Friday, May 30, 2014

USA:

The National Geothermal Data System is Star of the Show at Energy Datapalooza (TechRepublic)

The Energy Datapalooza is one of several annual conferences that the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy convenes to highlight new initiatives in releasing government data and the innovations of the organizations and people who put it to use. The datapaloozas are one of the public forums of the Obama administration's push to open up government data to the public, making health information as useful as weather data. Since the first health datapalooza in 2010, U.S. chief technology officer Todd Park has been working to scale the successful model of the Health Datapalooza, now a major annual industry event, to other sectors, including safety and education.

Beyond the talks on stage or demonstrations in the showcase, the Obama administration introduced several initiatives around energy data, associated standards, and technologies at the event.

The biggest data release announced by Secretary of Energy Ernie Muniz at the Datapalooza was the National Geothermal Data System, powered by the U.S. Geoscience Information Network (USGIN). The database is the result of a four-year process of digitizing information that was filed away, said Kim Patten, associate director of planning and development at the Arizona Geological Survey, in an interview. At launch, there are over 5 million data points in more than 30 categories from 50 states.

"We tried to make it interoperable," said Patten. "This data already existed in paper form in cabinets. People were spending 80% of their time searching, copying, extracting, and structuring data, with 20% of the time spent on research. We're trying to reduce 80% of the time." Patten told me that people are already using the data to choose sites for new wells in Hawai'i, which has significant needs for on-island sources.

Read More......

USA, California:

Staff Workshop on the EPIC Grant Solicitation Process

California Energy Commission staff will conduct a workshop to share information and answer questions about the Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) grant solicitation process. Attendance at this workshop will provide potential applicants with useful information for completing grant application packages, but is not required to participate in EPIC solicitations.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014, Beginning at 1:00 p.m.
California Energy Commission
1516 Ninth Street, First Floor, Hearing Room A
Sacramento, California (Map)

This week The Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) "Advancing Utility-Scale Clean Energy Generation" program opportunity notice (PON-13-303) was released.

USA:

The MLP Parity Act is a No-Brainer for Renewable Energy (Energy Trends Insider)

A Master Limited Partnership (MLP) is a publicly traded partnership with a tax structure that enables it to attract low-cost capital. The main attraction of an MLP from an investor’s point of view is that MLPs don’t pay corporate income tax. Profits are passed directly to unitholders via regular distributions. Profits from conventional corporations are taxed at the corporate level, then a second time via the personal income tax on distributed dividends. In contrast, MLP distributions are taxed just once, at the individual level.

A little over a year ago, legislation was introduced to expand the universe of MLPs to include a number of renewable energy technologies. The Master Limited Partnerships Parity Act (MLPPA) was sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) and in the House by US Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX).

Projects with attractive, long-term power purchase agreements (PPA) could work well as MLPs, similar to a midstream pipeline operator with long-term fee-based contracts. Solar, wind, geothermal, biomass combustion — all of the current commercially available renewable power production options — could benefit greatly from MLP status.

Read More.....

Ethiopia:

World Bank Approves $203 Million for Ethiopian Geothermal Power (Bloomberg)


The World Bank approved $203 million to help Ethiopia exploit its geothermal energy resources.

The bank approved a $178.5 million loan from its International Development Association unit and a $24.5 million grant from the Scaling-up Renewable Energy Program Trust Fund, it said in a statement on its website. The trust fund is one of the Climate Investment Funds that provide money to developing countries to help them tackle climate change.

Ethiopia will use the money to develop its geothermal energy resource to boost electricity supply. Domestic power demand is expected to grow by more than 25 percent a year, according to the statement.

Iceland:

Iceland Moves Closer to Powering European Homes With Green Power (Bloomberg)

Iceland is moving closer to plugging European homes into the volcanic island nation’s geothermal and hydropower reserves via what would be the world’s longest power cable, according to the country’s largest energy producer.

“The more we look at this project, the more positive feedback we get,” said Hordur Arnarson, chief executive officer of Landsvirkjun, which produces more than 70 percent of Iceland’s power. “Over the past two years we’ve moved closer to this project becoming a reality,” he said in an interview in Reykjavik on May 21.

Iceland’s government and Landsvirkjun are studying whether the country should press ahead with the project, which could cost as much as 2 billion euros ($2.7 billion). Construction of the 1,170-kilometer (727-mile) submarine cable would need a bilateral agreement with the U.K. as well as deals concerning the purchase and sale of electricity.

Read More.....

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Global:

GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo To Convene World’s Largest Geothermal Industry Gathering


With the international geothermal power market booming, with a sustained growth rate of 4% to 5% and almost 700 projects currently under development in 76 countries, the GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo is expected to be an exciting international gathering of geothermal companies, academics, financiers, policy leaders, students, and other individuals. The international geothermal community is marking their calendars to attend or exhibit at the event, to be held from Sept. 28 to Oct. 1 at the Oregon Convention Center, Portland, Oregon, USA.

This is the premier gathering to learn about the latest developments in geothermal energy. Last year, the GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Expo hosted representatives from more than 37 countries. Participants from six continents were present. In 2014, an even broader attendance is anticipated.

The GRC Annual Meeting will offer technical, policy, and market conference sessions, educational seminars, tours of local geothermal and renewable energy projects, and numerous networking opportunities.

California:

California Geothermal Funding Opportunity: Advancing Utility-Scale Clean Energy Generation

The Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) "Advancing Utility-Scale Clean Energy Generation" program opportunity notice (PON-13-303) has been released.

Applied R & D projects are sought; they must address the challenges associated with the continued operation of geothermal energy in California by refining reservoir management techniques and improving the efficiency of geothermal generation.  

Funded Activities Include:
  • Develop advanced technologies and tools to improve geothermal subsurface operations
  • Research improvements to the techniques and modeling tools needed for reservoir management
  • Develop advanced system designs and components, including integration of thermal or other energy storage technologies
  • Develop advanced materials, methods and strategies that: 
    • Reduce and control system scaling, corrosion, and wear
    • Lower the cost of well construction in challenging geothermal environments
Click here to visit the PON-13-303 webpage on the California Energy Commission website for more information.

Solicitation Files. (PDF, MS Word, MS Excel files)

Deadline to submit applications: July 22, 2014, by 3:00 PM

Global:

With Developing World's Policy Support, Global Renewable Energy Generation Capacity Jumps to Record (Exchange Morning Post - News Release)

More than one-fifth of the world's power production now comes from renewable sources.


The number of emerging economy nations with policies in place to support the expansion of renewable energy has surged more than six-fold in just eight years, from 15 developing countries in 2005 to 95 early this year.

Those 95 developing nations today make up the vast majority of the 144 countries with renewable energy support policies and targets in place, says REN21's Renewables 2014 Global Status Report. And the rise of developing world support contrasts with declining support and renewables policy uncertainty and even retroactive support reductions in some European countries and the United States.

Launched at the UN-hosted Sustainable Energy for All in New York (June 4-6), the 2014 report credits support policies with a central role in driving global renewable energy capacity to a new record level last year - 1,560 gigawatts (GW), up 8.3% from 2012. More than one-fifth - 22% - of the world's power production now comes from renewable sources.

Read More......

USA:

The All-of-the-Above Energy Strategy as a Path to Sustainable Economic Growth

Today, the White House released a report, “An All-of-the-Above Energy Strategy as a Path to Sustainable Economic Growth,” detailing the President’s all-of-the-above energy strategy and the profound transformation in the domestic energy sector since the President took office.

The U.S. energy sector is undergoing a profound transformation. The United States is producing more oil and natural gas, is generating more electricity from renewables such as wind and solar, and is consuming less petroleum while holding electricity consumption constant. As detailed in today’s report from the Council of Economic Advisers, these developments have had substantial economic and energy security benefits, and they are helping to reduce carbon emissions in the energy sector and thereby tackle the challenge posed by climate change. These trends have been supported and advanced by President Obama’s All-of-the-Above energy strategy.

The President’s All-of-the-Above energy strategy has three key goals:

  • To support economic growth and job creation
  • To enhance energy security
  • To deploy low-carbon energy technologies and lay the foundation for a clean energy future
The report does mention geothermal energy as part of the strategy recognizing that "electricity production from geothermal power grew from 2008 to 2013, and the Department of Energy funds research in a number of areas, including enhanced geothermal systems, that hold promise for developing these resources in the future".

Germany, France:

Siemens to Bid for Alstom Next Month (reNews)

German company Siemens is planning to submit its bid for French company Alstom by June 16, a company official said yesterday.

Siemens is expected to make a play for the majority of Alstom’s power assets, giving up its train business in return.

Siemens has been preparing a bid since GE first lodged its formal $13.5bn offer for Alstom last month. Consideration of that bid has been extended until June 23.

Parts of the French government are publicly in favor of the European suitor. It holds a veto over any deal.

Alstom is a big player in the global geothermal energy market. Recently, Alstom has announced buying an interest in a Turkish geothermal energy company and has been tapped to build the 25 MWe Los Humeros III - Phase A geothermal plant in Mexico.

USA, California:


A California state Senate bill crucial to the economic development at the Salton Sea was passed by the state senate yesterday.

Senate Bill 1139 would require California’s electric utilities to procure a proportionate share of a total of 500 megawatts of energy from geothermal power plants by 2024, and in so doing, revive that industry.

According to protocol the bill was read a third time. A vote was taken and the bill was subsequently passed. (Ayes 21. Noes 11.) The bill is now ordered to be heard in the Assembly.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

United Kingdom:

Geothermal Energy in Crewe Moves a Step Closer (Crewe Guardian)

Plans for the construction of a geothermal power station in north England are moving forward


Plans to tap into Crewe’s potential reserves of geothermal energy will move a step closer next month when Cheshire East Council holds an open day to attract potential energy partners.

The Council is holding an open day in Crewe for potential partners on Thursday, June 5.

Council Leader Councillor Michael Jones said: “Along with our partner, we will be exploring the benefits of drilling down up to 5km and extracting water at temperatures around 100 degrees Celsius.

“If this is indeed successful, we could be looking at an opportunity to heat homes and businesses in the area with this new technology.

The Council hopes to begin extraction with a suitable partner within the next 12 months, offering the successful partner a long-term lease and creating a revenue stream for the Council through rent and profits.

Interested parties are being asked to complete a pre-qualification questionnaire by mid-June.

Read More.....

Indonesia:

330 MW Sarulla Geothermal Project to Begin Construction in June (The Business Times)

Indonesia will begin construction next month of its long-delayed US$1.6-billion 330 MW Sarulla project, the world's biggest geothermal power plant, the country's chief economic minister said on Wednesday.

The Japan Bank for International Cooperation, the Asian Development Bank and six commercial banks provided the Sarulla project financing, which was announced on March 28, 2014. Ormat holds a 12.75% equity stake in the project, with other equity participants being Medco, Itochu and Kyushu.

Read More.....

Panama:

Panama Cancels Geothermal Project (Business News Americas)

Panama authorities have cancelled a concession request for a geothermal project in north-western Panama near the Costa Rica border.

Centram Geothermal, based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, submitted the request for the 5 MWe Baru-Colorado Geothermal Project hoping to develop the first geothermal power plant in the country.

Previous work, in the 70's and 80's included geochemical, geophysical and slim hole drilling showed anomalous geothermal gradients and indications of a reservoir with temperatures ranging from 180 to 220° C.

USA, Colorado:

Gov. Hickenlooper to Sign Geothermal Bill on Friday (The Pagosa Springs Sun)

Pagosa Springs (Courtesy Pagosa Springs Tourism)
Local geothermal development will be celebrated this Friday, May 30, when Pagosa Springs hosts Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper as he signs HB14-1222 into law. The ceremony will be held at Centennial Park beginning at 12:15pm.

Along with the governor, other dignitaries in attendance will be State Representative Mike McLachlan, and Doug Hollett, Director of Geothermal Technology, US Department of Energy.

HB14-1222 titled "Clean Energy Private Activity Bonds" pertains specifically to geothermal generation and clean energy projects helping to mitigate financial risk and enables local ownership of geothermal production. The bill modifies prior statute 30-20-1203 which supported clean energy projects and financing. Clean energy projects include qualifying geothermal, solar, small hydroelectric, hydrogen, biomass or wind facilities smaller than 50MW.

With at least two clean energy projects in the works, Pagosa Springs is a fitting location for the governor to sign HB14-1222. Centennial Park also highlights the future site for the Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership’s community greenhouses. The ceremony is open to the public and all citizens are invited to attend.

Read More.....

USA:

National Geothermal Data System Deployed to Serve Industry (DOE/EERE)


In response to industry demand for better scientific data about the subsurface, an Energy Department Recovery Act initiative has deployed a free, open-source online platform known as the National Geothermal Data System (NGDS).

Today, this mammoth resource of geoscience information – 9 million datapoints and growing – represents critical subsurface information from all 50 states and enough raw data to pinpoint elusive sweet spots of geothermal energy deep in the earth. This best-in-class data collection and usability effort supports the Energy Department’s intention to reduce cost and risks associated with widespread adoption of geothermal energy.

A dedicated node on the system – the DOE Geothermal Data Repository – also collects data from all DOE-funded projects in the geothermal sector.

Read More......

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Nicaragua:

Ram Power Completes 30-Day Stabilization Period and Performance Test for San Jacinto-Tizate (Financial Content)

Ram Power, Corp. announced today that the company's Nicaragua subsidiary, Polaris Energy Nicaragua, S.A., has completed the 30-day stabilization period and the 7-day performance test of the resource field for the San Jacinto-Tizate project.

As previously disclosed, the Remediation Drilling Program consisted of the workover of wells SJ 6-1 and SJ 6-2, and a deepening, and forking, of wells SJ 9-3 and SJ 12-3. As a result, the four wells contributed to a total gross increase in of 8 MW. During the program, a decline was observed in the steam field of approximately 40 t/h, or 5 MW, which was attributable mainly to production well SJ 12-2. Towards the end of 2013, and into early 2014, the degradation of the resource stabilized, and current decline is estimated to be roughly 3-4% per year which is in line with standard trends in geothermal steam field management.

Read More.....

New Zealand:

Dutch to Advise on Geothermal Powered Greenhouse Development (Radio New Zealand)

Geothermal Green House, Canby
Oregon by Piyush Bakane
A Maori-owned geothermal business in Bay of Plenty is contracting one of the world's top universities in the Netherlands to help it expand.

Ngati Tuwharetoa ki Kawerau Geothermal Assets Ltd will bring in the Wageningen Institute to help it build a business-case for a geothermal powered greenhouse development in Kawerau.

Board member Chris Karamea Insley recently travelled around Europe to discuss bringing advanced technology to Aotearoa, to develop Maori assets.

He said the Dutch are world leaders in direct use geothermal technology and the institute, which is the sixth top university in the world, had agreed to help the Maori owned company.

Mr Insley said it planned to contract the institute within the next month to help it towards growing large scale food and flowers using geothermal energy as the heat source.

Read More......

USA, Utah:

Utahs Geothermal Power Portfolio (Utah Policy.com)

Geothermal Plants in Utah
(Courtesy Think GeoEnergy)
The potential for geothermal in the state was first documented by the Dominguez-Escalante Expedition in the late 1700s, when Father Escalante traveled through present-day Beaver County. The first geothermal plant in Utah, Blundell Plant 1, is a 34 MWe facility is owned by Rocky Mountain Power. That project earned the U.S. Department of Energy's innovation award in 1984 for being the first commercially-produced geothermal power plant outside of California. In 2007, Rocky Mountain Power brought Blundell 2 online. It is an 11 MWe binary bottoming-cycle unit.

In recent years, two more geothermal facilities have come online through the cooperation of public and private entities. Thermo No. 1, located near Milford and owned by Cyrq Energy, is an operating binary geothermal power plant located on 1,120 acres of property leased from School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) and a private property owner. The facility began commercial operations in 2009 and is a 10.3 MWe rated, zero-emissions, water cooled geothermal power plant. The power generated at Thermo No. 1 is sold to the City of Anaheim. Thermo No. 1 employs nine full-time employees, including seven local residents.

Another geothermal plant, located at Cove Fort, is owned by Enel Green Power North America (EGP-NA). The site overlaps into Beaver and Millard Counties. The installed capacity of the new binary cycle geothermal power plant in Cove Fort is 25 MWe.

Read More.....

Iceland, Ethiopia:

Reykjavík Geothermal to Begin Drilling in Ethiopia (nazret.com)

Reykjavík Geothermal and the African Union will sign a USD 8 million (EUR 5.8 million, ISK 900 million) contract today allowing Reykjavík Geothermal to start drilling in the Ethiopian Rift Valley as part of two 500 MW power plants under construction as part of the Corbetti Geothermal Power Project. The energy produced by the power plants will be sold to the state electrical company Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP).

The contract will be signed by Dr Elham Mahmoud Ahmed from the African Union and Þorleifur Finnsson from Reykjavík Geothermal, visir.is reports.

Read More.....

USA, Nevada:

Ormat Hosts Tour of Geothermal Plant (Elko Daily Free Press)

The McGinness Hills plant averages 35 MWe of power production 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year


Ross Andreson/Elko Daily Free Press
Years ago, a cowboy was hired to scout rangeland in north-central Nevada for signs of underground geothermal aquifers, according to Bureau of Land Management Tonopah Field Office Manager Tim Coward.

As Coward tells it, the cowboy, referred to only by first name, Scott, rode horseback up and down the sagebrush slopes, happy to be out in the country. But he knew he couldn’t return to his employer empty-handed, so he picked a spot on a map and hoped for the best. Now that area, 10 miles north-east of Austin, houses a geothermal energy plant.

The McGinness Hills power plant, off Grass Valley Road, is operated by Ormat Technologies Inc.

Read More.....

USA, Idaho:

History Lesson - Over 120 Years of Geothermal in Boise (The Idaho Statesman)

Boise's first natural hot water system helped form the city's character, influenced other cities and still operates


Like Boise's Foothills and dry desert air, there is nothing more definitive of this place than natural hot water. Grow up around here, and you'll find nothing strange about catching sulfuric aromas in certain parts of town or coming across a wet, fuming patch of mud on a winter hillside.

Today, four separate geothermal networks warm much of Boise. The Boise Warm Springs Water District is the oldest hot water system in the city. It heats buildings in East Boise and along Warm Springs Avenue.

Native tribes had known for centuries about the natural hot springs seeping around Table Rock. Former Statesman editor Milton Kelly owned a hot springs east of town. Boise Water Works drilled its first hot water well near the Old Pen in December 1890. The district's wells pump water from the same site today.

Read More......

Philippines, Indonesia:

EDC Firms up Indonesia Geothermal Venture (Manila Standard Today)

Philippines company Energy Development Corp., is acquiring an initial 25-percent stake in a joint venture that will build four power plants with a combined capacity of 220 MWe in neighboring Indonesia.

First Philippine Holdings Corp. chief finance officer Francis Giles Puno said in an interview at the sidelines of the annual stockholders’ meeting of FPHC that EDC might finalize the geothermal venture in Indonesia by the second half of the year.

EDC in joint venture with an Indonesian concession holder will build four units with a generation capacity of 55 MWe each in Indonesia at an estimated cost of over $1 billion.

Read More.....

USA:

Non-Hydro Renewables Pass Hydropower In United States (CleanTechnica)

US Renewable Production First Quarter, in
thousands of Megawatt hours, EIA stats – Roy L Hales
The Sun Day Campaign has just released a press release proclaiming the fact non-hydro renewables outproduced hydropower for the first time in March 2014. Also, for the first time, wind contributed 5% of the nation’s electricity.

“For more than a decade, renewable energy sources – led by wind and solar – have been rapidly expanding their share of the nation’s electrical generation,” said Ken Bossong, Executive Director of the SUN DAY Campaign. “The most recent data affirm that the trend is continuing unabated.”

He pointed out that “Hydropower accounted for 6.13% of net U.S. electrical generation for the period, followed by wind (4.82%), biomass (1.46%), geothermal (0.39%), and solar (0.29%).”

Read More.....

Australia:

Geodynamics and Beach Energy Sign Exclusivity Deal for Power from Innamincka (The Australian)

1MWe Habanero Pilot Plant at
Innamincka
Geodynamics Limited has signed an Exclusivity Agreement with Beach Energy Limited to potentially supply geothermal power from its exploration tenements located at Innamincka, South Australia.

Under the agreement, geothermal power could be supplied to gas projects being developed by Beach Energy near Innamincka.

Geodynamics has granted Beach an exclusive right to negotiate a farm-in agreement to the geothermal licences held by Geodynamics for up to an 18-month period.

Geodynamics will now undertake a research program to investigate the use of geothermal resources to supply heat and/or power to potential gas developments in the area. This research program is to be completed within 12 months.

Beach Energy will contribute $200,000 towards the cost of the research program, with this amount fully refundable if a farm-in agreement is not agreed between the companies by the end of the exclusivity period.

Read More.....

USA:

EPA Readying Climate Rule for Existing Power Plants (Washington Post)

With less than two weeks to go, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is readying a climate rule for existing power plants that requires a steep reduction in carbon emissions while allowing states and companies broad flexibility in how they limit overall greenhouse-gas discharges.

While key aspects of the proposal are still under discussion, according to several people briefed on the matter, the measure will spur regional carbon-trading programs on the East and West coasts and is likely to draw a legal challenge from some utilities. As currently drafted, the rule would cut greenhouse-gas emissions from the utility sector by 25 percent, the individuals said, but the baseline for that reduction has not been finalized.

Read More.....

Monday, May 26, 2014

Global:

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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Global:

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Friday, May 23, 2014

Global:

Workshops and Field Trips Announced for Geothermal Resources Council Annual Meeting (Renewable Energy World)

Popular Events Before and After the GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Expo in Portland, Oregon.



The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) has announced more details of events at the world’s largest annual geothermal conference at the Oregon Convention Center, Portland, Oregon, USA.

In addition to the main event of the GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo taking place September 28-October 1, 2014, there will be two workshops and three field trips before the conference and one field trip just after.

Read More......

Indonesia:

Consortium Reaches Financial Closing For 330 MW Sarulla Geothermal Project (News Release)

Ormat Technologies, Inc. announced today that the Sarulla consortium has fulfilled all conditions precedent and reached financial closing allowing the first drawdown under the $1.17 billion financing agreement for the 330 MW project in Indonesia.

In connection with the financial closing, Ormat will add $254.0 million to its product backlog related to the Ormat Energy Converters it will supply to the plant. Ormat expects begin recognizing revenues from this contract in the second half of 2014.

The Japan Bank for International Cooperation, the Asian Development Bank and six commercial banks provided the Sarulla project financing, which was announced on March 28, 2014. Ormat holds a 12.75% equity stake in the project, with other equity participants being Medco, Itochu and Kyushu.

GRC Patron Member Ormat will be one of the exhibitors at the GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Energy Expo, to be held September 28 - October 1 at the Oregon Convention Center, Portland, Oregon, USA.

Read More.....

United Kingdom:

Project Maps Potential Geothermal Energy Beneath Ground (Plymouth Herald)

Dr Andrew Howard, Tellus South West Project
Leader, British Geological Survey
A £1.5million project which gathered data about the landscape in the south-west of England has shown a potentially limitless supply of geothermal energy.

The Tellus South West survey has been measuring and analysing every lump and bump in Devon and Cornwall's landscape and the results, which showed the area as having one of the best potential sources of geothermal energy, were presented at a conference in Plymouth this week.

Read More.....

United Kingdom:

UK Proposals to Simplify Access for Shale Gas, Geothermal Energy (PennEnergy)

The UK government is launching a consultation on proposals to simplify the existing procedure for shale gas and oil and deep geothermal underground drilling access.

The new proposals would simplify procedures which are costly time-consuming and disproportionate for new methods of underground drilling. Oil, gas and deep geothermal companies will be able to explore their potential, and will in return provide a voluntary community payment for access.

The proposals are:

  • Underground right of access for shale gas and deep geothermal operations only below 300m (nearly 1000ft);
  • A voluntary community payment of £20,000 per lateral well; and
  • A clear notification system to alert local people.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Malawi:

Malawi to Assess Geothermal Potential (Engineering News)

(Courtesy CIA.gov)
The Malawi Government is inviting expressions of interest from eligible consulting firms to carry out an assessment of the country’s geothermal resources.

The assignment will be financed by the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) as part of the $85-million Malawi Energy Sector Support Project (MESSP).

Interested consulting firms should provide information demonstrating that they have the required qualifications and relevant experience to undertake geothermal resource assessment.

Malawi has an installed power capacity of 351 MW, mainly generated from hydropower plants on the Shire river, compared with total demand of 350 MW.

Read More.....

Canada:

B.C. Provides $3M for Mine, Geothermal Exploration Near Prince George (Business in Vancouver)


A heretofore underexplored region west of Prince George will see enhanced geological surveying, thanks to $3 million in new funding from the B.C. Ministry of Energy and Mines.

The funding – announced at the Minerals North 2014 conference in Vanderhoof May 22 – will be used by Geoscience BC for its Targeting Resources for Exploration and Knowledge (TREK) project to explore for both mineral formations and geothermal heat sources.

USA, Oregon:

Geothermal Power Plant at Oregon Institute of Technology (Sustainable Today)




Oregon Institute of Technology Klamath Falls campus has installed the first geothermal electric power plant in the state. This visit to the 220 kw plant learns how it works, and takes a look at the educational programs that are developed out of the plant and other applications OIT enjoys due to its location near a geothermal water source.

After the GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Expo, September 28 - October 1, at the Oregon Convention Center, there will be a three day tour of the Klamath Falls area including the campus of the Oregon Institute of Technology.

(VIDEO 10:17 Minutes)

USA, Colorado:

Governor to Sign Geothermal Bill May 30 (The Pagosa Springs Sun)


Next Friday, May 30, Governor John Hickenlooper will visit Pagosa Springs in Archuleta County, Colorado, USA, to sign HB14-1222 — a bill concerning geothermal energy generation and financing — into law.

The ceremony at which Hickenlooper will sign the bill is scheduled to begin at 12:15 p.m. on May 30, in Centennial Park (behind the Archuleta County Courthouse). The ceremony is open to the public. Centennial Park is the future site for the Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership’s facility.

HB14-1222, titled Clean Energy Private Activity Bonds, pertains specifically to geothermal generation and clean energy projects and aims to mitigate financial risk and enable local ownership of geothermal production. HB14-1222 modifies the existing C.R.S. 30-20-1203, which outlines eligible clean energy project financing, county approval and private activity bond financing.

United Kingdom:

Tender Race Starts for Crewe’s Geothermal Project (The Construction Index)

Plans for the construction of a £30m geothermal power station in Crewe are moving forward


Cheshire East Borough Council has put out the call for engineering companies to help it realize its dream of exploiting geothermal energy.

The council has now published a contract notice seeking “an appropriately experienced and driven company to help us achieve our aspirations and deliver this exciting and innovative project”.

The contract notice calls for a geothermal delivery partner to provide technical design services, including architecture, engineering, urban planning and scientific analysis.

Read More.....

USA:

Geothermal Jobs Have a Strong Start to the Year (Natural Resources Defense Council)

Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) reports that nearly 5,600 clean energy and clean transportation jobs were announced throughout the U.S. in the first quarter of 2014, a significant decline from the previous two quarters.

However, geothermal had one of its strongest showings since E2 began tracking job announcements in 2011. E2 tracked more than 1,000 job announcements from the geothermal sector in Q1, which came in third overall behind solar and wind, which were in a virtual tie at the top spot with each sector bringing forth as many as 1,600 jobs each.

Idaho took the overall number one spot among states thanks to 800 planned jobs from Aguacaliente’s 25 MW geothermal project announcement near the town of Malta.

Read More.....

Japan:

JFE Unit Wins Order for Geothermal Power Project in Fukushima (Bloomberg)

JFE Holdings Inc.’s engineering unit won an order to set up a geothermal power generation system at a hot springs site in the northern prefecture of Fukushima.

A 400-kilowatt system made by Ormat Technologies Inc. will be installed for Tsuchiyu Onsen Energy Co., JFE Engineering Corp. said in a statement today. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

The project is one of two geothermal stations whose debt is being guaranteed by the Japanese government as the country pushes for more clean energy use.

JFE Engineering signed an agreement with a unit of Ormat in 2010 to cooperate on geothermal projects in Japan.

The hot spring resort known as Tsuchiyu Onsen, located in Fukushima City, will be the first Japanese national park to have a geothermal power plant constructed within its borders.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Philippines:

First Gen Gains Majority Control of EDC (InterAksyon.com)

First Gen Corp (FGEN) has consolidated its control over the country's largest geothermal energy developer after purchasing additional shares from an affiliate.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, First Gen said it purchased 31 million preferred shares in Energy Development Corp (EDC) held by Prime Terracota Holdings Corp for P48.5 million.

Prime Terracota is owned by the retirement fund of Lopez Inc, majority owner of Lopez Holdings Corp, which in turn is the largest shareholder in First Philippine Holdings Corp, the parent firm of First Gen.

The acquisition of Prime Terracota's shares will increase First Gen's voting stake in EDC from 45 percent to 73 percent, as well as economic interest from 33.6 percent to 50.7 percent.

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USA, Washington DC:

17th Annual Congressional Renewable Energy + Energy Efficiency Expo + Forum (Sustainable Energy Coalition)

July 31, 2014, 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Cannon House Office Building, Caucus Room 345, Independence Avenue and New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington DC, USA


The 17th Annual Congressional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Expo + Forum, will bring together nearly fifty businesses, sustainable energy industry trade associations, government agencies, and energy policy research organizations to showcase the status and near-term potential of the cross-section of renewable energy (biofuels/biomass, geothermal, solar, water, wind) and energy efficiency technologies.

Attendance at the Expo is free, open to the public, and no RSVPs are required.

Humour:

Scientists Politely Remind World That Clean Energy Technology Ready To Go Whenever (The Onion)

Stating that they just want to make sure it’s something everyone keeps in mind going forward, an international consortium of scientists gently reminded the world Wednesday that clean energy technologies are pretty much ready to go anytime.

“We’ve got solar, wind, geothermal—we’re all set to move forward with this stuff whenever everyone else is,” said Dr. Sandra Eakins, adding that researchers are also doing a lot of pretty amazing things with biomass these days.

“Again, we’re good to go on this end, so just let us know. You seriously should see these new hydrogen fuel cells we have. Anyway, just say the word, and we’ll start rolling it out.”

At press time, representatives from the world’s leading economies had signaled that they would continue to heavily rely on fossil fuels until they had something more than an overwhelming scientific consensus to go on.

Technology:

Geothermal Research Highlights Spring 2014 (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)


Three papers (Spycher et al., Peiffer et al., and Wanner et al.) by the same team of geochemists from the Earth Sciences Division (ESD) of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are to appear in the July 2014 issue of Geothermics.

These three papers all relate to solute geothermometry and focus on the development, testing, and application of a new approach to compute deep reservoir temperatures. This approach uses numerical optimization and a newly developed computer program to process full water-chemical analyses from multiple thermal springs and wells. 

The first paper (Spycher et al., 2014) details the geothermometry approach and newly developed geothermometry software. In the second paper (Peiffer et al. 2014), the approach is applied to the Dixie Valley geothermal system in Nevada. In the third paper (Wanner et al., 2014), a reactive-transport model of Dixie Valley is applied to evaluate deep fluid and thermal flow patterns at this site, as well as to test various solute geothermometry methods using synthetic water compositions from a modeled spring.

Indonesia:

Complex Licensing Procedure Hampers Geothermal Production (English Hukumonline)

(Courtesy CIA.gov)
Despite being one of the world’s largest holders of geothermal reserves, Indonesia is still struggling to maximize the potential of this resource. Not surprisingly, the classic reasons being given are complex licensing procedures and objections from local communities as the main obstacles for the development of the geothermal sector.

About 40% of the world’s geothermal reserves are located in Indonesia, with more than 299 potential locations which could produce up to 28,000 megawatts of electricity. Unfortunately, according to Abadi Purnomi, Chairman of the Indonesian Geothermal Association (ASPBI), Indonesia’s current geothermal electricity capacity only stands at 1,300 megawatts sourced from 9 different geothermal locations.

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Germany:

First Geothermal Vegetables Harvested in Germany (FreshPlaza)


The first peppers in Germany grown with geothermal heat were harvested on the 7th of May, reports the German website Gabot.de. Vegetable producer 'Gemüsebau Steiner GmbH & Co. KG' heats his greenhouses with geothermal heat from the local project in Kirchweidach near Bayern. This saves him 4.2 litres of oil fuel and 8.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

"Protecting the environment and economics are hand in hand here. Our WFG member 'Geoenergie Kirchweidach GmbH' has been making renewable heat from geothermals available since December 2013, and almost 100 new jobs were created in Kirchweidach," says Dr Erwin Knapek, president of the economic forum Geothermie e.V. (WFG). At the moment water with a temperature of around 125 degrees is drawn from 3,800 meters underground at the geothermal project at Kirchweidach. This can not only heat Steiner GmbH's greenhouse, but also the entire municipality of Kirckweidach.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Europe:

The Balance of Power: The Case for Renewable Energy for Europe (This Big City)

Five years ago, on the heels of the “failure” of COP15 in Copenhagen, our office at OMA - a leading international partnership practicing architecture, urbanism, and cultural analysis - participated in a project called Roadmap 2050, which proposed the wholesale transformation of Europe’s energy infrastructure – away from fossil fuels, towards renewable energy sources – with the aim of cutting Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80% in 2050.


The idea was simple: the integration of national energy grids into a Europe-wide supergrid would permit the sharing and exchange of different forms of renewable energy between nations. In terms of Europe’s energy supply, this would be nothing short of a revolution. Rather than each nation having to pursue a full mix of energy sources within its own territory, EU nations could be free to engage in extreme a degree of specialization, whereby each EU member state could focus on the type of (renewable) energy best suited to its specific geography and climate, and still be insulated from the supply fluctuations of renewable energy.

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Netherlands:

Geothermal Energy the Fastest Growing Renewable Energy in the Netherlands (National Journal)

(Courtesy CIA.gov)
With a growth by 25 percent, geothermal energy was the fastest growing form of renewable energy in the Netherlands. Heat from deep geothermal resources is frequently used in greenhouse horticulture. The use of geothermal energy extracted from shallow resources also increased and was mainly used to heat buildings.

Last year, only 4.5 percent of total Dutch energy consumption was generated by means of renewable energy sources, i.e. the same share as in 2012. In accordance with European agreements, the target for the Netherlands is set at 14 percent in 2020.

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Australia:


The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)’s Queensland research in geothermal energy, carbon capture and biofuels and its education program will most likely feel the brunt of an estimated 66 CSIRO jobs to be lost in the state.

CSIRO chief executive Megan Clark on May 14 identified the areas where Australia’s leading scientific research would be cut back in the wake of the Federal Budget.

In an email to all staff, Dr Clark said geothermal energy research, carbon capture and storage, liquid fuels, neurosciences, urban water research, schools education and clinical medicine in areas outside nutrition would be cut.

The CSIRO is a sponsor of geothermal research conducted by the Queensland Geothermal Energy Centre of Excellence at the University of Queensland.

Mexico:

Mexican Government Wants 33 Percent of Energy from Renewable Sources by 2018 (Latin American Herald Tribune)

(Courtesy CIA.gov)
The government wants 33 percent of Mexico’s installed energy capacity to come from renewable sources by 2018, Energy Secretary Pedro Joaquin Coldwell said.

“We are proposing to expand the role of renewable energy to 33 percent of installed capacity by the year 2018,” Coldwell told participants at an energy conference taking place in the southeastern state of Quintana Roo.

Mexico has proven resources to generate more than 18,000 gigawatt hours (GW/h) per year from geothermal, mini-hydraulic, wind, solar and bioenergy sources, the energy secretary said in document distributed at the International Renewable Energy Forum, which ends on Tuesday.

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Kenya:

KenGen Seeks Advisor to Secure Funds for 140 MW Olkaria 6 Geothermal Plant (Reuters Africa)

Kenya's main electricity producer KenGen is looking for an adviser to help it secure financing for the development of the 140 MWe Olkaria 6 geothermal project, it said on Tuesday.

The advisers are expected to advise KenGen on the identification, procurement and selection of a private investor for the project including funding, KenGen said in a statement, without disclosing the estimated cost of the project.

The Olkaria 6 project is expected be commissioned by the end of 2016.

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Monday, May 19, 2014

USA:

U.S. National Geothermal Summit 2014

Tuesday & Wednesday, August 5 & 6
Grand Sierra Resort and Casino, Reno, Nevada, USA


The fourth annual U.S. GEA National Geothermal Summit, co-hosted by Ormat, will bring together policy leaders, utilities and industry professionals to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing the geothermal industry. The Summit is supported by City of Reno; Imperial Irrigation District; Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada; Nevada Geothermal Council; and the Geothermal Resources Council.

Confirmed speakers include: Commissioner David Hochschild, California Energy Commission; Karen Edson, Vice President, Policy and Client Services, California ISO; Barry Dong, Manager Geothermal/Biomass, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP); Keith Martin, Partner, Chadboune Parke LLP; Randy Keller, Director of Development, Transmission & Land Assets, CalEnergy;Carl Stills, Energy Manager, Imperial Irrigation District and Bob Sullivan, Vice President of Business Development, Ormat, and others.

Register.......

USA, California:

Geothermal Bill at Critical Juncture (Imperial Valley Press)

A California state Senate bill crucial to the economic development at the Salton Sea was heard in senate committee today.

Senate Bill 1139 would require California’s electric utilities to procure a proportionate share of a total of 500 megawatts of energy from geothermal power plants by 2024, and in so doing, revive that industry.

SB 1139 was sent to Suspense File by the California Senate Appropriations Committee. The Suspense File, to which the committee sends any bill with an annual cost of more than $150,000 (any fund) is a unique feature of the committee. Suspense File bills are then considered at one hearing after the state budget has been prepared when the committee has a better sense of available revenue. No testimony is presented – author or witness – at the Suspense File hearing.

USA, Alaska:

For Chena Hot Springs Owner The Only Dumb Ideas are Those Never Pursued (KTUU.com)

GRC Members Bernie Karl and his wife Connie are the recipients of the 2013 GRC Geothermal Special Achievement Award for acknowledgement of accomplishments at Chena Hot Springs and of steadfast support advancing interest in and development of geothermal resources.


Bernie Karl, for those who don’t know, is the owner and operator of the Chena Hot Springs Resort, 56.5 miles northeast of Fairbanks in Alaska. Never earning a college degree, he is a self-made man and his tenacity and big ideas have helped him find success through a number of his endeavors.

Karl’s resort is home to a number of attractions, like horseback riding, ATV riding, hiking, fishing and more. However, Karl is also responsible for piloting initiatives in geothermal energy through the hot springs. That energy has earned him recognition in Popular Mechanics Magazine as a model for clean energy. The magazine called Karl a visionary and an ingenious engineer for tapping into one of the most overlooked energy resources – not fossil fuels – to produce electricity, heat and now hydrogen.

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Technology:

Geothermal Energy to Power Submarine Drones (Forbes)

The “Persistent Renewable Energy for Undersea Systems (PREUS)” program is one of the more intriguing concepts begin considered by the Office of Naval Research. The PREUS program is developing generators that will be able to convert heat from geothermal vents on the ocean floor into electric power.

The objective is to extend the service life of Unmanned undersea vehicles (UUVs), or submarine drones, by resupplying their energy in-situ. In other words, UUVs may soon be doing a lot more than detecting underwater mines.

“The main conclusion is that the available (supposedly reasonable) geothermal power that could be generated from well known hydrothermal vent sites in some of the ocean ridges is of the same order of magnitude of the EGS geothermal power that eventually can be produced in the whole world,” according to a study by researchers from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico.

The study evaluated the technical feasibility of tapping this energy source by siting submarine generators above the vent to run an organic Rankine cycle thermal plant. The economic and environmental barriers are huge, but so is the military’s budget.

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Chile:

Chile Aims to Cut Costs with New Renewables Measures (Windpower Monthly)

Chilean president Michelle Bachelet
The Chilean government is announcing a number of legislative measures to boost investment in renewables and bring down the country's electricity prices, which are among the highest in the region.

Launching the government's energy agenda on 15 May, president Michelle Bachelet said the aim of the measures is to reduce costs on Chile's main grid from $151/MWh last year to around $106/MWh by 2017, a drop of 30%.

Renewable energy will play a key role in the growth of electricity supplies, the president said. It will account for 45% of new capacity installed between 2014 and 2025 as the country strives to fulfill its target of producing 20% of its electricity from renewable sources by that date.

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Indonesia:

Pertamina to Add 445 MW in Geothermal Capacity (Jakarta Post)

PT Pertamina Geothermal Energy, subsidiary of state-run oil and gas firm PT Pertamina, says that it has set a target to finish geothermal power plant projects with a total combined capacity of 445 MWe by 2018.

"We are targeting to increase geothermal capacity to 847 MW by the end of 2018," Pertamina Geothermal Energy president director Rony Gunawan said in Jakarta on Monday. Currently, the firm is producing 402 MW of geothermal energy.

He said that among the geothermal plant projects that would be finished over the next four years were the 35 MW Kamojang Unit 5 plant and the 30 MW Karaha Unit 1, both in West Java.

In addition, he said that the company had set a long term target to produce 2,300 MW of energy from geothermal plants by the end of 2025.