Friday, August 31, 2012

USA, Hawai'i:

Geothermal drilling at night on Hawaii mulled (Hawaii Tribune-Herald)

The Hawaii County Council will discuss a new geothermal bill next week, this time regarding well drilling at night.

The bill will be discussed during the Agriculture, Water and Energy Sustainability Committee. The committee is scheduled to meet at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

County Council Chairman Dominic Yagong, who is introducing the bill, said recent well drilling at Puna Geothermal Venture has been disruptive to nearby residents since it occurred during both day and night hours.

Read More.....

Global:

Reunión Anual GRC 2012 (Piensa en Geotermia)

Bajo el título “Geotermia: Fiable, Global, Renovable” el Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) celebrará su reunión anual desde los días 30 de septiembre hasta el 3 de octubre del 2012, en el Peppermill Resort Spa, Reno, Nevada.

La Reunión Anual del GRC cumple su año 36. El cometido de todos estos actos es unir a las voces y mentes más destacadas de la industria geotérmica procedentes de todos los rincones del globo. Diseñada para fomentar las oportunidades, creación de redes, negocios y educación para todos los asistentes.

Global:

Last Day for Early Bird Rates for GRC 2012 Annual Meeting (Renewable Energy World - News Release)

Early Bird registration for world's largest annual gathering of the geothermal community expires at midnight Pacific Time tonight. Registration includes entry to the GEA Energy Expo.

The Peppermill Resort Spa, Reno, Nevada, USA
The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC), the world's premier geothermal association, reminds attendees that Early Bird registration for its upcoming Annual Meeting will expire at midnight tonight, PST.

Members and non-members can register online to attend the 36th GRC Annual Meeting themed “Geothermal: Reliable, Renewable, Global,” Sept. 30-Oct. 3, 2012, at the Peppermill Resort Spa, Reno, Nevada, USA.

Technology:

Going Deep for the Heat - A Norwegian Perspective (GeoExPro)

Geothermal energy is becoming an increasingly hot topic. Recent research suggests that even areas outside ‘high-temperature fields’ may be sufficiently warm to generate electricity.

The drilling rig at the 3,900m deep
Kirchweidach borehole in southern
Germany is capable of reaching 5,000m.
(Courtesy GeoExPro)
Beneath our feet there are rich reserves of heat and energy stored in rocks and groundwater. On average, with increasing depth, the temperature increases by around 3°C per 100m. In the upper surface layers the heat in the ground comes from the sun. A number of quantitative models from geothermal low activity areas (i.e. on stable platforms outside tectonic and volcanically active areas) show that at shallow depths down to a few hundred meters, mean annual surface temperature is the main factor controlling subsurface temperature. Geological variation in the underground, such as heat flow, heat production and thermal conductivity, first become significant around 1,000m and deeper below the surface.

Read More......

Japan:

Japanese Minster Wants to Boost Geothermal Power (The Japan Times)

Environment Minister Goshi Hosono released a new strategy Friday to boost geothermal power generation capacity by more than seven-fold by 2030 to help make it possible to eliminate all nuclear power plants.

Announcing the promotion strategy after the day's Cabinet meeting, Hosono said his ministry plans to increase the combined annual capacity of electricity generation using offshore wind, geothermal, biomass and tidal power sources to as much as 19410 MWe by 2030, compared with 2960 MWe in fiscal 2010.

Specific targets were set at 3880 MWe for geothermal power. In fiscal 2010, geothermal power generation totaled 530 MWe.

Read More.....

Philippines:

EDC Eyeing 335 MWe Additional Capacity (Manila Bulletin)


From its reigning installed geothermal capacity of 1,130 MWe, Energy Development Corporation (EDC) is targeting to set on stream additional 335 MWe to further expand its portfolio.

EDC senior vice president Agnes de Jesus has indicated in a recently-concluded Renewable Energy Forum that of the targeted future geothermal capacity, about 125 MWe will likely be on-line by 2016.

Costa Rica:

The Way Forward for Renewable Energy in Central America - Workshop (InvestorIdeas.com - News Release)

The Worldwatch Institute and the INCAE Business School's Latin American Center for Competitiveness and Sustainable Development (CLACDS) are co-hosting a workshop on "The Way Forward for Renewable Energy in Central America" in Alajuela, Costa Rica on September 3.

The participative dialogues aim to promote the exchange of ideas and experiences among a select group of experts from regional institutions, civil society organizations, energy sector companies, and government agencies. The workshops will focus on the role of renewable technologies, including geothermal, in broadening access to modern energy services and achieving regional development goals. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

USA:

Outlook for Geothermal Projects in USA (SNL Financial)


There are a growing number of geothermal power developments in the U.S. and there are a number of reasons why these developments are so attractive. For starters, geothermal plants do not rely on the combustion of fossil fuels to create steam, so the amount of emissions created relative to power produced is very low. The lack of dependency on fossil fuels also means that geothermal plants are shielded from the variability of fuel costs.

Read More.....

New Zealand:

New Zealand Students Develop World-first Geothermal Video Computer Game (infonews.co.nz)

UC student Jacqueline Dohaney 
(Courtesy: University of Canterbury)  
Two University of Canterbury (UC) PhD students are fine turning their world-first geothermal computer game in preparation for the international serious games showcase and challenge at Orlando, Florida, in December.

They will be pitting their skills against the best from around the world using a computer game, Geothermal World; they have designed, with the help of Mighty River Power funding. It is believed to be the only free roaming 3D geothermal video computer game in the world.

``Geothermal World is designed to effectively teach students how to characterise or describe a natural geothermal site. They achieve this by exploring geothermal hot springs, making observations, recording these in a geologic notebook and taking photographs of the location.''

Read More.....

Vietnam:

Vietnamese Quang Ngai Geothermal Project To Commence by The End of 2012 (Cross posted from ThinkGeoEnergy)

(Courtesy CIA.gov)
Vietnam is expected to see the start of development of its first geothermal power plant project in Quang Ngai province later this year. The project owner is PetroVietnam, with Ormat Technologies chosen as supplier of the power plant technologies.

Read More.....

Iceland, Ethiopia:

Reykjavik Geothermal Planning 300 Mw Power Plant Project in Ethiopia (Cross posted from ThinkGeoEnergy)

Gudmundur Thoroddsson
CEO, Reykjavik Geothermal
Icelandic Reykjavik Geothermal has raised the necessary investment to start a 300 MW geothermal power plant project at Corbetti in Ethiopia, the company’s CEO, Gudmundur Thoroddsson announced in a recent interview.

The company also has two smaller projects in development in India with a local partner called Thermax. These projects are really pilot projects for geothermal development in India, located at the ocean side close to Mumbai and the other one in the mountainous area of Kashmir.

Read More......

USA:

Alternative Energy gets a Qualified Vote of Confidence in U.S. Republican Party Platform (Science Now)


Alternative Energy got a nod in the 2012 Republican Party Platform approved yesterday at the GOP’s national convention in Tampa, Florida.

The 2008 platform insisted that "alternate power sources must enter the mainstream," and called for tax and other policies to speed the development of non-fossil fuels and electricity sources. The 2012 version says Republicans "encourage the cost-effective development of renewable energy, but the taxpayers should not serve as venture capitalists for risky endeavors. It is important to create a pathway toward a market-based approach for renewable energy sources and to aggressively develop alternative sources for electricity generation such as wind, hydro, solar, biomass, geothermal, and tidal energy."

The platform criticizes Obama for using "taxpayer dollars to pick winners and losers in the energy sector while publicly threatening to bankrupt anyone who builds a new coal-fired plant." It declares that Obama "has stopped the Keystone XL Pipeline" and "has wasted billions of taxpayers’ dollars by subsidizing favored companies like Solyndra, which generated bankruptcies rather than kilowatts." In contrast, the platform says, a Romney Administration "will not pick winners and losers in the energy marketplace. Instead, we will let the free market and the public’s preferences determine the industry outcomes. In assessing the various sources of potential energy, Republicans advocate an all-of-the-above diversified approach, taking advantage of all our American God-given resources. That is the best way to advance North American energy independence."

Read More......

Australia:

Research and Markets: Analyzing Geothermal Power in Australia 2012 (Business Wire)

Australia continues to make modest use of its geothermal energy resources. The country's geothermal industry is currently in the exploration phase and is yet to start commercial scale production from geothermal resources. The geothermal production capacity is expected to increase by over 0.075 GW by 2022.

Read More.....

USA:

Renewables share of generation increasing this year (RenewablesBiz)


Biomass, geothermal, solar and wind power provided nearly 6% of the nation’s electric generation during the first half of the year, according to a government study. Non-hydropower renewables are growing as a share of the U.S. generation fleet as well.

According to the latest issue of the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA)Electric Power Monthly” with data through to June 30, 2012, non-hydro renewable sources provided 5.76% of net electrical generation for the first half of 2012.

The January-June period represents an increase of about 11% compared to the same period in 2011. Geothermal grew by 0.2%. For the first six months of 2012, geothermal contributed 0.4% of net electrical generation.

During 2008, non-hydro renewables accounted for 3% of net electrical generation with an average monthly output of 10,508 GWh. By mid-2012, the average monthly electrical generation from non-hydro renewables had grown by 78.7% to 18,777 GWh. Comparing monthly electrical output in 2008 versus 2012, geothermal has expanded by 13.5%.

According to the latest issue of the monthly “Energy Infrastructure Update (PDF)" published by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Office of Energy Projects with data for the first half of 2012, 229 renewable energy projects accounted for more than 38% of new electrical generation capacity (not to be confused with actual generation). This includes 5 geothermal projects (87 MWe).

Philippines:

Research and Markets: Analyzing Geothermal Power in Philippines 2012
(The Herald)

The geothermal energy industry in the Philippines is quite a huge one. In fact it is the largest producer of geothermal power in all of Asia-Pacific. The country ranks second in the world in terms of geothermal energy production. Geothermal energy accounts for a major share in the electricity generating technology for Philippines. In the coming times ahead, the generation of geothermal energy is set to increase to over 12,000 GWh in 2022.

Read More.....

Philippines:

Maibarara Drills New Geothermal Well (Bloomberg)

Maibarara Geothermal Power Project Location 
(Courtesy Maibarara Geothermal Inc.)
Maibarara Geothermal Inc., a Philippines-based developer, will today begin drilling a new well at its geothermal project in Batangas province.

The well will be used to re-inject condensate fluids from the 20 MWe geothermal project in Santo Tomas into a reservoir below ground to recharge the system, Maibarara’s majority owner Petroenergy Resources Corp. (PERC) said in a statement.

Maibarara, based in Pasig, announced the plans after this month completing a third production well to supply steam to the plant, expected to begin operating late 2013.

Read More.....

Global:

Excitement Builds for GRC 2012 Annual Meeting (Renewable Energy World - News Release)

Early Bird Registration for World's Largest Annual Gathering of the Geothermal Community Expires August 31.

The Peppermill Resort Spa, Reno, Nevada, USA
The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC), the world's premier geothermal association, reminds attendees that Early Bird registration for its upcoming Annual Meeting will expire at midnight on August 31.

Members and non-members can register online to attend the 36th GRC Annual Meeting themed “Geothermal: Reliable, Renewable, Global,” Sept. 30-Oct. 3, 2012, at the Peppermill Resort Spa, Reno, Nevada, USA.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Japan:

Analyzing Geothermal Power in Japan 2012 - New Report (Research & Markets)

The Japanese geothermal industry is set to expand in the coming years as the country does not want to rely just on nuclear power to fulfill its electricity needs. As Japan had been more dependent on the nuclear energy to produce its electricity before, in the wake of the recent nuclear Fukushima disaster, Japanese authorities are looking to several other ways to generate electricity and geothermal energy makes to the top of their list.

Read More.....

USA, California:

Experts Weigh In: Will California Meet Its RPS? (RenewableEnergyWorld.com)

In the state with the most aggressive renewable portfolio standards (RPS) in the continental U.S., opinions are mixed about whether or not California will be able to meet the goal of 33 percent renewables by 2020.

Read More.....

Australia:

Hot Rocks go Cold (Australian Broadcasting Corporation News)

Audio interview with Geoff Ward, CEO and managing director of Geodynamics; Cameron Huddleston-Holmes, geothermal energy stream leader at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO); and Russell Marsh, policy director at the Australian Clean Energy Council.

What happened to geothermal energy? Not long ago power from the heat under the earth's crust was seen as the great hope - a renewable resource that could provide baseload electricity.

Now, technical difficulties and a lack of funding have dissipated the hope, and geothermal power is virtually non-existent in Australia. Origin Energy, for instance, recently decided to write-off it's investments in one of Australia's only active geothermal companies.

Those in the industry still believe geothermal power has a future, but they all agree, it will take many years. (MP3 Download - WMA Download)

Kenya:

World Bank guarantees loans for independent geothermal power firm (The Star)

The World Bank has offered loan guarantees of up to $166 million (approx Sh14 billion) for four private power producers in Kenya including one for geothermal. The Partial Risk Guarantees (PRGs) will enable the local independent power producers put up investments worth about $400 million( Sh33.2 billion) to boost power supply in the country.

The four beneficiaries include the expansion of Power 4, which will be expanding its geothermal project at Olkaria. Olkaria 1 and Olkaria 4 geothermal power plants are expected to add a significant 280 MWe to the grid by 2014. 

USA, California:

Geothermal Energy's Trouble In Competing With Solar (Forbes)


A geothermal power plant can deliver electricity day or night and help California utilities meet the state’s renewable energy mandate. But geothermal energy developers in California are feeling a bit left out these days.

Why? Because utilities and state regulators are putting a premium on solar energy when they evaluate and approve power purchase agreements even though solar electricity production typically fluctuates and makes it more difficult to balance the supply and demand in an electric grid. And it doesn’t help that a geothermal power plant often requires a high upfront cost to develop and takes a long time to plan and build.

Read More.....

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

New Zealand:

Flat earnings for Mighty River Power as milestone float looms (National Business Review)


New Zealand state-owned electricity generator and retailer Mighty River Power (MRP) has reported flat underlying earnings for the year to June 30, with a tax-paid profit of $162.7 million, just $500,000 above that of the previous year.

The profit announcement doubles as a milestone event in the progress towards the government's intention to float up to 49% in the company.

While construction of its next major geothermal plant, the 82 MWe Ngatamariki development, is on track, difficulties experienced with drilling two of three injection wells have led to an $18 million increase in the contingency fund on the $466 million project.

However, MRP says this will not affect the project's economics significantly, with "real long-run marginal cost" remaining competitive at below $80 per Megawatt hour.

Read More.....

USA, Texas:

TCU geology professor awarded $500,000 grant toward geothermal research (tcu360)

Professor of geology John Holbrook.
(Courtesy TCU. Photo by Ola Bodurka)
Dr. John Holbrook, a Texas Christian University professor of geology, energy and the environment received a grant worth close to $500,000 from the National Science Foundation for research in geothermal energy.

Researchers will focus on researching harvesting geothermal energy from sedimentary basins.

“Effective mining of geothermal heat has the potential to provide enough energy to greatly alter the amount of energy in the United States grid that comes from renewable resources, “Holbrook said. “The earth constantly radiates 44 terawatts of power. In comparison, the entire U.S. grid capacity is one terawatt.”

Read More.....

Technology:



Major release significantly improves TOUGH2 capability enabling greater insights and more efficient decision making in field exploration, development and production

ARANZ Geo Ltd, the developer of Leapfrog 3D geological modelling software, has released Leapfrog Geothermal 2.3. The major release significantly improves the interface to the specialist geothermal flow simulator TOUGH2.

The new release is the result of ongoing collaboration between experts from the New Zealand geothermal community including ARANZ Geo, Contact Energy, GNS Science, and the University of Auckland. The different perspective of industry, consultants and the university has produced innovative software well suited to the needs of the global geothermal market.

Read More.....

USA:

Document Standardization: It’s Not Just for Pencil Pushers Anymore (NREL )


To promote document standardization in the renewable energy industries, NREL's Strategic Energy Analysis Center's RE Project Finance Team has created a webpage to act as a sort of clearinghouse for the forms required in the development process. The collection houses a range of publicly available templates and samples including:
  • PPAs
  • RFPs
  • Interconnection agreements
  • Engineering, procurement, and construction contracts
  • Operations and maintenance contracts
  • Leases.
While this library represents only a small step, the aim is to keep the dialogue open while making readily available the resources that could hasten a standardization effort. If you have any documents that you would like to post, or to which you would like to direct to the attention of NREL, send them an email with your name, organization, and a brief description of the document(s). Please also include an attachment in the email or a link to the page where it can be accessed.

Read More.....

Monday, August 27, 2012

Global:




September 30-October 3, 2012

Peppermill Resort, Reno, Nevada USA


  • Early Bird Rates End This Friday
  • Advertise in the GRC Annual Meeting Final Program Guide
  • Enter to Win $150.00!!! The GRC Annual Photo Contest
  • GRC Annual Charity Golf Tournament Registration
  • New Sponsorships Available

USA, Nevada:

Ormat Technologies Signs Long-term Debt Financing For The Olkaria III Geothermal Power Complex In Kenya (Marketplace - News Release)

Ormat Technologies, Inc. announced today that OrPower 4, Inc., its indirect wholly owned subsidiary, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), an agency of the United States Government, signed a Finance Agreement for limited-recourse project financing totaling up to $310 million for the Olkaria III geothermal power complex located in Naivasha, Kenya.

Read More....

Chile:

GeoGlobal Energy completes geothermal well drilling in Chile (Power Engineering Magazine)

(Courtesy GeoGlobal Energy )
GeoGlobal Energy Chile Limitada (GGE Chile) has announced the successful completion of the exploratory geothermal drilling program on the northwestern flank of the Tolhuaca mountain in southern Chile. One of the wells, Tolhuaca No. 4, is one of the most productive geothermal wells ever drilled in South America. GGE Chile is a wholly-owned affiliate of U.S.-based GeoGlobal Energy LLC (GGE).

A long-term flow test lasting more than 45 days has demonstrated that the production and injection wells are capable of supporting commercial power production up to  12 MWe, company officials said. GGE has been actively exploring at Tolhuaca for more than three years, and is continuing project development of the site – including design, permits and construction of the power plants and transmission lines – with a goal of power operations as early as 2014. Currently there are no operating geothermal power plants in South America.

Read More........

Friday, August 24, 2012

Mexico:

La geotermia – el crecimiento más factible en el sector mexicano de energías renovables (Renewable Energy Mexico)

(Courtesy CIA.gov)
México es un líder mundial en energía geotérmica, pues ocupa el cuarto lugar en potencial instalado con 958 MW a partir de enero de 2011. Al estar en una zona sumamente fructífera para el desarrollo de energía geotérmica, nuestro aprovechamiento de esta tecnología solamente se puede incrementar.

México tiene cinco campos geotérmicos en distintas zonas de la república mexicana: Cerro Prieto, Los Azufres, Los Humeros, Las Tres Vírgenes y Cerritos Colorados. Los primeros cuatro campos contribuyen al monto total de potencial instalado, mientras que Cerritos Colorados se encuentra inactivo pero existen planes para desarrollarlo en 2014.

Read More......

USA, Opinion:

Romney’s Energy Plan Ignores Renewable Energy’s Success (Bloomberg)

(Courtesy The Business Insider)
U.S. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney sets an ambitious goal with his pledge to achieve U.S. energy independence by 2020. It’s just too bad his plan relies almost entirely on fossil fuels and largely ignores the solid promise of clean energy.

When it comes to renewable sources such as solar, wind and geothermal, Romney’s plan says more about what he won’t do -- namely, provide any more of the subsidies and loan guarantees that have allowed those technologies to gain a foothold. Instead, he offers to relax barriers he says are stymieing clean energy and expand government funding of research. We also favor supporting clean-energy research, but question Romney’s assertion that simply “streamlining” regulations and permitting will somehow catapult clean-energy projects.

Read More.....

USA, Idaho:

U.S. Geothermal Announces Annual Stock Option Grant


U.S. Geothermal Inc. announced today that, as part of its annual employee compensation program, it has granted options pursuant to its Stock Incentive Plan to directors, employees and consultants to acquire 2,917,000 shares in capital of the company. The options are exercisable at a price of US$0.31 per share for a term of 5 years expiring August 24, 2017. The options will vest subject to the Company's Stock Incentive Plan.

Read More......

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands:

Saipan Reissues RFP for Geothermal Drilling (Saipan Tribune)

Despite a 25-year deal to build a 50 Mw diesel power plant, acting governor Eloy S. Inos said the administration is still pursuing renewable energy development including re-issuing a request for proposal for geothermal energy drilling after running into some problems with a proposal earlier received from Australian-based KUTh Energy Ltd.

Inos said the geothermal energy development “kind of took a detour because we're not satisfied with the proposal to go drilling and on to production.”

“So we kind of scaled it back and we're going to do drilling and exploration. And once we get the data, then we examine the data and maybe at that time we will do an RFP for production. We're going to issue an RFP for the drilling (first),” Inos said in an interview with Saipan Tribune and KSPN 2.

The acting governor said KUTh “was the frontrunner in the original RFP.” KUTh was to do geothermal drilling exploration, and on to production. But Inos said they would like to separate the drilling exploration from production.

Read More......

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Global:




September 30-October 3, 2012

Peppermill Resort, Reno, Nevada USA


  • 8 Days Left for Early Bird Prices! Rate Ends August 31, 2012
  • Advertise in the GRC Annual Meeting Final Program Guide
  • Enter to Win $150.00!!! The GRC Annual Photo Contest
  • GRC Annual Charity Golf Tournament Registration
  • New Sponsorships Available

Armenia:

GEOFUND Funded Project in Armenia to Decide on Exploratory Drilling (Think Geoenergy)


In a report on the status of implementation and results, the World Bank has released an update on a Geofund 2 funded project in Armenia.

The funding for the project was approved in 2009 under an adaptable program loan. The project is aimed to “remove barriers to development of geothermal energy in Armenia”, and “to assess the feasibility of exploratory drilling of the geothermal site with the estimated highest geothermal potential”.

Australia:

Geodynamics driven higher by Cooper Basin progress (Proactive Investors Australia)

Geodynamics’ share price has risen 36% today to an intra-day high of A$0.17 on news it has reached target depth at its Habanero 4 geothermal well in the Cooper Basin.

It appears drilling, which reached a total depth of 4,204 metres last night, has been successful with indications the target fracture zone has been intersected as expected. The safe drilling of Habanero 4 through a highly over-pressured reservoir to total depth is a significant milestone.

Geodynamics will now undertake logging to assess the target fracture zone, confirming cement integrity behind casing for well stimulation and installing the well completion to secure the well.

Read More.....

Australia:

Origin’s Geodynamics write-off (Climate Spectator)


The speculation has been strong for a while and now Origin Energy has all but confirmed the worst kept secret in the geothermal sector: it has run out of faith in Geodynamics.

After recently deciding to opt out of paying a share for a cost overrun for the latest drilling campaign, today the company wrote off the entire value of its Geodynamics JV. Origin said the move was made as joint venture activities have “not met expectations for a timely and commercial development of the geothermal resources.”

Read More.....

Asia Pacific:

Geothermal Outlook in the Asia Pacific Region: A Hotbed of Development (JD Supra - Baker & McKenzie)

The international demand for geothermal energy is heating up.

Asia Pacific, host to the world’s top producers of geothermal power, is poised to see significant growth as geothermal energy emerges as a viable source of green, reliable and cut-rate power.

While past geothermal usage is minimal, the region is expected to see a boom kindled by the convergence of the following factors:
  • increasing energy security concerns
  • economic progress, especially in developing markets
  • electrification of low-income and rural communities
  • emergence of low-cost and efficient technologies
  • rising environmental awareness
Read More.....

USA, Oregon:

Nevada Geothermal Power and Ormat Agree to Extend Ormat Development Spending Commitments and Accelerated Cash Payments to NGP (4-Traders - News Release)


Nevada Geothermal Power Inc. has announced an Amendment to the Agreement between the Company and Ormat Nevada, Inc. regarding the Crump Geyser Project located in Lake County, Oregon.

Under the Amended Agreement, development expenditure commitments by Ormat of US$15M, of which approximately $7M has been expended, are extended to June 30, 2014. Ormat cash payments to NGP previously totaling $2.5M are increased to $3.0M ($300,000 previously paid) with committed payments of $500,000 due on execution of the Amendment (paid) and on October 29, 2012. The balance of $1.7M is due on or before June 30, 2014.

Read More.......

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

St. Lucia:


(Courtesy CIA.gov)
A South Korean company has expressed an interest in investing in geothermal energy in St Lucia, Foreign Affairs Minister Alva Baptiste has said.

Baptiste, who recently ended a visit to the Asian country, held talks with the Korea East West Power Company Limited (EWP), according to a government statement.

Baptiste said the Korean company became interested after the St Lucia delegation made a presentation on new and renewable energy on the island.

Baptiste said that the Koreans appear interested in geothermal energy.

He said with international crude oil prices skyrocketing frequently, an investment in renewable energy would result in tremendous benefits for the local economy.

"Can you imagine what it would be to have geothermal energy in St. Lucia where we can actually generate electricity at a few cents - maybe less than ten cents per kilowatt?," said Baptiste.

Philippines:

Locals Argue for Supply from Mt. Apo Geothermal Power Plant (Philippine Star)


Peace activists and cause-oriented groups are criticizing the reluctance of a Mt. Apo geothermal power plant developer Energy Development Corporation (EDC), to provide North Cotabato and its capital Kidapawan City a separate supply line from the facility.

Under existing regulations of the Department of Energy, geothermal and hydro-electric power plants are to allocate no less than 25 percent of the electricity such facilities can generate to host cities and provinces.

The city council of Kidapawan already granted permission to the EDC to develop a third geothermal plant in Barangay Ilomavis through a resolution stipulating such supply scheme, but the EDC is now haggling for a revision of such provision in the council’s written imprimatur for the construction of the plant.

Israel:

Ormat Industries posts loss on power plant write-down  (Reuters)


Ormat Industries moved to a loss in the second quarter despite higher revenue due to the writedown in the value of a U.S. power plant.

Ormat said on Wednesday it posted a quarterly net loss of $1.6 million, compared with a profit of $7.6 million a year earlier. Revenue grew to $129.8 million from $106.3 million boosted by higher sales of electricity and of products.

The company posted an $18 million loss in the quarter due to the decline in the value of its North Brawley geothermal plant in the Imperial Valley, California, which has not yet reached full output.

USA:

(Courtesy Lahontan Valley News) 
Obama addresses geothermal energy! (Lahontan Valley News)

In a Tuesday campaign stop in Northern Nevada, President Barack Obama highlighted local issues and education policies at Truckee Meadows Community College.

Since 2009, county officials in Nevada and five other Western states claimed the administration has hindered geothermal rents and royalties owed to Churchill County among others in Nevada. An obscure amendment to a House bill that derived sales, bonuses, rentals and royalties under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 was diverted back to the federal government as originally provided in the Geothermal Act of 1970.

Local politicians and Nevada's Washington, D.C. delegation, to include Sens. Harry Reid and then Congressman Dean Heller have battled the federal government in collection of the money, which consists of hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.

“What we have to do, I think, is find the right approach, the right balance between us needing to reduce our federal deficit but making sure we are not doing on the back's of local communities,” Obama said. “Trying to streamline the process and reduce bureaucracy. That's a goal I've had since I came to office.”

He added he wants to create more geothermal projects in addition to the solar properties in Clark County on public lands to create more jobs. Obama said opening public land is key to the success of more green energy, but he said the federal government and states must work together in order to balance conservation and develop new energy sources.

“Geothermal in Northern Nevada is another reason we need to keep making these investments,” he explained. “Nevada is benefiting from some of the cutting edge solar projects in the world.”

Obama aimed his energy policies and success toward Republican nominee Mitt Romney. The president was critical of Romney's plan to keep giving $4 billion per year of taxpayer subsidies to oil companies.

Obama said he will continue to streamline government agencies to aide the public and reduce paperwork and the bureaucracy.

“We identified 15 projects of national importance … some of which had seven years timelines on them for approval,” he said. “We said let's see how much we can reduce the red tape. We took some of these projects down from seven years to one. These same principles can apply for geothermal.”

Read More.....

USA, California:

Changes Ahead for California Environmental Quality Act? (Sacramento Bee)

For years – even decades – business groups have complained that the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)'s complex provisions were being misused to block worthwhile projects, often for reasons that had nothing to do with the environment.

The complaints drew sympathy from Republican legislators, and sometimes became intertwined with state budget negotiations. But the Legislature's dominant Democrats, closely allied with environmental groups, refused to entertain any major changes in CEQA.

Read More.....

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Technology:

Animation - How a Geothermal Power Plant Works (EERE-Geothermal Technologies Program)

Most power plants—whether fueled by coal, gas, nuclear power, or geothermal energy—have one feature in common: they convert heat to electricity. Heat from the Earth, or geothermal — Geo (Earth) + thermal (heat) — energy is accessed by drilling water or steam wells in a process similar to drilling for oil.

Geothermal power plants have much in common with traditional power-generating stations. They use many of the same components, including turbines, generators, transformers, and other standard power generating equipment. While there are three types of geothermal power plants, this animation shows a generic plant.

USA, California:

Why Geothermal Energy Is Stalled in California (Renewable Energy World.com)


The US Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) is working with California energy authorities to help restart the flow of state utility power purchase agreements made with geothermal electricity generators, after close to a year's doldrums. 

Karl Gawell, executive director of the Washington-based GEA, said, "There is no question that geothermal is stalled in California. We need PPAs and transmission lines, and this year it is particularly important to see how (Western) states are working together to solve this," addressing a small roundtable group during the GRC-supported US National Geothermal Summit, last Wednesday in Sacramento.

Read More......

USA, California:

Is California Policy Squelching Western Geothermal? (KCET)

California's stated renewable energy policy is to avoid importing renewable power from neighboring states. California's governor's office has put itself on record as favoring building in-state generating capacity, and downplaying the building of new interstate transmission lines that could bring renewable power in from Nevada, Arizona, and states farther east.

India:

Indian Company to harness geothermal energy in Gujarat (India Times)

(Courtesy CIA.gov)
ONGC Energy Centre (OEC) based in New Delhi, a research division of Oil And Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. (ONGC), has partnered with  Talboom, a Belgian firm, to harness geothermal energy in South Cambay basin of Gujarat.

The 3-5 MWe pilot power plant would be completed by 2013-14. There is a potential for a few hundred MWe of geothermal energy, according to a spokesman. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

USA, Nevada:

NV Energy Approves Commercial Operation Date For The McGinness Hills Geothermal Power Plant (News Release)


Ormat Technologies, Inc. announced today that NV Energy has approved the Commercial Operation Date (COD) for the 30 MWe (net capacity) McGinness Hills geothermal power plant located in Lander County, Nevada. Following the COD approval, the plant is receiving full energy prices from July 1, 2012.

Kenya:

African Journalists Attend Seminar on Effective Science Reporting (all Africa)


About 150 journalists from African countries will converge in Nakuru for a four-day scientific conference. The conference will touch on environment, science, health and agriculture issues.

The seminar will be held from August 20 to 24, is organized by Media for Environment, Science, Health and Agriculture (MESHA) in coordination with Internews and Egerton University.

MESHA's Nakuru coordinator, Peter Kahare said the workshop is intended to inform journalists on ways of reporting and communicating scientific matters effectively. Among the outdoor activities scheduled for the attendants include visiting Geothermal Development Company's energy project at Menengai crater.

At the end of the workshop,the journalists are expected to establish an African Declaration on Effective Science Communication which will seek to oblige African journalists, communicators and researchers to improve their approaches and skills of reporting matters related to science.

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Philippines:

Philippines Utility Upgrades Transmission Line to Accommodate Geothermal (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) is investing P1.65 billion to upgrade a transmission line and expand the capacity of two substations in southern Luzon to accommodate the increasing power demand within the area.

According to the NGCP, it was spending P1.13 billion to upgrade the Kalayaan-Bay 230-kiloVolt (kV) transmission line in Laguna to help reduce system loss.

The NGCP explained that the Kalayaan-Bay corridor provided the shortest route from power-generation sources to the distributors and electric cooperatives and offered operating flexibility in the dispatch of power plants in the area, including  the 458.53 MWe Makban geothermal power facility—particularly during maintenance of the related transmission lines.

Read More.....

Japan:

Japanese agency boss boss cautions over exploration of geothermal (Daily Nation)

Akihiko Tanaka, President
Japan International Cooperation 
Agency (Courtesy JICA)
Exploration of geothermal and other forms of green energy should not adversely affect wild life and the environment, an official of Japan’s state aid agency has said.

The President of Japan International Corporation Agency (Jica), Dr Akihiko Tanaka, said construction of infrastructure in the areas set aside for exploration of geothermal should not hinder free movements of wild animals.

He said geothermal power exploration in many parts of the world experience such challenges because of the delicate environment where the works are carried out.

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USA, (Opinion):

100,000 MW of Enhanced Geothermal in 50 Years in US? (Clean Technica)

According to a report from an interdisciplinary panel from MIT (PDF), the United States could create the capacity for 100,000 MWe of enhanced geothermal in just 50 years with relatively modest investments.

The estimate of what it could cost to ramp up the enhanced geothermal infrastructure is $800 million to $1 billion over a fifteen-year period. Solar and wind are intermittent power sources, though storage systems may make them more attractive over time. Geothermal plants, once established, tend to produce energy nearly constantly and can even outperform coal plants.

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands:

KUTh Energy hopes Mariana Islands will honor contract (Marianas Variety)

Simplified geology map of Saipan
showing thermally anomalous water wells.
(Courtesy KUTh Energy)
KUTh Energy Ltd. of Australia is hoping the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) administration will honor the exclusive concession awarded to the company to develop geothermal power in the commonwealth despite the governor’s controversial $190 million deal for a diesel-based power plant. The U.S. Department of the Interior provided $1.2 million in funding assistance for geothermal exploration and development in the CNMI. The Commonwealth Utilities Corp. then selected KUTh Energy to drill a 600-meter deep geothermal gradient well, which is also known as the stage one geothermal gradient project.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Global:



September 30-October 3, 2012

Peppermill Resort, Reno, Nevada USA


  • Don't Forget To Register! Early Bird Rate Ends August 31, 2012
  • Advertise In The GRC Annual Meeting Final Program Guide
  • Enter To Win $150.00!!! The GRC Annual Photo Contest
  • GRC Annual Charity Golf Tournament Registration
  • Become A Sponsor of The World's Largest Annual Geothermal Gathering!

USA:

Report: 2011 Median Salaries for Geoscience-related Occupations (PDF) (American Geosciences Institure)

Median salaries for non-technician, geoscience-related occupations outpaced broad occupational category salaries in 2011. Salaries for geoscience-related management occupations were 24-32% higher than salaries for all management occupations, while geoscience-related engineering occupations outpaced salaries for all architecture and engineering occupations by 10-70%. Geoscience-related scienti c disciplines outpaced salaries for all Life, Physical, and Social Science salaries by 6% (Environmental Scientists) to 51% (Atmospheric and Space Scientists).

Climate Change:

Study Confirms Extreme Weather Caused by Global Warming (The Energy Collective)


The NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies announced the publication of a new paper in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The analysis shows how the distribution of summer temperatures has shifted in recent decades, to the extent that there has been a notable change in the frequency of what were extreme outlying events. This in turn led NASA to assert that “the recent bouts of extremely warm summers, including the intense heat wave afflicting the U.S. Midwest this year, very likely are the consequence of global warming”.

Philippines:

EDC says 'no' to direct power line to Cotabato's electric co-op (Balita News)

The Energy Development Corporation (EDC), the Philippines’s leading producer of geothermal power, has asked members of  Cotabato’s legislative council to reconsider their demand for a direct supply of electricity from the plant as this, they believe, would render their project "nonviable". 

Instead, the company insists a power supply agreement with North Cotabato’s electric service provider, the Cotabato Electric Cooperative (Cotelco).

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Australia:



Geodynamics is drilling the final section of its Habanero 4 geothermal well in the Cooper Basin, that seeks to re-establish access to the Habanero hot rock reservoir.

Once the planned total depth of 4170 metres is reached, a further wireline evaluation will be carried out before stimulation activities are carried out. Habanero 4 seeks to intersect the existing stimulated fracture zone in an area of demonstrated productivity.

Should this be successful, a testing regime will be carried out to establish reservoir performance parameters and to secure static and dynamic reservoir data needed for long-term production modelling.

Read More.....

USA:

NETL Researcher Wins HENAAC Award for Outstanding Technical Achievement, including in Geothermal (Electric Light & Power)

Dr. Alexandra Hakala, winner 
of a 2012 HENAAC award 
for Outstanding Technical 
Achievement. (Courtesy NETL)
The National Energy Technology Laboratory's (NETL's) Alexandra Hakala has been honored with a Great Minds in STEM Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Corporation (HENAAC) award for Outstanding Technical Achievement.

Dr. Hakala manages multiple projects within NETL's Office of Research and Development. She leads two research teams in addition to performing her own research. One team is studying reactions that may occur along fractured pathways in a geothermal reservoir and developing detailed models of physical changes expected in unique geothermal systems.

Dr. Hakala's separate, ongoing research is in geologic CO2 storage. Results from this research can be implemented into water quality prediction models to protect groundwater in areas near CO2 injection sites.

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USA:

649 clean energy technology patents granted in the first quarter, just two for geothermal (Ecoseed)

The United States Patent and Trademark Office granted 649 patents for clean energy-related technologies in the first quarter of the year, the Cleantech Group said. Only two were granted for geothermal.

The group compiles the quarterly Clean Energy Patent Growth Index to track the granting of patents for nine sectors – solar, wind, hybrid or electric vehicles, fuel cells, hydroelectric, tidal or wave, geothermal, biomass/biofuels and “other clean renewable energy.”

The idea is to present a picture of how investments into the development of clean energy technologies are doing. The granting of a patent is a good indicator that efforts placed into developing a technology has been successful and it has enough perceived value to justify the time and expense put into it.

Geothermal patents were up by 2 patents, making 7 for the year to date.

Two geothermal patents were granted in 2011 to Kimberly Peacock while Mine-RG, Ormat Technologies, Inc., Ryland Wiggs, Echogen Power Systems, and Ivan Kocis et al., each received one patent. Kalex, LLC continues to lead in geothermal patents (8) overall since 2002 despite not having any patents in 2008-2011. GE, Ormat and Nuovo Pignone S.p.A. are the next closest at 3 total geothermal patents since 2002. 

Geothermal patents was the only sector that decreased at five less patents than 2009, a fifty percent decrease. All of the technology sectors, except geothermal, were at all time highs in 2010, surpassing all previous records.

Read More......

USA, California:

Lithium Extraction Bill Heads to Governor, Awaits Signature (Imperial Valley News)

V. Manuel Pérez
Yesterday, a regulatory streamlining bill authored by Asm. V. Manuel Pérez (D-Coachella) passed its final hurdle in the state legislature and now heads to the Governor.

Relating to lithium extraction in geothermal technologies, AB 2205 will help spur business creation in new industries tied to geothermal energy. The bill makes a regulatory clarification so that existing regulations applying to geothermal plants also apply to new clean processes that extract beneficial materials from geothermal brine in closed loop systems at these plants. These processes did not exist when the regulatory framework for geothermal energy was developed, resulting in ambiguity that has impeded the build out of this emerging industry.