Saturday, October 25, 2014

USA, Nevada:

GRC Annual Meeting Venue Could Go Off-the-Grid - Thanks to Geothermal (Canada.com)

Peppermill Resort Spa Casino (Courtesy David Dickinson)
The discovery of geothermal energy directly under the property was totally coincidental and a quite literally a lucky turn for the hotel. The Peppermill Resort Spa Casino recently won the 2014 Sustainability Award for Nevada given out in Las Vegas on October 3rd.

Future plans to include smart thermostats and use geothermal energy to go totally “off-the-grid” and have the Peppermill become totally self-sustaining in the next decade, no mean feat when you consider just how much juice a large high end hotel and casino uses.

The two-million square foot property of the Peppermill — including the three huge pools — is heated by a 4,400 foot deep well that has already reduced the CO2 foot print of the casino to the tune of 12,000 metric tons per year. Though this cost $9.7 million USD to construct, the geothermal plant paid for itself in about five years.

The 39th GRC Annual Meeting & Expo will be held September 20-23 at the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino in Reno, Nevada, USA.

Read More.......

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Comoros:

Powering up Households with Geothermal Energy in Comoros (UNDP)

(Courtesy CIA.gov)
The Governments of Comoros, together with New Zealand and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), has signed an agreement to gradually develop geothermal energy usage in the Indian Ocean archipelago over the next six years.

The new initiative will aim to pool renewable energy directly from Mount Karthala, an active volcano which sits at the highest point of the Comoros, at 7,746 ft above sea level. Geothermal energy will complete the existing electricity grid and is expected to power households, private companies and government buildings.

The move will not only decrease carbon emissions, but it will also reduce the country’s dependence on imported fossil fuels. While generating long-term savings by reducing the costs associated with diesel purchases.

The exploration phase will last until May 2015. During that time, geologists, engineers, government and UN representatives will search for areas where the temperature exceeds 200 degrees Celsius.

The total cost of the project is USD 65 million and the exploration will be funded by New Zealand, the African Union and UNDP.

USA, Nevada:

Secretary of Energy Moniz Visits University of Nevada, Reno to Talk Geothermal (University of Nevada, Reno)

Students, faculty, industry leaders, agency reps participate in informal forum on geothermal in Nevada


Graduate students and geothermal industry leaders met with United States Energy Secretary Ernest J. Moniz to talk about geothermal research and the geothermal industry in Nevada.

At an informal forum Wednesday, Oct. 22 at the University of Nevada, Reno's Joe Crowley Student Union, they addressed the breadth and diversity of activities underway in northern Nevada in conventional hydrothermal, low temperature and innovative geothermal exploration technologies, and enhanced geothermal systems.

Moniz said the Department of Energy is committed to growing cross-cutting, sub-surface fracture management, improving success rates of drilling and starting a jobs strategy council to integrate with college programs that will build workforce, through such things as enhanced graduate programs that would meet energy sector workforce needs.

Read More......

Global:

The Status of Geothermal Power in Emerging Economies (GEA)

The U.S. Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) has published a new report on The Status of Geothermal Power in Emerging Economies (PDF).

Global capacity of geothermal power is at just over 12.1 GW about half way through 2014. While growth in the U.S. might have slowed, emerging economies in East Africa, Central America, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific are some of the fastest growing geothermal nations worldwide.

Together these nations are developing nearly 730 sites and another 12.1 GW of potential power. Of that 12.1 GW about 1.6 GW are under construction.

The potential power under development is only a fraction of the estimated total. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates global potential is around 200 GWe of geothermal power, with only a fraction of that total potential tapped. With the ever growing threats caused by climate change, geothermal energy can be an emission-free and cost-effective option to produce electricity in many emerging economies.

Most importantly, there are nearly 80 countries developing geothermal resources that fall adjacent to the Pacific Ring of Fire or East African Rift. In total, this market is estimated to reach nearly $9 billion by 2019.

Read More......

USA, Hawaii:

Testimony To PUC Supporting 50 MW of Geothermal for Big Island (hahaha)

By Richard Ha, owner of Hamakua Springs Country Farms on the Big Island of Hawaii

This is testimony that the Big Island Community Coalition (BICC) steering committee sent to the Hawaii PUC earlier this month. It is in support of the implementation of 50 MW of geothermal energy for Hawai‘i island.

The Big Island Community Coalition supports implementing 50 MW of geothermal as soon as practicable. The high oil price case projected by the EIA 2014, predicts $150 per barrel oil by 2020. There is a direct correlation between oil usage and world GDP. A high oil price of $150 per barrel will adversely impact our tourism industry causing a severe recession.

Geothermal is one of the few ways available to mitigate high oil price. And, we need to move sooner rather than later.

Read More......

Technology:

Geothermal Plant Detailed Workflow




From the You Tube website of Thermal Energy Partners (TEP), a Texas-based Geothermal Energy company.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

European Union:

EU Leaders Agree CO2 Emissions Cut (BBC News)

The bloc also agreed to boost the use of renewable energy to 27% in the total energy mix



EU leaders have reached a landmark deal to cut greenhouse emissions by 40% by 2030, compared with 1990 levels.

The binding decision came after heated discussions at a summit in Brussels, as some members had argued that their varied interests should be protected.

Correspondents say it could make the EU a leader again in climate policy.

The bloc also agreed to boost the use of renewable energy to 27% in the total energy mix and increase energy efficiency to at least 27%.

Read More.......

Canada:

Alternative Earth Resources Details Sell-Off to Ormat (News Release)

Alternative Earth Resources Inc. of Vancouver, B.C. Canada, today announced results for the year ended June 30, 2014.


On August 27, 2014, the company closed a Purchase and Sale Agreement with Ormat Nevada Inc., whereby Ormat purchased the company’s Crump Geyser (50% interest) and North Valley geothermal projects. The agreement also gives Ormat an option, exercisable over a four year period, to purchase certain company leases from the New Truckhaven geothermal project.

The agreement will see the company receiving up to $1.5 million in cash payments. The sum of $1.49 million was paid upon closing of the transaction, and a further $10,000 is payable if and when Ormat exercises the lease purchase option. As a result of this sale, AER’s project carrying costs are reduced to zero, while well abandonment liabilities were reduced by $0.2 million.

Read More.......

USA, Africa:

Geothermal Key to Powering Africa (OPIC)

By Stephen Morel, Climate Finance Specialist, OPIC


Power Africa Coordinator Andrew Herscowitz
at the GRC Annual Meeting
In the next three years, Africa is expected to see an unprecedented amount of geothermal power come online. Through President Obama’s Power Africa initiative, the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is poised to be a key player in unlocking the potential of geothermal on the continent. During the Geothermal Resources Council’s 38th Annual Meeting in September, attendees explored how best to develop and invest in African geothermal power initiatives.

During the conference, Power Africa Coordinator Andrew Herscowitz detailed the Obama administration’s strong interest in developing geothermal power in East Africa. Representatives from Kenya’s Geothermal Development Company and the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation discussed the opportunities in each country, including the areas within their countries rich in geothermal resources they are looking to develop.

Read More.......

USA, Nevada:

Ernest Moniz Learns More About Geothermal Energy

U.S. Secretary of Energy tours Steamboat Geothermal Complex near Reno, Nevada

USA:

Mapping Geothermal Heat Flow and Existing Plants (Energy.gov)


The map above allows you to learn a lot about the status of geothermal power across our country. Here we can see that areas with high heat flow potential are also areas with many operating and developing power plants. Clicking on the clusters of points will allow you to zoom into an area and see how the plants are distributed. Clicking “About the Points” and “About the Data” can give you more information on various stages of exploration and development. Learn more about how heat flow is calculated here.

Read More.......

USA:

U.S. Geothermal: Recent Developments in the Market are Encouraging Growth of Geothermal Energy (News Release)

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

The company also commented on recent regulatory developments:

Recent developments in the market are encouraging to the growth of renewable energy, and more specifically to geothermal energy in our opinion. In California, the signing into law of AB-2363 earlier this month by the California Governor, will require the California Public Utilities Commission to establish the appropriate adders (integration cost) for each technology that must be used when evaluating bids for long term wholesale power contracts. We believe this change will add appropriate costs to wind and solar power generation due to their intermittent deliveries of power, which then should allow base load renewables like Geothermal and Biomass to compete for PPAs based on a more accurate comparison of the full cost for power. That has not been the case in the past.

Similarly, in the State of Nevada, in 2013 the legislature mandated that the utilities in the state must purchase 300 megawatts of renewable energy from independent power producers to replace coal generation that is going to be retired. In response, NV Energy has issued their first of 3 Requests for Proposal for 100 MW of renewable energy. This creates a solid market of 100 MW per year for the next three years, which provides our company with a potential path for selling power from both our existing and new projects.

In addition, there are a number of pending bills, both at the federal and state level that could have a favorable impact on future geothermal development. At the federal level, Senate Bill S-2260 would extend the current tax credits available to new geothermal plants for an additional 2 years. Under the proposed bill, plants that begin construction by December 31, 2015 would be eligible for a 30% Investment Tax Credit (“ITC”), or alternatively a 10 year Production Tax Credit (“PTC”). S-2260 has been approved by the Senate, and is now at a conference committee to be merged with a companion House tax extenders bill.

Read More.......

European Union:



Report shows geothermal energy has lowest levelized costs


Solar energy now receives the most amount of energy funding annually, surpassing fossil fuels at just under €15bn, reveals a recent report released by the European Union (EU).

The initial findings in the report, Subsidies and costs of EU energies, indicate solar is considerably more popular in comparison with its other renewable energy counterparts and the established fossil fuel sources.

The highest level of support is given to solar, approximately equal to the 2012 levelized costs of solar utility scale PV (which has lower costs than roof top PV per unit of output). Production support in 2012 includes support still being paid on systems installed in previous years when the costs, and consequently the support was at much higher levels. Even in 2008, costs were around twice the costs in 2012.

Read More........

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

USA, California:

Sonoma Clean Power Buys More Geothermal from The Geysers (North Bay Business Journal)

Startup power utility Sonoma Clean Power on Tuesday reported two long-term contracts for geothermal and solar power.

The geothermal contract is for 10 years of power from Calpine’s Geysers facilities in northeastern Sonoma County. The deal provides steadily rising volumes reaching 50 megawatts in 2018. By then the total energy coming from that source will amount to 23 percent of Sonoma Clean Power’s mix.

Sonoma Clean Power said it met its early renewable-energy goals by buying short-term contracts. The new deals bring the agency’s long-term contracted renewable sources in California to more than 33 percent of its total output, which exceed California’s 2020 goals for utilities.

Read More......

Papua New Guinea:

Geothermal Site Testing in New Britain Nears Completion (Loop PNG)

The Mineral Resource Authority (MRA) has confirmed that their study and sample extraction of three geothermal sites in Talasea in West New Britain Province is nearing completion.

Talasea LLG President Victor Narere said MRA had made it known that the final testing would be at the end of this year or early next year depending on the results.

“The final testing of the geothermal sites would include the drilling and placing of pipes into the geothermal reservoir to measure the quantity and pressure to conclude whether they could power the whole of the country with electricity,” says Narere.

He said so far, the previous testing results had positive feedback from a New Zealand laboratory and MRA hopes final testing would be the same.

Read More.......

Kenya:

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

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

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

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

Read More......

Iceland:

Geothermal Energy in Iceland (Iceland Review)

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

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

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

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

Iceland:

Global Geothermal Energy Summit 

18-19 February 2015, Reykjavik, Iceland



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

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

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

China:

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

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

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

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

Read More......

Romania:

World Renewable Energy Congress 2014 – WREC XIV

June 8 to 12, 2015, Bucharest, Romania


Clean Energy for a Sustainable Development

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

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

USA:

FORGE Newsletter (EERE/GTO)


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

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

USA, Michigan:

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

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

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

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

Philippines:

Davao City Approves Geothermal Exploration (Sun.Star)

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

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

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

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

Read More.......

Monday, October 20, 2014

Kenya:

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

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

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

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

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

Read More......

Denmark:

Global Geothermal Development Plan Roundtable

23-24 October, UN City, Copenhagen, Denmark


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

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

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

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

United Kingdom:

Cornwall’s Geothermal Warders on Show (Academies Week)

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

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

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

Read More.......

Tanzania:

5th African Rift Geothermal (ARGeo) Conference

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


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

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

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

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

New Zealand:

Geothermal 'Has Big Potential for NZ' (Voxy)

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

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

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

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

Read More.......

Australia:

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

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

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

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

Read More......

Colorado:

New Geothermal Hot Springs Breaks Ground (Aspen Times)

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

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

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

Read More......

Kenya:

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

By Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya


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

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

Read More........

USA:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read More.......

Philippines:

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

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

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

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

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

Read More......

Philippines:

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

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

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

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

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

Read More......

Global:

38th GRC Annual Meeting Attracts International Geothermal Industry

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


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

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

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

Friday, October 17, 2014

Global:

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

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

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

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

East Africa:

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


From the September 2014 issue of Energy Access Review

USA, Oregon:

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




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

USA, Oregon:

Newberry Geothermal Project (BLM Oregon)

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



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

Read More......

Kenya:

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


Kenya:

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


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

Read More......

Republic of Dagestan:

New Geothermal Greenhouses to Be Built in Dagestan (FreshPlaza)

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


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

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

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

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

USA, California:

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


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

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

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

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

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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