Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Latin America: Region Looks to Geothermal Energy to Meet Climate Change

Latin America Eyes Volcanoes to Fire Up Clean Development (Voice of America)

5 MWe geothermal power plant Miravallis 23 Nov 2007 Costa Rica
Mexico and Costa Rica aim to build on their position as Latin America's leading producers of geothermal power to help meet the challenges they face of curbing planet-warming emissions and making their energy supplies secure.

Latin America relies on hydropower for 55 percent of its total electricity generation, and the burning of fossil fuels for around 40 percent, according to the Inter-American Development Bank. At present, geothermal makes up only 5 percent of installed power capacity in Central America, according to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.

But this could change, given growing political interest in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the goal adopted by governments in the new Paris climate change agreement to keep global temperature rise "well below" 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times.

Read More.........

United Kingdom: Scottish Geothermal District Heating Project Moves Forward

Fife could be focal point for research into energy source (The Courier)

Fife, a council area and historic county of Scotland just north of Edinburgh, could yet become the focal point for plans to heat homes and businesses around Scotland using warm water recovered from rocks deep below the ground.


A Scottish Government-funded project has looked into the feasibility of using the largely untapped resource to deliver renewable heat at a site in Guardbridge in a cost effective manner.

With that in mind, researchers have now recommended that the initiative should be taken to the next stage – which would see a business case to explore for geothermal heat drawn up and could even lead to the drilling and testing of a well.

And while the study concedes that the viability of extending any heating system beyond the Guardbridge Energy Centre appears to be “uneconomic” at this time, it is thought the technological developments and lessons arising from any Fife project could be used elsewhere to great effect.

Read More........

Education: GRC Scholarship Application Deadline is May 6

2016 Geothermal Resources Council Scholarship Applications Due This Week

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

The 2015 GRC Scholarship Winners
The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC), a non-profit educational association dedicated to the promotion of geothermal energy and associated technologies around the world, reminds applicants that the deadline for the 2016 GRC Scholarship Awards is Friday, May 6th.

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

The following awards are available:
  • Two (2) GRC Undergraduate Scholarship Awards of $1,500 – to be eligible for one of these awards, the candidate must be a third or fourth year undergraduate majoring in engineering or geosciences at the time of the award (Fall 2016). 
  • Three (3) GRC Graduate Scholarship Awards of $2,500 – to be eligible for one of these awards, the candidate must be enrolled in a graduate-level program in engineering or geosciences at the time of the award (Fall 2016). 
  • One (1) Student Geothermal Project Award of $4,500 – selection of recipient will be based primarily upon the creation and description of a geothermal-focused project, though other factors such as the individual’s academic record, student activities, geothermal industry experience, and career goals will factor into the determination as well. The project can represent a variety of academic subjects, including, but not limited to, geosciences, engineering, and economics. The primary requirement is that the project be focused on some aspect of geothermal power production, geothermal direct use applications or geothermal heat pumps. 
GRC Scholarship Awards Applications need to be received by May 6, 2016 in order to be considered. Selected winners will be notified by June 10, 2016.

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

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

Monday, May 2, 2016

USA: Oilfield and Geothermal Services Providers Merger Abandoned

Halliburton and Baker Hughes scrap $28 billion merger (Reuters)

Oilfield and geothermal services provider Halliburton Co and smaller rival Baker Hughes Inc announced the termination of their $28 billion merger deal on Sunday after opposition from U.S. and European antitrust regulators.

The tie-up would have brought together the world's No. 2 and No. 3 oil services companies, raising concerns it would result in higher prices in the sector. It is the latest example of a large merger deal failing to make it to the finish line because of antitrust hurdles.

"Challenges in obtaining remaining regulatory approvals and general industry conditions that severely damaged deal economics led to the conclusion that termination is the best course of action," said Dave Lesar, chief executive of Halliburton.

Global: Women in Geothermal New Website

New Website for Women in Geothermal


Women in Geothermal (WING)'s mission is to promote the education, professional development, and advancement of women in the geothermal community.

This group is for anyone who is interested in supporting and engaging with women in the geothermal industry - so that means current WING members, those interested in joining WING (its free to join just let me know you want in), friends of WINGs, and our support crew out there (yes that means you WINGmen too!).

The focus for the next year is 'Bringing us Together'; gathering the coalition of the willing; networking through events; having conversations through our Linked In and Facebook pages; and old fashioned talking to each other!

This group page is a place where you can let the WING community know what you're up to, share some good papers/readings/info, post some cool geothermal photos, ask for help/support (including dumb questions - its a safe place), talk about geeky geothermal stuff that your friends and family arent interested in, ideas about cool stuff we want to do, ask technical questions and get to know the other WINGs on the planet.

More information.......

USA: GRC Member Suggests North Dakota Geothermal Power Demonstration Project Technology to Oil & Gas Industry

How Brine Produces Electricity for Oil, Gas Fields (Dallas Innovates)

Will Gosnold,
University of North Dakota
The oil and gas industry doesn’t have to be at odds with renewable energy, in fact new technology could bind the two in a symbiotic relationship that turns wastewater into electricity.

Experts from universities and the energy sector explained the emerging opportunities recently at the SMU Geothermal Conference.

GRC Member Will Gosnold, a geophysics professor from the University of North Dakota, takes a totally different approach to the same problem. In the last decade, the Bakken Shale boom transformed North Dakota into the second largest oil producer in the country behind Texas.

Like West Texas, these wells produce a lot of water that comes out of the ground at high temperatures. Through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy, Continental Resources and Access Energy, he’s working on a geothermal system that captures that heat and uses it to produce electricity.

The goal is to produce electricity that the drillers and service companies can use on-site to run their equipment, including the pump jacks that bring the oil out of the ground.

Read More.......

USA, Idaho: Great Talk on Geothermal Energy and the Snake River FORGE Project

We Are Sitting On The Sun

GRC Member Robert Podgorney, Director of the Snake River Geothermal Consortium

(VIDEO: 12:39 Minutes)

The bulk of efforts allocated to research in alternative energy looks to a source that only shines part of the day, while we are sitting on a huge opportunity that never sets. Geothermal energy technologies can get a boost from an unlikely source. It’s time you hear about it.

GRC Member Dr. Robert Podgorney is the Director of the Snake River Geothermal Consortium, and an affiliate faculty member at the Center for Advanced Energy Studes (CAES). His research interests generally center on water and energy related issues, focusing on experimental and numerical investigations of fluid flow in porous media, fractures and fracture networks, as well as the development of numerical simulation tools for describing these systems. His experience spans from field-based activities, such as well drilling and monitoring, to regional scale modeling and resource management, for both energy and environmental resources.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.

Mexico: 2nd Electricity Power Auction Announced

Mexico to finalize 2nd electric power auction in September (Business News Americas)

(Courtesy CIA.gov)
Mexico will announce the winners of the second auction for long-term electric power generation contracts on September 30, the energy ministry (SENER) has announced.

The auction will follow the same model as the first one, held March 30, with firms competing for long-term contracts with state utility Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE).

CFE may also participate as an electricity generator, Sener said.

The auction will focus on renewable energy generation in a bid to open up Mexico's energy mix and lessen the country's dependency on fossil fuels. The auction will facilitate investment in solar, wind, hydroelectric and geothermal generation.

New Zealand: Mighty River Power to Become Mercury

Mighty River becomes Mercury (New Zealand Herald)

New Zealand electricity generator and retailer Mighty River Power is changing its name to Mercury, in a move that underlines the increasing retail focus of the country's largest power companies.

Known as MRP since it was split out from Electricity Corp in 1999, the "mighty river" reference was to the eight Waikato River hydro power stations the company inherited in the split, but it kept the Mercury retail brand it inherited in Auckland from the old Auckland Electric Power Board, where it remains the dominant supplier.

MRP has 5 geothermal power stations through the central North Island.  The quarter to 31 December 2015 reflected strong geothermal performance as Mighty River Power had its highest-ever quarter of geothermal generation, up 12% on the prior comparable period (pcp), to 728 GWh.

This high geothermal generation reflected 98% availability of the Company’s geothermal plants during the quarter.

Read More.......

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Education: GRC Scholarship Application Deadline is May 6

2016 Geothermal Resources Council Scholarship Applications Due This Week

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

The 2015 GRC Scholarship Winners
The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC), a non-profit educational association dedicated to the promotion of geothermal energy and associated technologies around the world, reminds applicants that the deadline for the 2016 GRC Scholarship Awards is Friday, May 6th.

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

The following awards are available:
  • Two (2) GRC Undergraduate Scholarship Awards of $1,500 – to be eligible for one of these awards, the candidate must be a third or fourth year undergraduate majoring in engineering or geosciences at the time of the award (Fall 2016). 
  • Three (3) GRC Graduate Scholarship Awards of $2,500 – to be eligible for one of these awards, the candidate must be enrolled in a graduate-level program in engineering or geosciences at the time of the award (Fall 2016). 
  • One (1) Student Geothermal Project Award of $4,500 – selection of recipient will be based primarily upon the creation and description of a geothermal-focused project, though other factors such as the individual’s academic record, student activities, geothermal industry experience, and career goals will factor into the determination as well. The project can represent a variety of academic subjects, including, but not limited to, geosciences, engineering, and economics. The primary requirement is that the project be focused on some aspect of geothermal power production, geothermal direct use applications or geothermal heat pumps. 
GRC Scholarship Awards Applications need to be received by May 6, 2016 in order to be considered. Selected winners will be notified by June 10, 2016.

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

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

Saturday, April 30, 2016

40th GRC Annual Meeting: Call for Papers Deadline is Next Week

2016 GRC Annual Meeting Call For Papers

Deadline: May 6, 2016

Geothermal Energy, Here and Now: Sustainable, Clean, Flexible

The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) invites you to present your latest technical work in geothermal research, exploration, development and utilization at GRC’s 40th Annual Meeting October 23-26, 2016 at the Sacramento Convention Center, Sacramento, California.

Successful selection to present at the Geothermal Resources Council 2016 Annual Meeting is prestigious and recognizes the presenter as a top industry expert. International participation is the key to the success of the GRC Annual Meeting technical programs and we encourage geothermal researchers and experts from around the world to submit their work for consideration to be presented at the GRC 2016 Annual Meeting.

Read More........

Friday, April 29, 2016

Science & Technology: Possible Geothermal Industry Collaboration?

Thermal Hydrolysis Offers Multiple Benefits To Wastewater Treatment Facilities (Breaking Energy)

Injected steam heats the solids and maintains them at a temperature of approximately 165°C and a gauge pressure of 600 kilopascals (kPA), or 87 psi, for 20 to 30 minutes

Thermal hydrolysis is an advanced wastewater solids conditioning process that boasts both financial and environmental advantages. With the process in wide usage across the UK, it is now starting to gain traction in the U.S., as wastewater utilities analyze whether their facilities would make a good candidate.

Injected steam heats the solids and maintains them at a temperature of approximately 165°C and a gauge pressure of 600 kilopascals (kPA), or 87 psi, for 20 to 30 minutes. Then the pressure is released. The combination of high temperature and rapid depressurization makes the material more biodegradable for the anaerobic digestion process that follows.

The thermal hydrolysis process (THP) increases the biodegradability of wastewater residuals, thereby boosting digester loading rates, increasing biogas production, and producing a biosolids product that can be used for land fertilization.

Knight said that many THP facilities include combined heat and power (CHP) systems to produce electricity. Some facilities are also considering conversion of biogas to renewable natural gas as an alternative to CHP.

Thanks to GRC Member Anna Carter, Geothermal Support Services, for the information.

Read More........

USA, California: Geothermal and Renewable Energy Presentations from Imperial Valley Conference

Selected Speaker Presentations from the 9th Annual Imperial Valley Renewable Energy Summit

The Imperial Valley Economic Development Corporation (IVEDC) held the ninth annual Imperial Valley Renewable Energy Summit March 9-11, 2016. The following are some of the presentations from the conference, especially relating to the development of geothermal energy in the area.

USA, Nevada: Opportunity to Tour 73 MW Steamboat Geothermal Power Plant Complex

Ormat’s Steamboat Geothermal Power Plant Tour In Reno, NV (U.S. Green Building Council Nevada Chapter)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 from 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM (PDT)


At this exciting event we will raise awareness about the green building industry by showcasing Ormat’s Steamboat Geothermal Power Plant!  The Steamboat complex, located in Washoe County, Nevada, consists of the six power plants with a combined generating capacity of 73 MW; Steamboat 2/3, Burdette (Galena 1), Steamboat Hills, Galena 2, and Galena 3 Except for Steamboat Hills, which utilizes a single flash system, all of the projects in the Steamboat complex utilize a binary system.

The electricity generated by the complex is sold to NV Energy under separate long-term power purchase agreements.

The Ormat Steamboat complex is the main source of baseload power for the citizens of Reno, Nevada. Come support and celebrate the work of the green building community. We look forward to seeing you there! Please contact 702-952-2468 for more information.

USGBC Member: $10.00, Non-Member: $20.00

Read More........

Iceland: Geothermal Conference Attracts 600 Participants

Recap: Iceland Geothermal Conference, April 26 - 29, 2016 (Iceland Naturally)

Kicking off Tuesday April 26, Iceland’s Geothermal Conference took over Reykjavik for four days of insightful presentations and speakers. With over 600 participants from more than 50 countries, this was Iceland’s largest geothermal conference to date. The conference covered critical issues in the development of geothermal projects.

With over 30 side events, including an event hosted by the Women In Geothermal group, paired with a networking dinner, the conference provided a great environment to generate discussions on geothermal development. Field trips to geothermal power plants, district heating and Reykjanes Geothermal Resources Park round out an exciting few days.

Read More........

Iceland: GRC President Participates in Global Geothermal Discussions

IGA Board in Reykjavik, Iceland (IGA)

The IGA Board meeting No 63 took place in Reykjavik, Iceland from 29-30 April 2016. Some of the Board members attended & contributed to the World Bank ESMAP Global Geothermal Development Plan: Roundtable 3 in Reykjavik from 25-26 April.

Paul Brophy, president of the Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) is also a IGA Board member and took part in discussions. The GRC has 1,109 members who also belong to the 4,839 member IGA (22%).

Members of the IGA Board, including GRC President Paul Brophy (far left) 
Read More.......

Dominican Republic: IDB Funds Geothermal Survey

IDB wants to know if the country can tap its geothermal energy (DominicanToday)

(Courtesy CIA.gov)
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) will grant the Energy and Mines Ministry US$200,000 for a 12-month study of the country’s geothermal potential and to produce clean energy.

France National Geologic Survey (BRGM) executive Philippe Gombert and Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) representative Flora Montealegre signed the agreement, witnessed by Energy and Mines minister Antonio Isa, and French ambassador Jose Gomez.

The "Specific Agreement to Evaluate the Geothermal Potential of the Dominican Republic" aims to determine where there’s enough high geothermal energy to produce electricity in areas defined as priority and secondary in 1980.

Iceland: World’s Only Major International Music Festival Powered by Geothermal!

Secret Solstice Becomes a CarbonNeutral® Event in 2016 (News Release)

One of the things that sets Secret Solstice apart from almost all other major music festivals on planet Earth is our use of geothermal energy.

While almost all events rely heavily on things like diesel-burning generators, or non-renewable sources of mains power to bring music to the masses, our on-site energy needs are provided by Mother Nature herself, in the form of volcano-powered and 100%-renewable geothermal power. This is one of the major factors that allows us to go green much easier than most of the planet’s major music festivals.

This means that from today, Secret Solstice becomes one of the world’s only major International music festivals that will be verified CarbonNeutral® in 2016.

Read More.......

Iceland: Philippines Trade Agreement Opens Up Geothermal Opportunities

Iceland signs free trade deal with Philippines (Iceland Monitor)

“It gives Icelanders better access to Philippine markets and offers exciting opportunities, including in the field of geothermal energy.”

After almost a year of negotiations, a free-trade deal between the EFTA nations and the Philippines was signed in Bern, Switzerland, yesterday.

Iceland is one of four Member States of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), along with Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

“This deal is cause for celebration,” says Icelandic Foreign Minister Lilja Alfreðsdóttir. “It gives Icelanders better access to Philippine markets and offers exciting opportunities, including in the field of geothermal energy.”

Read More........

USA, California: Geothermal Capacity at The Geysers to be Restored to Pre-fire Levels During Third Quarter of 2016

Calpine Reports First Quarter Results, Reaffirms 2016 Guidance (News Release)


Calpine Corporation today reported first quarter earnings for 2016. Included was the following statement on Geysers Wildfire Impact:

In September 2015, a wildfire spread to our Geysers assets in Lake and Sonoma counties, California. The wildfire affected five of our 14 power plants in the region, which sustained damage to ancillary structures such as cooling towers and communication/electric deliverability infrastructure. Our Geysers assets are currently generating renewable power for our customers at more than 80% of the normal operating capacity and will be restored to prefire levels once repairs are completed, which is expected during the third quarter of 2016. 

We believe the repair and replacement costs, as well as our net revenue losses relating to the wildfire, will be limited to our insurance deductibles of approximately $36 million, all of which was recognized in 2015. Any losses incurred in 2016 related to the wildfire will be primarily offset by insurance proceeds, when such proceeds are realizable. We record insurance proceeds in the same financial statement line as the related loss is incurred. We do not anticipate the impact of the wildfire or timing of insurance proceeds recovery will have a material impact on our financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.

Calpine operates the largest single renewable geothermal power resource in the world at The Geysers. Steam produced in naturally occurring underground reservoirs is brought to the surface where it drives turbines to produce electricity. Available 24 hours a day, this important renewable resource poses none of the grid integration challenges of other renewables.

According to the presentation published with the latest financials, The Geysers consists of 14 plants constructed between 1971-1989: Aidlin, Big Geysers, Calistoga, Cobb Creek, Eagle Rock, Lake View, McCabe, Ridge Line, Sonoma, Sulphur Springs and West Ford Flat.

Currently the net capacity at The Geysers is 725 MW which is 3% of the company's generation.

The GRC will offer two GRC Fieldtrips to The Geysers from the 40th GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo, October 23-26 in Sacramento, California, USA.

Europe: Geothermal News from EGEC

The EGEC Newsletter April 2016 - The Voice of Geothermal in Europe

The April issue of the EGEC Newsletter is now available.
Click here to download it. In this issue:

Editorial
  • Statement on the electrification of the heating and cooling sector
Policy
  • EGEC response to Consultation on Streamlining of Planning and Reporting obligations as part of the Energy Union Governance
  • Time for EU leaders to back up promised with action on climate change: Statement from the Coalition for Higher Ambition
  • Principles for an effective Innovation Fund
  • Have your say: Public consultation on the development of the Energy Union Integrated Research, Innovation and Competitiveness Strategy
News
  • Deep Geothermal European Technology and Innovation Platform Initiated
  • Approval for start of works for CHP plant in Reichstett, Alsace, France
  • New district heating set up in UK by Local Government and ENGIE 3
  • New geothermal system for agricultural industry in the Netherlands
  • Call for shallow geothermal projects in Pays de la Loire, France
  • Studies on Employment in the Geothermal sector
  • IRENA undertaking research on the gender breakdown of geothermal jobs
  • Geothermal power plant developed into the world’s first hybrid Renewable plant
  • Iran and Italy set to collaborate on Geothermal development
  • EUROGIA2020 Call 04: Call for proposals on low carbon energy related research and development projects

USA, Hawaii: Broken Lithosphere Could Explain Geothermal Resource

A Hole in Earth's Surface (EOS)

Research shows that a broken lithosphere underneath the island of Hawai'i could explain the island's patterns of seismic activity.

The deep seismic activity on the island of Hawai'i can be explained by
the weight of the volcanoes atop the Earth below. Credit: NASA
In a new study, Fred W. Klein, U. S. Geological Survey Earthquake Science Center, Menlo Park, California, USA,  proposes that the flexed lithosphere beneath Hawaii, coupled with the fact that the lithospheric plate beneath the island appears to be broken—it curves downward with a central depression—explains the region’s heightened seismicity. The resulting plate flexure forms a donut hole shape right underneath the island. The focal hole in the center lies approximately between Mauna Loa, Earth’s largest active volcano, and Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano whose peak is at the highest point of Hawaii.

The author used data taken from seismic stations around the island to understand the stress fields and focal mechanisms, which describe the slip that causes earthquakes and the orientation of the fault on which those quakes occur. The seismic data give valuable information about the orientation of the stress field and the pressure and tension axis. By analyzing the seismic data, the author saw that the pressure axis—the point where two planes compress—radiated from the center of the hole in the lithosphere. These radial patterns, according to the author, suggest that the downward-flexing lithosphere surrounds a weak region at its center. (Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, doi:10.1002/2015JB012746, 2016)

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Global: Membership Roster and Registry of Geothermal Services and Equipment - Available Now!

Available Now from the GRC! - Membership Roster and Registry of Geothermal Services and Equipment

The “Phone Book” for the world geothermal industry, the GRC Membership Roster provides contact information for more than 1,000 corporate and individual members of the GRC in cross-referenced lists for speedy access. In addition, this premier publication offers contact information for additional geothermal associations and a number of federal and state geothermal offices.
(Hard copy, 92 pages . . . . . $25)
Call us at: (530) 758-2360, or E-mail: alay@geothermal.org 

GRC "Yellow Pages"


The Registry of Geothermal Services and Equipment portion of the above publication contains the "Yellow Pages" for the worldwide geothermal industry. Companies are listed with a description of their products and services. The Geothermal Resources Council provides these pages for free.


GRC 2016 Registry of Geothermal Services and Equipment (PDF)

Iceland: A Canadian is Impressed by Geothermal Energy on a Trip Around the Island Nation

Brave, Beautiful, Renewable: Exploring Geothermal Energy in Iceland (DeSmog Canada)

Steam rises from the Hellisheidi station in Iceland, the world's 
largest geothermal power plant. Photo: Carol Linnitt.
A drive along Iceland’s ‘ring road,’ a winding narrow highway that encircles the isolated island’s 1,332 kilometre circumference, will take you from the sublime to the beautifully desolate in quick succession as views of snow spotted mountains give way lava fields, relatively young in geologic time at 800 years, covered in the country’s signature muted green moss.

But perhaps no natural feature is so stunningly otherworldly than Iceland’s geothermal activity.

The remote island is the outcome of upwelling forces, emerging in the volcanic seam between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. The result is a remarkably active geologic landscape, one pitted with boiling mud pots, meandering hot rivers and steaming caverns that open up out of a serene landscape like gaping mouths of Hades.

Read More.......

USA, Idaho: 126 Year Old Geothermal District Heating System Still Going Strong

How Boise's Geothermal System Built In The 1890s Still Serves Much Of Downtown (Boise State Public Radio)

Since 1890, 177-degree-water has been pumped from the foothills to heat buildings and provide hot baths. It was the first of its kind in the country, serving Victorian homes on Warm Springs Avenue and hotels in downtown Boise.

These days, the system has made updates, but the basic science and product is the same. Geothermal Coordinator Jon Gunnerson says a lot of familiar buildings in downtown use geothermal energy -- like the YMCA.

A bunch of government offices, including City Hall and the Ada County Courthouse, use geothermal energy. Ten Boise State buildings are also on the geothermal line.


Read More........               Download Audio (mp3 file) 1:25 Minutes.

Science & Technology: The External Costs of Electricity Generation

The True Cost of Electricity: What we’re not paying for through our utility bills ( Environmental Defense Fund)

The price we all pay for electricity generally does not reflect the “true costs” of producing it. As described in a recent blog post, generating electricity creates harmful pollution, damaging the environment and public health. This comes with a cost, but it is not necessarily paid for by those generating the pollution or purchasing the electricity. These types of costs are known as “external costs.”

For example, a coal-fired power plant releases pollution into the atmosphere, which adversely affects the health of residents in nearby communities. This pollution is an example of an external cost because it causes health problems that neither the plant owners nor the electric users pay for (unless they live near the plant and pay the cost through their health bills).

Read More........

Bolivia: Central Banks Funds Construction of 5 MW Laguna Colorada Geothermal Pilot Plant

Central Bank of Bolivia to provide loan for 65 MW of renewables (SeeNews Renewables)

Includes funding for 5 MW Laguna Colorada geothermal pilot plant

Laguna Colorada geothermal facility (Courtesy ENDE)

The Central Bank of Bolivia (BCB) signed  a loan agreement on Tuesday with the National Electricity Company (ENDE) for the construction of 65 MW of renewable energy plants in Potosi department.

The bank will lend a total of BOB 849 million (USD 122.8m/EUR 108.5m) to ENDE to build the 60 MW Solar Uyuni photovoltaic (PV) plant and the initial pilot plant 5 MW Laguna Colorada geothermal facility. ENDE has plans for a 50 MW geothermal power plant in the full first phase expanding to 100 MW in phase two.

Currently, the country has approximately 40 MW of installed renewable energy capacity and in the period 2018-2019 it expects to reach about 500 MW of clean energy in total, the government said in a statement.

Read More.......

New Zealand: Spudding Begins in May for 20 MW Te Ahi O Maui Geothermal Project

Te Ahi O Maui geothermal ready to drill (Gisborne Herald)

Geothermal plant will provide clean base-load energy and play role in meeting current and future energy needs.

Gisborne-based Eastland Group expects to encounter temperatures three times higher than the hottest surface temperature ever recorded on Earth when it drills into the Kawerau geothermal reservoir next month.

Following years of planning, the $100m Te Ahi O Maui geothermal project to build a 20 MW geothermal power plant 2.3km east of Kawerau is now ready to enter its first production well-drilling phase on land owned by the A8D Ahu Whenua Maori Trust.

Te Ahi O Maui project panager Ben Gibson said site works were under way to prepare the well pads and a well-drilling rig would be transported on site later this month.

A production well will start on May 10. The first stage of drilling, known as ‘‘spudding’’, will culminate in a 12cm-wide hole into the Kawerau geothermal reservoir.

Read More........

Canada: Call to Jump Start Geothermal Industry

Canada Has Enormous Geothermal Potential. Why Aren’t We Using it? (DeSmog Canada)

Stephen Grasby photographs Hellisheidi, the world's largest geothermal power station outside of Reykjavik, Iceland. Photo: Carol Linnitt.

Like a stand of eager horses chomping at the bit, Canada’s young geothermal industry is waiting impatiently at the starting line, ready for the race to begin.

But there’s no starting pistol in sight. At least, not yet.

Getting geothermal projects up and running in Canada “has been harder than it needs to be,” according to Alison Thompson, founder and president of the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association (CanGEA).

Thompson, along with a group of delegates from Canada’s geothermal industry, is currently in Reykjavik at the Iceland Geothermal Conference where delegates, experts and scientists from around the world are swapping stories from the geothermal trenches.

Despite having the second largest delegation at the conference after Iceland, Canada has little to show or tell.

“Canada has an incredibly high quality resource and we can’t even get out of the starting gate,” Thompson told DeSmog Canada.

Read More.......

USA, Nevada: GRC Supports Geothermal, Hydropower, Biomass Baseload Conference

Summit in Reno to Highlight Future Role of Geothermal and Baseload Renewables (News Release)

Nevada leads the nation in geothermal development and has many innovative projects with experts representing various aspects of the Nevada geothermal industry attending the upcoming Summit.



In many ways, Reno, Nevada is the perfect location for June 2016's Baseload Renewable Energy Summit, hosted by the U.S. Geothermal Energy Association and co-host, Ormat. Second only to California in terms of geothermal-produced electricity, Nevada is transitioning to a clean energy grid at a fast pace.

Nevada's own Senator Dean Heller noted at an industry conference earlier in the year, "I want to see the day Reno is powered only by geothermal and solar energy. I want to make sure that my grandchildren will never have to put another dollar into a gas pump."

Read More.........

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

USA, California: Charlene Wardlow is State Geothermal Program Manager

Geothermal Energy Veteran Charlene Wardlow Joins California Division Of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (News Release)

GRC Member Charlene Wardlow, a veteran of the geothermal industry, has been named Geothermal Program Manager and District Deputy in charge of the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR)’ Northern District, based in Sacramento. Wardlow will start her new role with the California Department of Conservation (DOC) on April 28.

“We believe that Charlene’s knowledge of geothermal energy will be a tremendous asset as we continue the reorganization and modernization of the Division to be more efficient, effective and responsive in its mission of protecting the environment as well as public health and safety,” said DOC Director David Bunn.

“We described the steps we’ll be taking to improve our regulation of oil and gas operations in our Renewal Plan, issued last July. One of Charlene’s first priorities will be to identify ways in which we can bolster our oversight of California’s robust geothermal energy industry.”

California is the United States’ largest generator of electricity from geothermal energy. In 2014, California received nearly 4.4 percent of its electrical energy from geothermal resources (about 13,000 Gigawatt-hours). The state has more than 650 active, high-temperature geothermal wells (with fluids over 212 degrees Fahrenheit) and 230 injection wells. The Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources oversees the drilling, operation, maintenance, plugging, and abandonment of geothermal wells on state and private lands.

Wardlow has 30 years of experience working in the geothermal industry, primarily in California. She has focused on environmental permitting and compliance and in developing new projects. Notably, her résumé includes working at The Geysers – the world’s largest geothermal energy facility – for 23 years. Prior to joining DOC, she served as Director of Business Development for Ormat in Reno, Nevada.

Wardlow is a long-time member of the Board of Directors of the Geothermal Resources Council, and received the Council’s Special Achievement Award for her work in the geothermal industry. She earned her undergraduate degree in geology and a master’s in petroleum engineering from New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.

More information about the state’s geothermal program can be found at http://www.conservation.ca.gov/dog/geothermal.

USA: Interview with Warren Dewhurst of Dewhurst Group

Geothermal News Report


Phone Interview from Iceland with Dr. Warren Dewhurst who discusses breaking news regarding a new Latin American Mitigation Fund for Geothermal Development with IDA Fund Management and KfW!



(AUDIO 5:52 Minutes)

Vacancy: USA, Idaho: U.S. Geothermal, Director of Investor Relations and Communications

Employment - Director of Investor Relations and Communications (News Release)

U.S. Geothermal Inc., headquartered in Boise, Idaho, is seeking an experienced Investor Relations & Communications professional who can focus on the following priorities:
  1. Build a strong, sell-side analyst following and maintain and grow buy-side participation
  2. Promote the competitive advantages of geothermal as the most reliable renewable. It is baseload power operating at nearly 100% of the time, compared to intermittent wind and solar power which operate 25-35% of the time.
  3. Assist management in developing and growing capital markets awareness and participation in US Geothermal as it executes its growth strategy.
The Director of Investor Relations & Communications will work to develop plans and materials that enable effective communications, relationships and partnerships. The Director will lead the day-to-day management of the Company’s Investor Relations function, working closely with the sell- and buy-side in discussing our business, articulating our strategies, and explaining our business results. 

The Director will be responsible for managing and directing all internal and external communications, media relations, and other stakeholder communications. This individual will assist in the drafting of all key corporate messaging and will help shape and define the Company’s strategy as it relates to our standing in our industry and with key stakeholders.

To apply, send resume with employment history to: info@usgeothermal.com

Montserrat: Drilling for Third Geothermal Well to Begin in August

Contract Signed for the Drilling of the 3rd Geothermal Exploration Well on Montserrat (Discover Montserrat)

Drilling will soon begin on a third exploratory well in the search for geothermal energy.

Montserrat Drilling Site on the Flank of the Soufriere Volcano, Bastien Poux, EGS, Inc.
The Government of Montserrat and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) announced Tuesday that the contract for the drilling of the third exploratory well at St Georges Hill in Montserrat was awarded to the Iceland Drilling Company (IDC).

A contract for £5.1m was signed on Friday 8th April 2016. It is anticipated that IDC will mobilize in July 2016 and drilling to commence in August 2016. Activity on the proposed site has already begun with work starting on site clearance, construction of the drilling pad, fencing, water supply and drainage.

The first two wells drilled on Montserrat are capable of providing approximately 2.4 MW of base load power. The main purpose of the third well is for the reinjection of the waste water from the power generation process.

However, if following drilling and testing, the third well offers more potential as a production well, one of the first two wells will be used for reinjection purposes.  The reinjection is preferred to ensure that the geothermal brine water which is separated from the steam will be disposed of, in an environmentally safe manner.

USA, Hawaii: Geothermal Bill to be Discussed Today

Geothermal bill moves to conference committee (Hawaii Tribune Herald)

Hawaii state lawmakers will meet today in a conference committee to discuss the fate of a bill aimed at curbing the ability of counties to pass their own geothermal regulations.

The legislation passed both chambers, though the House advanced a nearly blank version known as a short-form bill.

Rep. Richard Onishi, who will participate in the conference, referred to it as a strategic move that kept the bill alive while forcing negotiations between Senate and House members.

“I think there are some concerns over the counties’ role in the whole process,” said Onishi, D-Hilo, Keaau, Kurtistown, Volcano. He said he preferred the original version that allowed counties to pass their own regulations for geothermal plants within a mile of homes.

The version the Senate passed would allow only the state to regulate how geothermal plants operate unless that power is delegated to the counties.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

USA, Texas: Power Plays: Geothermal Energy in Oil and Gas Fields Conference

Hot stuff: Could Texas’ dirty coal power plants be replaced by geothermal? (The Dallas Morning News)


A conference held today at Southern Methodist University (SMU), hosted by the school’s geothermal laboratory pulled together an unusual mix: Academics, oil company bosses, people hawking heat-transfer equipment, geothermal experts and a few environmentalists.

This was the eighth such conference held at SMU since 2006. Those who have been to several agreed that the biggest difference over time is that the presentations have shifted from blue-sky theory to some data from working projects.

Another presenter suggested that geothermal power could be an economically sensible replacement for existing coal-fired power plants, particularly if the existing power plants and their transmission lines are near coal mines. That’s the case in Texas.

GRC member Susan Petty, president of Seattle-based AltaRock Energy, told the group that many older coal plants will be unable to meet clean-air requirements and will need replacing in the next few years. Waste water used in coal mines could be injected into wells where natural heat would make the water hot enough to drive geothermal power generators, she said.

She did an analysis of five existing coal plants scattered across the country to see if the ground temperatures were hot enough to make the system work. She did not include a Texas site. But she said preliminary data looked promising.

Finance: New Report on Geothermal Resource Risk Mitigation

Comparative Analysis of Approaches to Geothermal Resource Risk Mitigation (ESMAP)


Despite over 100 years of development and an estimated global potential of 70 to 80 GW, only about 15 percent of the known reserves are presently exploited and producing electricity.

The real or perceived uncertainty regarding the steam resource capacity during the early stages of geothermal field development makes it very difficult to mobilize the required risk capital, especially through the private sector, for the exploration drilling required to confirm the size, temperature, pressure, chemistry, and potential production rate of the resource.

Addressing this challenge is even more relevant given that the majority of sites suitable for development around the world are green fields (i.e., new fields), where the resource risks are often perceived to be especially high. A common theme that is apparent when reviewing global experience is that successful scale-up of geothermal development has benefited from some form of government facilitated support. While such support can come in many forms that can improve the overall profitability of geothermal projects, there are some schemes that specifically incentivize mobilization of risk capital into geothermal exploration drilling.

Read the Full report (PDF).........

USA: The Environmental and Economic Benefits of Geothermal

Studies Show Geothermal and Grid Diversity Benefit the Environment and Consumers (Renewable Energy World)

Tanganon Geothermal Plant, Leyte Island, Phillipines
by Cepi Budi Mansyur
Last fall, the California legislature passed SB 350, a bill that will increase the state’s renewable energy generation to 50 percent by 2030 utilizing resources like wind, solar, biomass, andgeothermal energy. This goal will be a first. No large-scale economy like California has ever attempted to transition to a grid powered in majority by renewables. With such high-reaching plans and only a decade and a half to deliver, where does the state go from here?

There are countries with grids which are almost fully powered by renewables, like Iceland, Costa Rica, and New Zealand, but none of these countries have economies as large, loads as complex, or are as geographically diverse as California. So the lessons learned from these grids may not be applicable to California. Most importantly is how will California accomplish this task responsibly so that carbon emissions are permanently reduced and the future grid saves ratepayers money on their utility bills?

USA: Latest News from the Geothermal Heat Pump Industry

Heat Exchange Industry News (Geothermal Exchange Organization)

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

Headlines and features in this month’s edition include:
  • Action Alert! – Help Extend Geo Federal Tax Credits 
  • Congress Misses Opportunity to Promote Renewable Energy - U.S. Senate Does Not Include Geo Tax Credit Fix in FAA Bill 
  • Joe Parsons Named GEO Chairman 2016-17 
  • Chairman’s Message - Building Momentum - Leadership and Cooperation are Key to GEO’s Future 
  • Geo Renewable Energy Definition in Senate Energy Bill 
  • How Electric Utilities Can Use Geo to Thrive in a Solar PV Environment - Guest Editorial from the New York Geothermal Energy Organization
The Geothermal Exchange Organization, a 501(c)(6) non-profit trade association based in Springfield, Illinois, USA advocates for the environmental, energy efficiency and economic benefits of geothermal heat pump systems for heating and cooling applications in residential, commercial, and institutional buildings in the USA.

GEO Industry News (PDF)

Iceland: New Geothermal Deep Drilling Project Will Tap Into 500°C Reservoir

HS Orka and Jardboranir sign a contract on deep drilling at Iceland’s Reykjanes geothermal field (News Release)

Drilling Rig, "Thor" (Courtesy Jardboranir)
HS Orka and Jardboranir have signed a contract for drilling of a 5 km deep, high temperature well at the Reykjanes geothermal field. Jardboranir’s biggest drilling rig, "Thor" will be used for the project. The well is intended to be the country’s deepest and hottest geothermal well, with temperatures up to 500°C. Drilling operations are scheduled in the second half of 2016.

HS Orka’s existing 2.5 km well at Reykjanes, well 15, will be deepened to around 5 km.

The contract realizes the next step of the Icelandic Deep Drilling Project (IDDP), but earlier drilling into superheated steam was conducted in the Krafla field. The purpose of the project is to demonstrate the possibility of harnessing deep hydrothermal high enthalpy reservoirs in order to augment the current conventional geothermal fields.

If the chemistry of the superheated steam can be dealt with, the well will be used directly for power production, potentially increasing the output of the Reykjanes plant.  If not, the well may be used as an injection well, increasing the output of the existing shallower production wells. New technology will be introduced for the drilling, testing and harnessing the deep well, in collaboration with domestic and international partners.

Read More.......

USA, Nevada: Lithium Exploration Expands Next to Geothermal Power Plant

Nevada Energy Metals Expands Lithium Exploration Potential at San Emidio (News Release)


Nevada Energy Metals Inc. announces the company has increased the exploration potential of the San Emidio property by adding 69 additional claims to its land position. The property now includes 155 claims (approximately 3,100 acres/1255 hectares) in the San Emidio Desert, Washoe County, Nevada, 95 km northeast of Reno.

The additional claims were staked to cover a portion of the playa evaluated in 1976 by Chevron Oil Company (Phoenix Geophysics report by Bruce S. Bell) for its geothermal power potential.

The San Emidio Desert basin is an alkali playa environment underlain by unconsolidated sediments and clays being fed by Lithium bearing geothermal fluids (US. Geothermal analyses) reported in bounding faults, and/or faults along the east side of the basin. Since mid-Tertiary time, the rocks on the eastern edge of the San Emidio Desert have undergone extensive hydrothermal alteration and the presence of near-surface thermal fluids, suggest that the thermal fluids represent deep circulation of meteoric water (Moore, J.N., 1997).

The property adjoins the US Geothermal Empire geothermal power plant at San Emidio with production of 4.6 MW of electricity from a 155°C resource thereby providing a substantial heat source for the circulation of meteoric groundwater believed important in the formation of Lithium brine deposits as found at Clayton Valley, Nevada host to North Americas preeminent Lithium brine production. US Geothermal has reported anomalous Lithium values in the trace element analysis of their geothermal brines at Empire.

Read More........

Monday, April 25, 2016

Iran: "Could be 9th Geothermal Energy Producer "

South African Min: Iran can be 9th geothermal energy producer (irna)

South African Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson said on Saturday that Iran can become the 9th geothermal energy producer.

She made the remarks in a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Hamid Chitchian. Pettersson welcomed presence of Iranian companies operating in energy generation from his country's renewable energies.

She said her country is willing to cooperate with Iran in photovoltaic and technology transfer. 'Our power networks are not stable and we hope Iranian energy ministry will help us provide sustainable energy supplies.'

Canada: Call for Demonstration Geothermal Energy Industrial Park in Valemount

Supporters pitch geothermal geopark (The Rocky Mountain Goat)

Craig Dunn, Borealis Geopower, speaking in Valemount
Representatives of Borealis Geopower were again in Valemount last week to let residents know about a unique opportunity which could make Valemount the “geothermal ambassadors” to Alberta and Canada.

On March 31st, Alison Thompson, this time representing Borealis Geopower, though she is also the chair and co-founder of the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association, and Craig Dunn, principal and chief geologist with Borealis, spoke to about two dozen people at a quickly arranged meeting at Three Ranges Brewing Company.

Borealis is applying for what Thompson is calling a “super fund.” It’s a joint program between a federal non-profit organization called Sustainable Development Technology Canada and an Albertan organization called the Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation. Borealis’ project is to build a demonstration geothermal energy industrial park in Valemount, or a “geopark”.

Borealis is proposing a small power-generating project at the Valemount Community Forest’s Industrial Park in Cedarside, with other small businesses using the “waste heat.”

Borealis has the permit to explore the Canoe Reach area for heat high enough to generate electricity – over 80 degrees Celsius, though they want to find much higher. Dunn says that project is still three to four years off.

Indonesia: State Enterprises to Cooperate on 50 MW Aceh Geothermal Power Project

Converting to Gas will Save Semen Indonesia IDR 1 Trillion a Year (Katadata News)

Semen Indonesia and Pertamina have signed a memorandum of understanding on developing a potential partnership in the oil and gas business. Semen Indonesia’s president director Suparni and Pertamina’s president director Dwi Soetjipto signed the agreement at the Office of the Ministry of State Owned Enterprises, Jakarta, Friday (22/4).

The two state firms would also work together in the use of geothermal energy in Aceh. Pertamina would build a 50 MW geothermal power plant in Aceh. The electricity produced from the plant would be piped to Semen Indonesia’s factory in Aceh.

Read More........

Iceland: Project to Capture CO2 from Geothermal Advances

Haldor Topsoe and HS Orka hf sign contract for CO2 capture plant from geothermal sources in Iceland (gasworld)

Danish business, Haldor Topsoe, has signed an agreement with Icelandic geothermal power company, HS Orka hf, to deliver a plant to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from geothermal heat sources.

The plant will be the first to use Topsoe’s new selective oxidation catalyst, SMCTM, to remove sulphur from the offgas from Orka’s geothermal power plant and produce commercial grade CO2.

The SMC catalyst will be at the centre of the new demonstration plant which will be located next to Orka’s existing geothermal power plant in Svartsengi, Iceland. This plant will process 10% of the total off-gas stream to produce commercial grade CO2.

The CO2 produced will be marketed to local greenhouses and algae producers to be able to grow products all year round – including in the long Icelandic winters.

Read More........