy Projects on Federal Lands  (4 Traders - News release)

Comments submitted by Scott Nichols, Manager of Permitting & Lands for U.S. Geothermal Inc. to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy on July 29, 2014 regarding obstacles in permitting energy projects on federal lands. 


"Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee, my name is Scott Nichols and I am here today representing U.S. Geothermal.

My comments are focused on the BLM and USFS (Agencies's) evolving approach in administering the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the geothermal industry's evolving approach to environmental management, and support for action requiring agencies to rigidly defined NEPA implementation and federal regulations.

Our overwhelming experience is that management decisions are now driven by lawsuits, attorneys and the Office of General Counsel combined with a need for more data and longer evaluation periods. Documentation has become more important than good science."

Read More......

Canada:

Geothermal is the Most Efficient Form of Renewable Energy (BusinessBecause)

Brett Hannigan
Brett Hannigan, president of the Sauder School of BusinessNatural Resources Club at the University of British Columbia, explains why he thinks geothermal is the most efficient form of renewable energy.

"The most efficient form of renewable energy right now is geothermal. Initial costs associated with installation can be high, but the energy savings are enormous. Geothermal plants produce a fewer amount of greenhouse gases relative to fossil fuel plants, and the water used to extract heat from the Earth can be recycled.

Geothermal energy does have its limitations, namely cost and geographic barriers, but it is efficient and constant."

Read More......

Kenya:

KenGen Adding 140 MW to the National Grid from Olkaria Geothermal Project (Kenya Broadcasting Corporation)

Entire 280 MW project to be commissioned by year end



Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) is adding 140 MW to the national grid from the 280 MW Olkaria IV geothermal project.

The 140 MW is from two units – one of which has already completed reliability test while the other is expected to complete the test by mid August.

At the same time, two more units are expected to commence reliability tests in September and October respectively.

It is expected that before the end of the year, the entire 280 MW will be fully commissioned.

Read More.....

United Kingdom:

Cornish Group on Geothermal Fact Finding Mission (Business Cornwall Magazine)

A senior team from Cornwall recently returned from a fact finding mission to Germany to explore and learn more about geothermal energy.

The trip, which was organised by EGS Energy, was joined by representatives from a number of firms and organisations, including Cornwall Council, the Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, the Eden Project and Geothermal Engineering Ltd.

The delegation met with Jörg Baumgärtner from BESTEC GmbH, a world-leading geothermal specialist, to discuss the deep geothermal plants that are planned for Cornwall and visit an operational plant in Insheim.

Andrew Williams, of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP, said: “The trip highlighted the real economic potential for Cornwall to generate its own energy from deep geothermal and the opportunities for individuals and businesses to benefit both directly and indirectly from the heat and power created.

Read More.....

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Costa Rica:

Guanacaste Geothermal Expansion Could Eliminate the Need to Burn Oil for Electricity in Costa Rica (Tico Times)

A crew works at a geothermal drilling site in Rincón de la Vieja National Park, in Guanacaste.
Workers handle machinery to remove cylinders from the site’s bore-hole. Alberto Font/The Tico Times
A proposal by lawmakers from Guanacaste seeks to build three geothermal plants inside the Rincón de la Vieja National Park. Opponents worry that drilling and producing geothermal energy there could damage the park’s protected land, and they are urging caution.

If all three plants are built, Costa Rica’s energy production could become 100 percent renewable. From 1990 to 2011, the Central American nation has averaged producing 6 percent of its energy from oil, according to the most recent data from the International Energy Agency (IEA). Since geothermal first came online in 1992 in Costa Rica, it has produced 12 percent of the country’s energy. Expansion proponents said the three sites would raise geothermal’s share by 10 percent, more than covering oil’s output. Costa Rica burns no other hydrocarbon for electricity. A major hurdle for the projects has been Costa Rica’s national park laws, which prohibit resource extraction.

Read More.....

Technology:

The Basics "Geothermal 101"

Check out this presentation from the Borealis GeoPower website that explains step-by-step what geothermal energy is all about: where it comes from, how it’s used and the challenges it faces. It also describes the current state of geothermal energy use globally and an estimate of just how much could be harnessed by humans for power generation and heating.

Canada:

Geothermal Generating Little Heat in Energy Sector (Business in Vancouver)

Site C hydropower project critics see energy from Earth's core as hydro alternative but finding suitable sources in B.C. can cost a fortune


If you are looking for proven renewable energy technology that is clean, firm and cost-competitive, geothermal power looks hard to beat – at first blush.

Unlike wind or solar, which are intermittent, geothermal power plants provide electricity around the clock, and the energy source is free: the heat from the Earth. It’s mature technology that has been used in Italy for more than a century.

Geothermal power plants are comparatively cheap to build, and they have a much smaller environmental footprint than hydroelectric dams.

Situated as it is within the Pacific Ring of Fire, B.C. has some of the best potential geothermal assets in Canada and is home to Alterra Power Corp., which owns and operates two geothermal power plants in Iceland and one in Nevada.

“We’re really in a unique spot in B.C., with so many available fuels,” said Paul Kariya, executive director for Clean Energy BC.

“But why don’t we have any commercial operation of solar or geothermal or tidal, when these are proven technologies elsewhere in the world? It’s probably because we’re not a subsidized industry.”

Read More.....

Canada:

Geothermal Exploration Begins in BC (Terrace Standard)

Borealis GeoPower crew pictured here at the Skeena Industrial Development Park: geoscientist Ashley Derry, Chief Geologist Craig Dunn and University of Victoria summer students Ryan McQueen and Tercio Nunes. The crew is currently studying the viability of a geothermal power generation plant in the Lakelse area. — Image Credit: Josh Massey
Terrace city council recently received an update on what could be Canada's first major geothermal power plant constructed somewhere in the Lakelse Lake area, where a plenitude of hot springs have alerted a Calgary-based company to the potential for low impact power generation.

Calgary-based Borealis Geopower received the necessary permits to begin exploration on their Lakelse Geothermal Project back in January for a 2,800 hectare area in which to assess the possibility of building a 15-megawatt power plant that works by converting the heat drawn from hot water into electricity and then cycling the water back underground.

A small Borealis crew began their work in early June within an area which extends from south of Lakelse Lake and up the east side of Hwy 37, with a couple small test sites located within the Skeena Industrial Development Park.

Read More.....

Italy, USA:

Enel Eyes North America Stake Sale (ReCharge News)

EGP could sell stake in geothermal plants in USA


Italy’s Enel Green Power (EGP) will seek to sell a minority stake in its North American renewables portfolio and dispose of its entire French wind business, the company said today.

Newly-installed CEO Francesco Venturini said the group has begun sounding out buyers for a possible minority equity stake in a package of wind, solar, hydro and geothermal capacity.

According to its website Enel Green Power North America is a leading owner and operator of  72 MW in geothermal -  25 MW Cove Fort geothermal plant, Utah, 33 MW Stillwater geothermal plant, Nevada and the 13.4 MW Salt Wells geothermal plant in Nevada.

Read More.....

Global:



Reserve Your Hotel Room! GRC Room Block Expires September 3rd!

Hilton Downtown Portland or DoubleTree near the Convention Center

Save $100 by registering before August 31st!

GRC Annual Meeting Features:

The GRC Annual Banquet will be the geothermal social event of the year. Get on board the Portland Spirit, a 150 foot yacht with three public decks featuring delicious Northwest cuisine, full service bars with a vast wine selection, grand pianos and a singing wait staff, a ship-wide sound system, and a marble dance floor. (Cost: $125)
Sign-up early for this popular networking event at a top golf course near Portland. (Cost: $150 per person or $550 per Foursome)
Special informational lunch with presentations and discussions led by globally known experts in the geothermal community. Great networking opportunities. Free with your registration! Don't forget to mark the option on your registration form or when you register online.
Industry leaders will meet with students attending the GRC Annual Meeting during Tuesday’s lunch hour. Discussions between the leaders and students over lunch will provide one-on-one opportunities to share ideas about key topics on a variety of geothermal interests. Free with your registration! Don't forget to mark the option on your registration form or when you register online.
More than 125 booths were on show at last year’s Expo, showcasing projects, equipment, services and state of the art technology to the geothermal community. Entry to the trade show is free with a GRC Annual Meeting registration.
Booths are still available! Register for a booth today. For more information or to register: Exhibitor Registration
Get the latest news on the geothermal event of the year at www.geothermal.org.

USA:

GEA National Summit Begins Next Week



The U.S. Geothermal Energy Association is holding its fourth annual National Geothermal Summit on Tuesday, August 5th and Wednesday, August 6th in Reno, Nevada, USA. The National Geothermal Summit is the leading forum for western state policy discussions, bringing together policy leaders, utilities and industry professionals to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing the industry.

The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) is proud to be a supporter of the event and will be exhibiting at Booth #26 on Tuesday, 12:00 pm to 6:30 pm and on Wednesday, 8:30 am to 6:00 pm. Come say hello and get more information on joining the premier global association for the geothermal energy community and of the upcoming GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo.

Agenda......                  Registration.......

Global:

GRC Twitter Feed Reaches 1,300 Followers!

The Twitter feed of the Geothermal Resources Council has reached 1,300 Followers!

Get the latest Geothermal Energy news on your mobile device: https://twitter.com/GRC2001

USA:

California Leads the Way in Clean Technology (Environmental Defense Fund)

The Golden State's renewable energy resources, including geothermal energy, helps California remain #1 for the fifth consecutive year


If there is one thing that works in the world of advocacy, it is a ratings table that shows how one state, metropolitan area, or utility compares to its peers. The latest report, U.S. Clean Tech Leadership Index, from Clean Edge does just that.
For the fifth consecutive year, California tops the State Index by a wide margin, scoring 93.7 overall. The Golden State’s clean-tech prominence is broad and deep; it leads the Technology category handily and ranks a very close second in both Policy and Capital.

With enviable solar, wind, and geothermal resources, a green-minded populace, and generally effective policy levers at every level of government, California places #1 in all three subcategories of clean technology deployment: electricity, transportation, and energy efficiency/green buildings. And the state nearly takes home our Index triple crown, finishing a very close #2 in the Policy and Capital categories.

As in 2013, California is also home to five of the top seven cities in our Metro index: San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego, Sacramento, and Los Angeles.

Read More.....

USA, Hawaii:

Geothermal: Not ‘Easy, Simple, Cheap or Wrong’ (Honolulu Civil Beat)

Patricia K. Brandt, CEO and Director,
Innovations Development Group
(Courtesy Honolulu Civil Beat)
No one claims that geothermal energy is going to solve all our energy needs. But it is a proven and reliable source used around the world.

In a recent Honolulu Star-Advertiser column, Richard Borreca argues that “It just may be . . . geothermal energy is not the easy solution to Hawaii’s energy needs,” despite what he describes as Governor Abercrombie’s “infatuation” with it.

Borreca warns: “It is said that for every problem there is a solution that is “easy, simple, cheap and wrong.”

No one, least of all those of us who have been striving mightily for years now, at considerable personal cost, to change how Hawaii looks at its energy future would dream of suggesting that geothermal energy is the “easy solution.”

Kenya:

Profile: Geothermal Development Company (GDC) (Business Excellence Magazine)

Headquartered in Nairobi, the Geothermal Development Company (GDC) is a 100 percent state-owned business, formed especially by the Government of Kenya to act as a special purpose vehicle to fast track the development of the country’s geothermal resources.

An indigenous, abundant and reliable source of electricity, Kenya’s geothermal resources are concentrated within the country’s Rift Valley. It is here that some 14 fields can be found extending from Lake Magadi to Lake Turkana. In addition to these fields Kenya also hosts several low temperature fields outside the rift at Homa Hills and Massa Mukwe.

At present geothermal energy contributes approximately 209 MW towards Kenya’s power mix, a figure which amounts to around 22 percent of the country’s total production, while its geothermal potential has been estimated to reach up to 10,000 MW in the long term.

Read More......

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

USA, Nevada:

GEA Pre-Summit Workshop: U.S. Reporting Methodologies for Geothermal Energy (DOE/EERE)

U.S. Reporting Methodologies for Geothermal Energy
Monday, August 4, 2014
3:00 – 5:30 PM PST
Room 9/10, Grand Sierra Resort, Reno, Nevada


Register here for the Meeting


This pre-summit workshop seeks to engage individuals in the geothermal community who are interested in participating in a discussion regarding the terminology and approaches used to characterize geothermal resources in the United States.

GEA and DOE will be presenting some of the work they have been doing related to geothermal reporting methodologies. The goal of this workshop is to introduce participants to the results of these initial analyses, to solicit feedback on the terminology, concepts, applications for geothermal reporting, and to collect input to guide the next steps for these efforts.

USA:

Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) Funding Opportunity Announcement Informational Webinar (DOE/EERE)

FORGE Open Meeting and Live Webinar
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
9:00 – 11:00 am PST
Room 9/10, Grand Sierra Resort, Reno, Nevada


Register here for the live webinar


This meeting will discuss the Energy Department's $31 million funding solicitation to establish the initial phases of a field laboratory dedicated to cutting-edge research on enhanced geothermal systems (EGS).

The new Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) initiative will focus on techniques to effectively stimulate large fracture networks in various rock types, technologies for imaging and monitoring the evolution of fluid pathways, and long-term reservoir sustainability and management techniques.

The webinar will provide an overview of the three phases of FORGE development with an emphasis on Phases 1 and 2, which focus on selecting both a site and an operations team, as well as preparing and fully characterizing the site. Lauren Boyd, EGS program manager for the U.S. Department of Energy, will present. The event can be attended via live webinar or in person at the pre-Summit event of the GEA Summit.

Montserrat:

Third Well to be Drilled at Montserrat Geothermal Project (The Montserrat Reporter)

Paul Brophy, president of EGS, Inc. gives an
update on the Montserrat geothermal project
(Courtesy The Montserrat Reporter)
As promised by Dr. Kato Kimbugwe, a team of experts, Mike Allen, Dr. Graham Ryan along with Paul Brophy, among others were due to be on island at the beginning of this week.

Kimbugwe revealed that two geothermal wells had been undergoing testing for some time, “Both wells are producing just about 1.5 megawatts…” and that be a third well will be drilled.

Geothermal advisor to the Government of Montserrat, Mike Allen and Consultant Paul Brophy, president of EGS, Inc. and the president-elect of the GRC, met with the local Geothermal Steering Committee to provide an update on the process which has been achieved to date.

Mike Allen reported “..... we are going to drill a third well and the team has been on the island here, the team from EGS, from Capuano Engineering, from Oakland University and myself and we have been reviewing the location for the third well, that still has to be finally confirmed but the general agreement is to the target for that and the confirmation should be within the next ten day or so."

Read More......

Iceland, United Kingdom:

Going Green; How Iceland’s Geothermal Surplus Could Shape the UK Energy Market (Iceland Magazine)


Thanks to a plethora of geothermal energy found beneath the island’s crust, the typical Icelandic power bill dwarfs that of its North American and European counterparts. In fact, Iceland produces about five times more energy domestically than this “Viking nation” actually needs. Therefore, due to the tremendous energy surplus geographically gifted to this Nordic country located in the North Atlantic, a massive project has been in the works to help Icelanders share this natural resource with the rest of the world. Exporting its surplus of “green energy” would help Iceland harvest a new form of internal income aside from the fishing and tourism industries that currently make up a majority of the country's domestic economy.

Plans have been put in place for a £4.3bn Transatlantic Sea Cable that will allow Iceland to share its abundance of energy with the United Kingdom, a landmass plagued by expensive heating bills and growing energy shortages. It seems like the puzzle pieces fit perfectly as Iceland would be able to ship out its surplus of geothermal energy to the power-starved Brits, and the UK would welcome a cheaper alternative to their current energy situation. Additionally, this form of “green energy” will help the UK ease off of the "less desirable" forms of nuclear energy that it currently uses. If they don’t use it, they lose it. Thus, Iceland needs to make this “power play” happen to cash in on their geothermal revenue stream.

Read More.....

USA, Washington:

Washington State Outlines Plans for Carbon Trading (Responding to Climate Change)

Governor Jay Inslee prepares second attempt at developing cap and trade scheme in north west state


Washington appears to be the latest US state considering tightening its climate laws, with plans for a cap and trade system released on Monday.

A memorandum posted on Governor Jay Inslee’s website says design options on a carbon trading scheme will be presented by the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) later today.

The document suggests the northwest US state could link up with the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) trading scheme, which involves California together with the Canadian states of British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba.

According to the US Energy Information Agency, geothermal sources in its volcanic Cascade Range could “produce about 2.5 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year”, enough to power 265,000 US homes.

Read More......

Monday, July 28, 2014

Caribbean:

Geothermal in the Caribbean gets a Boost (Nation News)

Major aid agencies in the Caribbean have announced cooperation to develop geothermal energy in the region.


The Caribbean Development Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) will be working closely to transform the energy landscape in the Eastern Caribbean.

Together, the agencies will support the efforts of Eastern Caribbean States to tackle high energy costs and reduce dependence on fossil fuel-generated energy by diversifying its energy matrix and promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency.

The Memorandum of Cooperation will identify and support programs and projects which explore a joint effort for further introduction of renewable energy and energy efficiency in the EC countries, with special focus on geothermal development.

Read More.....

New Zealand:

1000 Geothermal Springs

by Julian Thomson, outreach educator for GNS Science


GNS Science and Waikato University are investigating one thousand of the geothermal hot springs in New Zealand's North Island.



(VIDEO: 6:16 Minutes)

The goal of this ambitious 1000 Springs Research Project is to understand and compare the microbiology of these springs along with their physical and chemical make-up. That adds up to a lot of sampling trips, processing of data and investigation of the findings!

Read More.....

Japan:

Geothermal Turbine Companies Consider Merger (The Japan Times)

Hitachi CEO open to deeper ties, merger talks with Mitsubishi Heavy


Hitachi Ltd. CEO Hiroaki Nakanishi
(Courtesy Bloomberg)
Building gas turbines and pumps for thermal, nuclear and geothermal power plants already delivers more than one-third of revenues at Mitsubishi Heavy. It’s the Tokyo-based company’s biggest contributor to operating profit.

Hitachi Ltd.’s chief executive officer said he’s open to deeper ties, which could include merger talks, with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., after the equipment makers failed in their bid for Alstom SA’s power business.

“We’ve built a relationship with them to talk frankly” about extended partnerships, Hiroaki Nakanishi said in an interview at a business forum Thursday in Tokyo. “The possibility of merger discussions shouldn’t be denied.”

Mitsubishi Hitachi Systems Americas is exhibiting at the GEA Geothermal Energy Expo, being held in conjunction with the GRC Annual Meeting, September 28 - October 1 at the Oregon Convention Center, Portland, Oregon, USA.

Read More......

California:


Report Calls for 7,200 MWe of Geothermal Energy for the Golden State


A new Stanford University study proposes a plan that will have the state of California running entirely on renewable energy by 2050, creating a healthier environment, generating jobs and stabilizing energy prices.

The research team contends that it is both technically and economically possible to convert California's infrastructure to one powered by clean, renewable energy.

They outline their plan for a sustainable, inexpensive and reliable energy supply in the journal Energy.

According to the researchers’ calculations, one scenario suggests that all of California’s 2050 power demands could be met with a mix of sources, including:
  • 25,000 onshore 5-megawatt wind turbines
  • 1,200 100-megawatt concentrated solar plants
  • 15 million 5-kilowatt residential rooftop photovoltaic systems
  • 72 100-megawatt geothermal plants
  • 5,000 0.75-megawatt wave devices
  • 3,400 1-megawatt tidal turbines
"If implemented, this plan will eliminate air pollution mortality and global warming emissions from California, stabilize prices and create jobs -- there is little downside," lead author Mark Z. Jacobson, a Stanford professor of civil and environmental engineering, said in a statement.

The proposal will reportedly fulfill all of the state's transportation, electric power, industry, and heating and cooling energy needs with renewable energy by 2050.

Philippines:

Maibarara Geothermal Power Plant All Set for $25-M Expansion (Inquirer.net)

The 20 MWe Maibarara integrated geothermal power facility that started commercial operations early this year would soon be expanded to the tune of $25 million to address the surge in demand for energy.

PetroEnergy Resources Corp., which leads the project vehicle Maibarara Geothermal Inc. (MGI), may expand the project in two phases.

“We are expanding Maibarara by 10 MW to bring the capacity to 30 MW. Our [capital expenditure] for that is about $25 million. After that, we will consider another expansion,” company vice president Francisco G. Delfin Jr. told the Inquirer.

Work will start within the year so that the expansion may be completed by end-2015 or early 2016, he said.

PetroEnergy Resources president Milagros V. Reyes said after the 10-MW expansion, another 10 MW in capacity may be added.

The existing 20 MW integrated steamfield-power plant facility in Sto. Tomas, Batangas entailed an investment of $78 million, of which almost $55 million was financed through loans, via RCBC and BPI, while equity accounted for the balance of about $23 million.

Read More.......

Technology:

Rock Solid Solution (Slate Magazine)

A new project partners with geothermal power plant to stash carbon dioxide in the form of minerals.


How can we get rid of excess CO2? Geologist Juerg Matter of the University of Southampton, U.K. is a principal investigator of the Iceland-based project CarbFix, whose recent results show it has safely stored nearly 170 tons of carbon dioxide underground by reaction with minerals—stashing it in rock so it can’t leak out again. The next step is to go big.

"In our pilot project in Iceland, called CarbFix, we take CO2 and wastewater from the same geothermal power plant and inject them together. The CO2 dissolves and, like in a bottle of sparkling water, it stays dissolved as long as it's sealed. It then reacts with calcium and magnesium silicates in rocks to form carbonates.

For CarbFix the electricity comes from geothermal power, so the emissions penalty for injecting dissolved CO2 is on the order of 0.2 percent. With electricity from a coal-fired power plant, the penalty would be much higher, over 10 percent of the volume stored."

Read More......

Australia:

Hot Rock Ltd. Reports on a "Difficult Year" for the Company (News Release)

HRL still determined to explore and develop its main geothermal projects in the Otway Basin in Victoria. 


Hot Rock Limited of Queensland, Australia has published its Annual Financial Report for the year ended 30 June 2014.

Mark Elliott, Chairman writes "The 2013-14 financial year was another difficult year for our company. In order to survive, the Company sold its geothermal projects in Peru and Chile to Energy Development Corporation (EDC) for US$3 million, and dramatically reduced costs through the closure of all offices and the retrenchment of our staff. These actions were necessary as capital markets and investors continued to ignore the junior end of the market making it very difficult to raise funds or secure new partners to support exploration programs. Furthermore there is continued uncertainty in the political and regulatory risk jurisdictions and its ongoing negative impact on the development and investment in renewable energy in Australia. This led HRL to investigate an expansion of its activities and your Directors have reviewed many project and business opportunities since late 2013 looking for opportunities to grow shareholder value."

Read More......

Thursday, July 24, 2014

American Samoa:

Geothermal Resource Evaluation Project Moving Forward (Samoa News)

(Courtesy American Samoa Renewable Energy Committee)
The American Samoa Power Authority (ASPA) has teamed up with Quantec Geoscience to look for a source of geothermal energy beneath certain parts of Tutuila, as confirmed by ASPA CEO Utu Abe Malae. The hope is that this form of renewable energy will be able to replace diesel fired power plants in the territory. He said that ASPA contracted Quantec Geoscience based out of Toronto, Canada as part of the Geothermal Resource Evaluation Project funded through the Department of Insular Affairs.

“They are performing geologic exploration utilizing geophysical methods that save money and impact compared to drilling exploration. The technique is similar to the way a medical doctor uses ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging, but on a much grander scale.”

Read More......

China:

Geothermal Energy To Become Next New Source of Chinese Renewable Growth (Renewable Energy World)

(Courtesy CIA.gov)
The National Energy Administration of China is developing its 13th five-year plan (2016-2020) for the development and use of geothermal resources, in a move to further boost the development of the sector, according to China Securities Journal.

Industry analysts said that the plan is another important step towards nationwide utilization of geothermal resources following the release of guidelines on promoting the development and use of geothermal energy. The plan is an indicator that geothermal energy is being promoted as the next new growth source across China's renewable energy sector following wind and solar.

According to the plan, annual geothermal utilization should reach 50 million tons of standard coal equivalent by the end of 2020, by which time an integrated technological and industrial system for the development and use of geothermal resources will be put in place across the country. Officials also plant to construct an operational model for the development and use of geothermal resources most suited for each region.

Read More......

United Kingdom:

Renewable Energies to Compete for Government Cash (Business Green)

(Courtesy CIA.gov)
Renewable energy projects such as wind, solar power and geothermal energy developments will each year have to compete for a share of £205m under the UK's new clean energy subsidy regime, the government revealed today.

The U.K. Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) revealed the long-awaited draft budgets just a day after the European Commission confirmed State Aid approval for the Contract for Difference (CfD) subsidy regime that will deliver the funding by guaranteeing developers prices for the clean power they generate.

As expected, the government has split the budget between established technologies, such as solar power and onshore wind, and immature technologies, such as offshore wind, wave and tidal, advanced conversion, anaerobic digestion, dedicated biomass with CHP, and geothermal.

Developers will be able to bid in auctions for projects that can come online through to 2019, meaning the benefits associated with faster delivery are unlikely to be recognized by the new policy regime.

Read More......

Armenia:

Geothermal Energy in Armenia Gets a Boost (Armenpress.am)

The development of geothermal energy in Armenia is a perspective direction, which can give a substantial solution to the energy security issue in Armenia.

This is the only technology, which can provide the guaranteed energy production, as the other sources of energy, including solar, wind, and renewable, have a seasonal character.

In a conversation with Armenpress, the Director of Renewable Resources and Energy Efficiency Fund of Armenia Tamara Babayan stated that about USD 9 million grant was provided to Armenia by the Climate Investment Fund, which will be directed at the study of opportunities for the development of geothermal energy.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Caribbean:

Geothermal Energy Can Help Caribbean Islands Energy Infrastructure (Energy Digital)

There’s big geothermal potential in the eastern Caribbean.


Dr. Warren Smith, president of the Caribbean Development Bank
Dr. Warren Smith, head of the Caribbean Development Bank, told BusinessGreen that at least $30 billion is needed to update and modernize the Caribbean’s energy infrastructure in order to protect it from extreme weather circumstances. This means there is a lot of potential for local and international companies to launch important projects within the region.

Smith also told BusinessGreen that the constant cycle of borrowing money for repairs needed from extreme weather events is hindering economic growth in the area. Updated renewable energy infrastructure could help break this economic catch-22.

There’s big geothermal potential in the eastern Caribbean.

Smith told BusinessGreen that they could not only reduce their dependency on fossil fuels by tapping into this, but also export energy to other islands. "The other benefit here is that they would be able to build a size of plant that is bigger than what they need for their own market so they would get economies of scale and a lower cost of electricity," he added.

Read More.....

New Zealand:

Mighty River Power Creates New Executive Geothermal Position (7 News Yahoo)

Mark Trigg is new acting General Manager Geothermal


Mark Trigg,
acting GM Geothermal
Mighty River Power today announced a realignment of its leadership team under incoming Chief Executive Fraser Whineray from 1 September as the Company prepares for the next phase of its evolution.

A new role of General Manager (GM) Geothermal has been created, which will replace the disestablished roles of GM Operations and GM Development. Mark Trigg, currently GM Development, has decided to leave the company towards the end of the year but has agreed to act in the role of GM Geothermal to assist through the CEO transition.

Mighty River Power’s investment of $1.4 billion in geothermal development and the successful construction of three major geothermal power stations has grown geothermal to more than 40% of the company’s annual production. The creation of the GM Geothermal role allows both domestic and international geothermal activity to be brought under one member of the executive team. The new role is also responsible for technical services, drilling and joint ventures. Mark Trigg will be acting in this role in the short-term, and a permanent replacement will be recruited later in the year.

Read More......

Japan:

Orix Plans to Build as Many as 15 Geothermal Plants in Japan (The Japan Times)

Orix Corp. plans to build as many as 15 geothermal power stations in Japan over the next five years.

The Tokyo-based finance and leasing company, which has been developing solar and biomass projects, is conducting geological surveys in Hokkaido and Aomori Prefecture, spokeswoman Tamaki Shibata said Wednesday.

Orix plans to invest as much as ¥25 billion, the Nikkei newspaper reported, though Shibata said estimates at this stage are premature.

The company will focus on smaller plants of about 2 MW as they can be set up quickly, Shibata said. Environmental impact assessments for plants with 7.5 MW of capacity or more are often required, according to the Environment Ministry’s website.

According to a news release Orix will commence commercial feasibility studies on geothermal power generation business in Hakodate City, Hokkaido Prefecture, and Kazamaura Village, Aomori Prefecture.

United Kingdom:

Geoscart Secures Millions for Sainsbury’s Geothermal Rollout (Business Green)

(Courtesy Geoscart)
A UK-based geothermal energy company has secured £15m to roll out its technology at 15 Sainsbury’s stores this year, with further financing lined up to expand the business over the coming years.

Geoscart, formerly known as Greenfield Energy, yesterday confirmed it had agreed a long-term financing deal with Macquarie Lending to deploy its systems, which integrate geothermal energy generation, heat pumps, and solar thermal panels, at commercial premises across the country.

The company said it had secured £15m for the initial phase of the rollout, which will see it install boreholes and ground source heating systems across 15 Sainsbury’s stores. It added that it had also lined up "significant funds" to support further expansion in phase two of its planned rollout.

Sainsbury's has already installed 14 geothermal and heat pump systems at its stores, but is planning to roll out the technology across 100 stores over the next three to four years, allowing it to benefit from lower energy bills and payments through the government-backed Renewable Heat Incentive.

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Global:

Geothermal Industry Grows, With Help From Oil and Gas Drilling (New York Times)

A geothermal well in Indonesia, which has planned large projects for
the energy source. Credit Beawiharta/Reuters
Geothermal energy — tapping into heat deep underground and using it to produce power — is sometimes described as a forgotten renewable. It languishes in the shadows of better-known sources like wind and the sun, and in 2011 it accounted for less than 1 percent of electric power worldwide, according to last year’s World Energy Outlook.

Yet the geothermal industry is growing, if slowly, and proponents hope that new technologies — including tie-ins with drilling for oil and natural gas — will bring further gains. Last year, the amount of electric power capacity available from geothermal resources grew about 4 percent to 5 percent globally, according to a report released in April by the Geothermal Energy Association, which is based in Washington. The United States remains the world’s leader in the use of geothermal energy for electric power, followed by the Philippines, Indonesia and Mexico, according to the report.

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USA, Idaho:

Profits Heat Up at U.S. Geothermal (The Idaho Statesman)

Interview with GRC Board Member Dennis Gilles


U.S. Geothermal's CEO Dennis Gilles 
Six months of retirement was enough for Dennis Gilles.

He took overseas trips he'd had no time for in 23 years as an executive at California energy company Calpine Corp. He tinkered with his 1967 Ford Mustang at his home in Sonoma County. But drinks by the pool got old. He was bored.

So Gilles accepted a position in 2011 on the board at U.S. Geothermal, a tiny company in Boise, Idaho.

"I was still antsy, still feeling I had a lot to contribute," he said. "I was well known and well connected in the geothermal world. I wasn't done by any means."

Less than two years later, Gilles succeeded founder Daniel Kunz as U.S. Geothermal's CEO.

The groundwork was already laid for the company to turn its first profit in 11 years when Gilles took over in 2013. Now, Gilles says he plans to build U.S. Geothermal into a large-scale power company.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

USA:

DOE Wants to Mobilize Subsurface Engineering R&D Efforts (Oil & Gas Journal)

Douglas Hollett, GTO Director, will deliver a keynote speech at the Geothermal Resources Council Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon on September 29, 20143 - the largest annual gathering of geothermal stakeholders in the world.
The US Department of Energy wants to mobilize federal government, oil and gas industry, university, and other research to address subsurface engineering challenges, particularly controlling fracture propagation and fluid flow, officials said at the first of several projected discussions.

The industry learned from experience after it starting producing oil and gas from tight shale formations in 1995-96, observed GRC Member Doug Hollett, director of DOE’s Geothermal Technologies Office and a member of the department’s Subsurface Technology and Engineering Crosscut Technical Team.

“There was this wonderful stumbling across information as producers drilled lots of wells and learned from their mistakes,” he said during a July 22 at the US Energy Association’s headquarters. “I wonder if there isn’t a better way.”

Susan Hubbard, a senior scientist and director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Earth Sciences Division, said, “Improved subsurface utilization really is a key to our national energy security. There’s been a very nice dialogue across all the national laboratories about adaptive control of the subsurface.”

Hollett noted that nine core areas, including wellbore integrity and new subsurface signals, were identified during a Mar. 14 national labs summit. Common interests, goals, and concerns already have emerged as diverse groups conducted research, he said. At least three more of these discussions where critical questions can be asked will be held, including possibly one during the American Geophysical Union’s fall meeting Dec. 15-19 in San Francisco, he said.

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Indonesia:

Innovative ADB Loan to Help Unlock Indonesia’s Geothermal Potential (Asian Development Bank)

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide a loan of up to $50 million, supported by the Clean Technology Fund, to share risks with the private sector during the project development and exploration phase of the Rantau Dedap geothermal project in Indonesia.

“This innovative loan demonstrates the depth of ADB support for deploying clean energy technologies that can significantly displace coal and oil-fired power,” said Lazeena Rahman, Investment Specialist in ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department. “In addition, it will help unlock Indonesia’s geothermal potential by bridging a key financing gap in the market.”

Indonesia has an estimated 29,000 MW of geothermal resource potential, but less than 5% of this potential has been developed. Proving commercial viability for a geothermal project requires a much higher upfront investment than for any conventional fossil fuel project. As such, the lack of an early-stage risk sharing option remains a fundamental obstacle to geothermal power expansion not just in Indonesia, but globally.

The Rantau Dedap project is located in South Sumatra. During this initial phase, the project will conduct the geothermal resource exploration involving the drilling and testing of wells. If developed to the targeted capacity, the project is expected to be able to support at least 240 MW of geothermal power generation capacity over 30 years and an estimated net reduction in carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to 1.1 million tons per year.

The project will be implemented under a 35-year geothermal operating license, a 30-year energy sales contract with Perusahaan Listrik Negara, the national electricity utility company, and a business viability guarantee from the Ministry of Finance.

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Italy:

Brewery Says ‘Cheers’ to Geothermal Energy (Enel Green Power)

Three new craft beers – Magma, Geyser and Sulfurea – are being produced by Vapori di Birra, a brewery and green start-up based near Larderello, thanks to the steam produced by Enel Green Power’s geothermal facility


Three new beers are being produced thanks to Enel Green Power’s geothermal production in Tuscany. Magma, Geyser and Sulfurea were created by the recently established Vapori di Birra in Sasso Pisano, near the Group’s Larderello production facilities, where it uses geothermal steam to produce its brews.

The idea of producing beer from steam from geothermal energy production process was conceived in 2011 and put into practice in last year by Vapori di Birra.

Edo Volpi, who had worked for some years in geothermal energy, asked master brewer Enrico Ciani to get involved in his beer project, which uses high-quality raw materials and has a supply chain that respects for the environment. By combining tradition and innovation the green start-up has become Italy’s first craft brewing company that uses geothermal steam to power its production, and it began producing the double malt Magma, the Sulfurea pale ale and the Weiss Geyser just this year.

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Technology:

Q&A: FORGE-ing Ahead to Clean, Low-Cost Geothermal Energy (DOE/EERE)

The Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) will be a research site in the United States that allows scientists and engineers to develop and test new technologies for Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS).


Papua New Guinea, New Zealand:


New Zealand has agreed to provide its consultants to help  Papua New Guinea (PNG) government draw up its geothermal policy.

Dr Clement Waine, Acting Secretary of the Public Enterprise Department, says they have just completed a terms of reference which they will provide to their New Zealand counterparts.

He says the policy will provide a pathway for the government in dealing with resources that will provide energy needs for the country as in other countries.

The policy should cover sources of energy from water to hot springs, wind  to gas and petroleum products.

“We believe this policy will affect the mining and gas policy and so we will be working in consultation with appropriate line agencies,” he says.

Dr Waine says they will also be working closely with the New Zealand government to include in the policy participation and benefits of landowners. It is not clear at this stage when the policy will be ready.

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Ukraine, Iceland:

Iceland Offers to Map Ukraine’s Geothermal Heat (Iceland Review Online)

(Courtesy CIA.gov)
Foreign Minister of Iceland Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson offered Iceland’s help in mapping Ukraine’s geothermal energy resources to Deputy Head of the Ukrainian National Agency on Ensuring of Efficient Use of Energy Resources (NAER) Vitalii Grygorovskyi in a meeting last week.

In the meeting, Gunnar and Grygorovskyi discussed the collaboration of Icelandic and Ukrainian authorities on harnessing geothermal energy. They decided to launch preparations to that end, as stated in a press release from the Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Gunnar believes there are opportunities for harnessing geothermal energy in western Ukraine. Help from Icelandic experts in the field, along with that from specialists from other countries, such as Romania and Hungary, can prove important to Ukraine in determining the next steps.

Gunnar added that harnessing geothermal energy, as a pure and stable resource, can prove valuable to Ukraine’s inhabitants, especially for heating purposes.

Technology:

Patent Issued for Geothermal Power-Generation System by Compressed Air (4 Traders - News Release)

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (Tokyo, JP) has been issued US patent number 8769951 that describes a closed loop generation system that uses compressed air heated by geothermal heat to power the turbine.

The image to the left describes the process, to provide a compressor (11) that compresses air, a heating device (14) that heats compressed air compressed by the compressor (11) by geothermal heat, a turbine (12) that obtains a rotational force by heated compressed air heated by the heating device (14), and a generator (13) that generates power by the rotational force inputted from the turbine (12).

According to the apparatuses described in the patent literatures, a sealed piping in which a water intake pipe is placed so as to surround a water supply pipe is provided in the ground, water supplied through the water supply pipe is heated by geothermal heat at a lower heat exchange unit, the heated fluid is taken out to the ground through the water intake pipe, and vapor is separated therefrom by a vapor-water separator to drive and rotate a turbine.

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India, Pakistan, Nepal, Tibet:

Himalayan Geothermal Potential Untapped (SciDev.Net)

  • Given funds for research, geothermal energy locked in the Himalayas could be safely exploited
  • India, Nepal and Tibet fall in a ‘geothermal province’ holding several thousand megawatts
  • Geothermal energy can reduce the use of fossil fuels for heating in the Himalayan winters


Thousands of megawatts of geothermal energy remain locked up in the Himalayas because of environmental considerations and lack of investment in research, say international geologists.
 
“I hope lessons from elsewhere in the world can help harness these resources in the Himalayas,” Joe Moore, a geologist at the Energy and Geosciences Institute, University of Utah and GRC Member, told a conference on sustainable resource development held last month (June) in Leh, Jammu and Kashmir state, India.

“The hottest and best known of the geothermal systems are in Jammu and Kashmir, which form part of the northwest Himalayan ‘geothermal province’ that extends through Nepal and Tibet,” Moore says. 

USA:

Renewables Provide Almost 56% of New Electrical Generating Capacity in USA (Renewable Energy Focus)

Solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and hydropower provided 55.7% of new installed US electrical generating capacity in first six months of 2014.


According to the latest "Energy Infrastructure Update" report, solar accounted for nearly a third of new US generating capacity thus far in 2014: 32.1% (1,131 MW), wind provided 19.8% (699 MW), followed by biomass (2.5% - 87 MW), geothermal (0.9% - 32 MW), and hydropower (0.5% - 16 MW).

Most of the balance (1,555 MW - 44.1%) of the new generating capacity was provided by natural gas while no new coal or nuclear power capacity was reported.

Renewable energy sources now account for 16.28% of total installed U.S. operating generating capacity: water - 8.57%, wind - 5.26%, biomass - 1.37%, solar - 0.75%, and geothermal steam - 0.33%. This is up from 14.76% two years earlier (i.e., June 30, 2012) and is now more than nuclear (9.24%) and oil (4.03%) combined.

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Philippines:

Geothermal Energy Company Donates School Supplies (Manila Standard Today)

Grade 4 students of Basud Elementary School in Sorsogon City 
proudly show off the assorted school supplies they received from 
EDC- BacMan. (Courtesy Manila Standard Today)
The Bacon-Manito Geothermal Project (BacMan) of Energy Development Corp. (EDC) has distributed school supplies to 4,229 elementary students in 14 schools in Sorsogon City and Manito, Albay.

Each student received packs containing pad paper, notebooks, rulers and writing instruments. Kindergarten pupils also received modeling clay, along with the common supplies given to the rest.

“We are pleased to have distributed all these school supplies to so many students in time for the school opening,” EDC Bacman Deputy Head Jay Soriano said.

“We are glad that we have somehow helped ease the cost of education for the families of these children and are making it easier for them to pursue learning.

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