Wednesday, December 31, 2014

USA, Nevada:

Ram Power Announces Strategic Process and Corporate Update (News Release)

Ram Power, Corp. announced today Strategic Process and General Corporate updates:

As previously disclosed, the Board of Directors of the Company formed a Mergers and Acquisitions Committee to explore and evaluate strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value. The Committee was tasked with exploring, among other things, opportunities to increase operational efficiencies, strategic partnerships, asset sale opportunities and asset purchase opportunities. The Company has received a number of proposals from interested third parties and continues to work with its stakeholders and potential investors to bring a transaction to conclusion.

Read More.......

Kenya:

Menengai Geothermal Project Steam Pipeline Laid Out (Standard Digital News)

Construction work by Geothermal Development Company (GDC) for the Steam Gathering System at the Menengai Independent Power Producers (IPP) project in Nakuru is rolling off earnestly in preparation for the first 105 MW power plant.

Contractor, H.S Young is on site to build the network of pipes that will collect geothermal steam from different wells and channel them to the power plants. Already, a control room is almost complete. GDC and the three IPPs have already identified locations to put up power plants.

GDC is working with three firms: Quantum Power, OrPower 4 and Sosian Energy to generate 105 MW where GDC supplies steam while investors built the power plants.

Read More.......

Global:

Renew Your GRC Membership For 2015

Geothermal Resources Council Memberships are by calendar year & will expire TONIGHT!


GRC membership renewal notices were sent out a few months ago by email. If you did not receive your renewal notice, please contact Anh Lay at (530) 758-2360 ext. 100 or by email at alay@geothermal.org.

Deadline to be included in the Membership Roster: February 28, 2015.

You can renew your GRC Membership in 4 convenient ways:
  • Online by clicking HERE (your login id and password are required)
  • Email your completed Renewal Notice to alay@geothermal.org
  • Fax your Renewal Notice to (530) 758-2839
  • Mail your completed Renewal Notice and check to:
GRC Office
Attn: Membership Renewal
PO Box 1350
Davis, CA 95617
Don't have a Renewal Notice and you want to rejoin or be a new member of the GRC? Download the Membership Application and email, fax, or mail it in!
Don't miss a single issue of the GRC Bulletin, don't be left out of the Membership Roster, don't miss industry updates... stay involved and renew your membership today!

Read More........

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Italy:

A Guide to Bagnore 4 Geothermal Power Plant (Sintecnica)

Enel Green Power has completed and connected to the grid its new geothermal power plant, Bagnore 4, located in the municipalities of Santa Fiora and Arcidosso, near Grosseto, in the Italian region of Tuscany. Sintecnica produced this video showing a schematic representation of the plant, both inside and out.

Finance:

Geothermal Energy and Fuel Prices: Time to Seize the Moment (IADB)

"This is geothermal’s time. Now it is up to governments to encourage investment, and up to business to seize this opportunity."


by Sandro BruniInter-American Development Bank

When the price of oil drops, there are winners and losers. People tend to think that all types of renewable energy lose out to cheap oil, but that is not the case. One renewable source that wins is geothermal.

Countries along Latin America’s Pacific Coast and in the Caribbean have significant geothermal resources; however, these have been underexploited. It is estimated that only 4-5% of geothermal energy’s potential has been developed in the region.

The drop in the price of crude oil in the last few months could boost these efforts. It’s a simple question of supply and demand.

The geothermal industry and the oil industry use all the same drilling services, which can amount to as much as 50% of a project’s total budget. When the price per barrel is high, the oil industry reinvests part of its profits in exploring new fields, so the costs of drilling services tend to increase due to high demand. This upward pressure on prices affects geothermal projects as well.

In this case, a setback for the oil industry means an advantage for geothermal. In other words, this is geothermal’s time. Now it is up to governments to encourage investment, and up to business to seize this opportunity.

Read More.......

Philippines:

PSALM Sets Auction of Unified Leyte Geothermal Power Plants (Inquirer)

ULGPP consists of the 125 MW Upper Mahiao, 232.5 MW Malitbog, 180 MW Mahanagdong and 51 MW Optimization plants


The Philippines Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) is set to auction the government’s supply contracts for the output of the Unified Leyte Geothermal Power Plants (ULGPP).

“UL Bulk and Mindanao Coal are slated for next year’s privatization plan,” PSALM president and CEO Emmanuel Ledesma Jr. said in a text message. Up for auction are the IPPA or independent power producer administrator contracts.

Ledesma said the bidding for the ULGPP’s bulk output was slated for the first quarter of 2015.

Read More........

New Zealand:

Geothermal Trailblazer Humbled (Stuff.co.nz)

"The geothermal renaissance that's occurred over the last decade . . . is the No 1 thing that has made a dramatic change to the energy footprint in New Zealand, and put it back on a track to a higher proportion of renewable energy."


Dr Doug Heffernan (Courtesy Stuff.co.nz)
Former Mighty River Power chief executive Dr Doug Heffernan provided power to the people. In return he has been made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for more than 40 years' service in the electricity industry.

Heffernan was chosen to help restructure the New Zealand Electricity Department into the Electricity Corporation of New Zealand.

Appointed chief executive of Waitemata Electric Power Board in 1991, he then spent six years as chief executive of Power New Zealand, leading it through corporatization, merger and NZX listing.

As chief executive of Mighty River Power (MRP) from 1998 to 2014, he led the company through a period of sustained growth and evolution from a hydro-only operator to a diversified electricity generator and retailer with a significant geothermal business.

Read More.......

Monday, December 29, 2014

USA, California:

20th Annual POWER Conference on Energy Research and Policy - Paper Submissions Due January 5, 2015.

March 20, 2015, Energy Institute at Haas, Berkeley, California


The Energy Institute at Haas at the University of California Berkeley, invites interested researchers to submit papers for the POWER Conference on Energy Research and Policy. Of particular interest are papers that include relevant analytic questions associated with energy market research and policy. Paper Submissions Due January 5, 2015.


Costa Rica:

Costa Rica's President Halts Geothermal Projects in National Parks (Power Engineering International)

(Courtesy CIA.gov)
Costa Rica's President Luis Guillermo Solís has said he will not support the construction of geothermal power plants in the country's national parks.

The President's statement came in response to a draft law which would allow the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity (ICE) to undertake project development.

With an installed capacity of 200 MW, geothermal power is the country's second energy source. Promoters of geothermal projects in national parks claim that the nation's production will be increased up to 350 MW if new plants could be built in national parks.

National parks and protected areas cover 20 per cent of Costa Rica.

Read More........

Canada:

Technology Transfer Workshop Between the Oil & Gas and Geothermal Industries (CanGEA)

Monday, February 23, 2015, The Calgary Petroleum Club, Calgary, Alberta


Technology has a large role to play in harnessing geothermal energy. While the industry has been established for more than a century, it remains a subsurface exploitation business – characterized by large gaps in information and significant associated risk at the early project stages, which various technologies attempt to address. The issues are compounded by the fact that as global resource exploitation has taken place for over a century, the remaining resources are further down the economic merit order. Technology has been called on to respond to and push both the operating and economic boundaries and move these lower quality resources towards financial viability.

Early-bird pricing of $250/participant will be in effect until December 31, 2014.

Canada:

Session on Geothermal Resource Potential of Sedimentary Basins - Abstract Deadline January 14

The 2015 Joint Assembly, 3-7 May 2015, The Palais des Congrès de Montréal


Geothermal energy in Canada is mainly used for heating and cooling buildings with ground source heat pumps. Deep sedimentary basins, however, host an additional potential for power generation from subsurface fluids of moderate temperature (100 - 150°C). Binary geothermal power plants using ORC technology can produce electricity. Utilization of both shallow and deep geothermal resources can contribute to reduce greenhouse gases.

Participants are invited to present talks and posters on different topics related to geothermal resources of sedimentary basins: exploration methods (geology, geochemistry, geophysics), characterization of reservoir and hot sedimentary aquifer, geothermal resources assessment, reservoir modeling and development, direct use of energy, power generation, monitoring. Presentation of case studies of direct use and power generation in other geological environment (volcanic and basement rocks) are welcomed.

Read More.......

Africa:

Africa Energy Fund Receives Sh1.8bn for Green Projects (Business Daily Africa)


The Africa Renewable Energy Fund (AREF) has secured a $20 million (Sh1.8 billion) commitment from the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) as African sustainable energy projects gain traction.

The fund is seeking to raise $200 million (Sh18 billion) to invest in renewable energy production in sub-Saharan Africa and is managed by Berkeley Energy, a fund manager whose board includes former KenGen chief executive Eddie Njoroge.

AREF will invest in hydro, wind, solar, geothermal and biomass companies that have the potential to generate between 10 and 50 megawatts. The CDC said its cash commitment is meant to fill the funding gap in Africa’s energy sector which is seen as unattractive to many investors.

Read More.......

Caribbean:

Geothermal Energy Can Boost Caribbean Economies, Says World Bank (Jamaica Observer)

The World Bank says a multi-donor initiative, led by its Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP), has mobilized US$235 million through the Clean Technology Fund towards scaling up geothermal energy in developing countries, including the Caribbean, since it was launched a year and a half ago.  

Noting that geothermal energy is an "important source of low-carbon base-load power for many developing countries", the Washington-based financial institution said projects have been identified and are now under preparation in the Caribbean, Latin American, Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and East Asia and the Pacific.

Read More.......

Philippines:

EDC Closes Unit of Bacman Plant for Upgrade (Manila Standard Today)

Energy Development Corp. said Monday it shut down a 55 MW unit of the Bacman geothermal power plants in Bicol region for a 45-day rehabilitation.

EDC said unit 1 of the Bacman geothermal power plants located in Bacon, Sorsogon province and Manito, Albay province would be offline for 45 days to give way to the installation of a new steam turbine rotor.

EDC said the shutdown of the unit would give way for the installation of the brand new Toshiba steam turbine rotor unit and diaphragms.

The Bacman geothermal plants now have total capacity of 135 MW, including unit I (55 MW), unit II (60 MW) and unit III (20 MW).

Read More.......

Friday, December 26, 2014

USA, Hawaii:

Puna Geothermal Venture Makes Plans to Drill New Well (West Hawaii Today)

Puna Geothermal Venture (Courtesy Ormat)
Puna Geothermal Venture plans to drill a new geothermal well to maintain production levels.

Mike Kaleikini, director of Hawaiian Affairs for Ormat, PGV’s parent company, said drilling could begin in January and take about three months to complete.

The new well is intended to make up for decreased production at one of its five operating production wells and bring output back up to 38 MW, he said. It’s currently producing 30 MW.

It’s not yet clear what caused the decrease, Kaleikini said.

He said the well could be between 4,000 and 8,000 feet deep, depending on where a geothermal resource is found.

Read More.........

Global:

2015 GRC Annual Meeting Call For Papers

Deadline: April 10, 2015


The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) invites you to present your latest technical work in geothermal research, exploration, development and utilization at the GRC's 39th Annual Meeting, September 20 - 23, 2015 at the Peppermill Resort in Reno, Nevada. Our theme this year is "Geothermal: Always On."

Anyone who wants to present at the GRC Annual Meeting must first submit a completed draft paper. Successful selection to present at the GRC 2015 Annual Meeting is prestigious and recognizes the presenter as a top industry expert. International participation is key to the success of the GRC Annual Meeting technical programs and we encourage geothermal researchers and experts from around the world to submit their work for consideration.

Draft Paper submission deadline is April 10, 2015

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Mexico:

Mexico Ready for Geothermal Energy Boost (Bloomberg)

(Courtesy CIA.gov)
Chief Executive Officer Enrique Ochoa said Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE) will submit bids to the energy ministry next month seeking geothermal projects as well as development areas the company hopes to retain in an upcoming auction known as round zero. Mexico’s energy overhaul approved last year modified a constitutional article to allow for private investment in geothermal projects.

“There is a great opportunity for geothermal energy in Mexico,” Ochoa said. “It has not been explored much and has been difficult to develop. I am convinced that this legal change is going to result in geothermal energy taking off.”

The energy ministry has 120 days to determine the geothermal areas that CFE will maintain, while remaining areas will be auctioned off in subsequent open bidding rounds, Ochoa said. CFE will also consider establishing joint ventures with private companies to develop geothermal projects, he said.

Read More.......

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Climate Change:

The Switch to Renewable Power is a Battle We Cannot Afford to Lose (The Guardian)

Adnan Z. Amin, director general of the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena)


Since the final gavel fell at the Lima climate talks earlier this month, discussions have centered on one question: what did the talks actually accomplish?

After two weeks of intense negotiation, governments settled on a draft text that will hopefully lead to a successful global climate deal in Paris next December. While opinions vary regarding the success or failure of the outcome, there is another story emerging outside the negotiation room.

This year’s conference represented a highly-significant shift in the positive momentum to act on climate change. While negotiators engaged in contentious debates, businesses, non-governmental organisations and local authorities stepped forward to present their own climate initiatives and committed to more action on the ground.

In this shift, renewable energy took center stage.

Read More.......

Iran:

Iran Geothermal Power Project Taps Into 240˚C Reservoir (Iran Front Page)

On December 22, the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported that an almost four-decades-long project to develop the technology to harness geothermal energy has produced the intended result and Iran has finally become the "9th nation in possession of the technology to tap into geothermal resources to generate energy".

Managing Director of Renewable Energy Organization of Iran Yousef Armodeli announced, “Fifteen wells have already been drilled, and seven have run into geothermal reserves; with temperatures at 240˚C, they are highly efficient. Feasibility studies suggest the potential of electricity production in the region under study [that is to say Meshkinshahr] stands at about 250 MW.

In Phase One of the project to develop the geothermal field, a pilot 5 MW geothermal power plant is expected to be set up. First though, we need to build a plant to turn thermal energy into electricity. An Iranian contractor which has won the tender to build the plant and its turbines is already working on it. The power station will be operational in two years to generate 5 MW of electricity.”

Read More.......

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

USA:

Tax Extenders Signed into Law; Production Tax Credit Extended for Facilities Beginning Construction in 2014 (JD Supra)

Yesterday, President Obama signed the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 (H.R. 5771) into law, following its passage through Congress on Tuesday. Among other things, the act will provide a one-year retroactive extension of certain expired tax incentives for businesses and individuals.

The act includes the extension of numerous energy tax provisions. Notably, it will revise the Section 45 production tax credit (PTC) such that facilities for which construction has begun prior to January 1, 2015, will be eligible for the PTC, including wind facilities, closed biomass facilities, open-loop biomass facilities, geothermal or solar energy facilities, landfill gas facilities, trash facilities, qualified hydropower facilities, and marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy facilities. If construction of these facilities begins prior to January 1, 2015, taxpayers may alternatively elect to claim the investment tax credit (ITC).

Read More.......

Monday, December 22, 2014

Australia:

Fellowships Available for WGC2015 Short Course (IGA)

The International Geothermal Association (IGA) has received financial support from the World Bank via the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) for a short course which will be held in conjunction with the World Geothermal Congress 2015 (WGC2015). The course will take place in Melbourne, Australia from 17-19 April 2015, just prior to the WGC2015.

The course is designed to provide detailed insights into how drilling risk can be substantially reduced through the adoption of state-of-the-art tools, good planning, budgeting and techniques for exploration, data acquisition and management and conceptual modeling. The course also explains necessary items of Terms of Reference and contracting for drilling services and equipment. Additional topics include policy related to geothermal risk mitigation, drilling insurance, environmental and social requirements. A detailed course description is available online: http://wgc2015.com.au/shortcourses.php

Taiwan:

Taiwan Mulls First Geothermal Plant (Taiwan Today)

The Bureau of Energy under the Ministry of Economic Affairs and New Taipei City’s Economic Development Department are planning to erect a geothermal plant in the Datun Mountain range, according to the municipal government.

Covering 450 hectares of city land owned by the central and local governments, the facility will be Taiwan’s first geothermal plant and the second such endeavor following the one started in Yilan County but suspended in 2012 over environmental concerns.

Citing a study by the state-sponsored Industry Technology Research Institute, the EDD said the total installed capacity of the power plant could reach 100 megawatts.

Read More.......

Italy:

40 MW Bagnore 4 Geothermal Power Plant Begins Operation (News Release)

Enel Green Power has completed and connected to the grid its new geothermal power plant, Bagnore 4, located in the municipalities of Santa Fiora and Arcidosso, near Grosseto, in the Italian region of Tuscany.

Bagnore 4, designed to fit perfectly into the surrounding environment, joins the 20 MW Bagnore 3 plant. The new geothermal power station is composed of two 20 MW turbines, for a total installed capacity of 40 MW. The operating plant will be able to generate up to 310 million kWh of electricity per year, for a savings of 70 thousand TOE (tonnes of oil equivalent).

Read More........

Friday, December 19, 2014

Papua New Guinea:

Papua New Guinea Seeks EOI For Geothermal and Other Renewable Power Plants (Volcanex)

State-owned PNG Power Ltd (PPL) is calling for expressions of interest (EOI) from interested firms who wish to be considered for operating renewable energy power plants in PPL’s isolated diesel centers under an IPP BOOT arrangement. Centers considered for this development include Aitape, Alotau, Arawa, Finschaffen, Kerema, Daru, Manus, Maprik, Vanimo, Wewak, Rabaul, Kimbe/Bialla and Samarai.

The explicit objective of this EOI and subsequent competitive procurement process is to (partly) replace high cost diesel generation with Hydro, Geothermal, Solar, Biomass or Wind power, so as to achieve a financial benefit for PPL and the electricity consumers. PPL is interested in outstanding individual project proposals as well as strategic partnerships that involve several centers and/or technologies.

PPL invites prospective bidders to express interest in being considered in a short-list to be invited later to submit full proposals for the development of renewable energy power plants under Power Purchase Agreement with PPL. All EOI submissions are to be received by PPL no later than 4.:00 pm Friday the 30th of January 2015.

Download EOI document.............                     Read More........

Iceland:

Iceland Drilling Wins Drilling Contract in Reykjanes (IDC)

IDC Rig Thor drilling for geothermal in Reykjanes peninsula.
(Courtesy Iceland Drilling)
As reported on Iceland Drilling's LinkedIn website, HS Orka hf. and Iceland Drilling (IDC) have signed a drilling contract for HS Orka‘s geothermal plants in Reykjanes. The contract covers three wells with the option to expand for five more. Following a price survey conducted by HS Orka, it was decided to award the contract to IDC.

The drilling rig Thor, is wholly powered by connection to the existing power grid. All energy on the grid comes from HS Orka's environmentally friendly power plants. This saves almost two hundred thousand liters of oil for each well, which is important both from an environmental and economic standpoint.

USA, California:

2015 Imperial Valley Renewable Energy Summit (Imperial Valley News)

The GRC sponsored last year's event

11-13 March, Winterhaven, California


The 8th Annual Imperial Valley Renewable Energy Summit will be held March 11-13, 2015, and will focus on the ever changing - and expanding - opportunities for development in the region where the full spectrum of renewable energy production continues to thrive.

The theme for the Summit that will be held at the Quechan Resort in Winterhaven, California is “Imperial Valley: Powering New Frontiers.”

There is no question that the Imperial Valley is the land of opportunity for renewable energy development. Geothermal, solar and wind power plants in the region already export well over 1,000 megawatts of renewable energy to surrounding communities. With the completion of renewable energy projects under construction, the Imperial Valley will be producing about 2,500 megawatts of renewable energy, making the region a key player in California’s ability to meet the renewable portfolio standards. Studies indicate the region has the potential to produce more than 25,000 megawatts of renewable energy.

Read More........

USA:

Power Sector Employment Declines, Except for Renewable Electricity Generators (EIA)

Jobs in the geothermal energy sector have grown by 9% since 2011.


The U.S. electric power generation sector lost more than 5,800 jobs from January 2011 through June 2014 despite a gain of nearly 1,800 non-hydro renewable electricity generation jobs, according to the latest data available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

All four categories of non-hydro renewables have seen gains in power generation jobs since 2011. Solar has led the way, with the number of jobs related to the operation of solar generation installations in the electric power sector more than tripling in that timeframe. Although wind jobs have grown at a slower rate than solar since 2011, increasing 16%, there are still more than twice as many wind jobs as solar jobs in the electric power sector. Jobs in the geothermal energy sector have grown by 9% since 2011.

Read More.......

Philippines:

PSALM Cedes Mt. Apo Geothermal Plants (Manila Standard Today)

Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) is set to hand over the management of the contracts of the Mt. Apo 1 and 2 geothermal power plants in Mindanao and the strips of energy deals of the Unified Leyte geothermal power plants in Visayas to the winning bidders on Dec. 26.

FDC Misamis Power Corp. of the Gotianun group emerged as the highest bidder for the management of the  output of the Mt. Apo (Mindanao I and II) geothermal power plants in September. The company offered P128 million in monthly payment for PSALM’s first Mindanao IPPA.

The Mt. Apo 1 and Mt. Apo 2 geothermal power plants are, located in Kidapawan City, North Cotabato, have a rated capacity of 54.24 megawatts each. The cooperation period for  the Mt. Apo 1 and 2 plants covers 25 years and will expire on Feb. 15, 2022 and June 17, 2024, respectively.

Read More.......

St Lucia:

St Lucia Goes After Geothermal Energy (Nation News)

Ormat is in negotiations to develop a 15-30 MW Geothermal power plant


(Courtesy CIA.gov)
St Lucia is set to begin exploring the possibilities of geothermal energy in 2015.

Minister for Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology, Dr James Fletcher said that if successful, the country’s geothermal resource has the potential to produce about 50 per cent of the country’s energy demand.

“It all depends on what the exploration finds, but we believe that we can get as much as 30 megawatts, which is about 50 per cent of our demand right now,” he said. “We are looking at anywhere between a 15 and 30 megawatt plant for Soufriere.”

The government has reached an advanced stage in its negotiations with the developing company—Ormat Technologies Inc.

Read More.......

Heat Exchange:

Heat Exchange Industry News (Geothermal Exchange Organization)

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

GEO Industry News is an electronic publication of GEO, the Geothermal Exchange Organization, a 501(c)(6) non-profit trade association based in Springfield, Illinois, USA that advocates the environmental, energy efficiency and economic benefits of geothermal heat pump systems for heating and cooling applications in residential, commercial, and institutional buildings.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Japan:

Japan Toughens Rules for Renewable Energy Incentive Payments (Bloomberg)

Japan’s trade ministry is setting stricter rules for production and sales of renewable energy in what it says is a drive to speed up development of projects and ensure stable power supply.

Japan introduced a renewable energy incentive program in July 2012 after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, offering some of the highest rates for solar-produced electricity in the world.

The rates attracted floods of solar applications, so much so that utilities who are required to buy the power for their transmission grids say they are being overwhelmed. Plus, the supply is unstable.

As many renewable energy projects haven’t started even years after winning approval, the new rules allow utilities to strip a renewable energy provider of grid access if they miss the start date.

The same can happen if they fail to pay for access within a month of signing a contract, according to a document released by the ministry today.

Read More......

Global:

Seasons Greetings!


Global:

Geothermal Resources Council Announces New Board of Directors (GRC - News Release)

Katherine Young, Maria Richards, and Masami Nakagawa join the new GRC Board of Directors


The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) is governed by a Board of Directors, elected by the general membership to 2-year terms. To provide continuity, half of the Board is elected every year. All GRC members are eligible for election to the Board of Directors.

The global GRC membership took part in the ballot in November, and the result was that three new members of the Board were elected:

  • Katherine Young: Senior energy analyst at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colorado, USA.
  • Maria Richards: Geothermal laboratory coordinator in the Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, Southern Methodist University (SMU), Dallas, Texas, USA.
  • Masami Nakagawa: Associate professor at Colorado School of Mines (CSM), Golden, Colorado, USA.

Katherine Young, Maria Richards and Masami Nakagawa
Katherine Young, Maria Richards and Masami Nakagawa join the seven other members who have been re-elected to the Board of Directors: Richard Campbell, James Lovekin, Joseph Moore, Louis Capuano III, Dennis Gilles, Roy Mink and Shigeto Yamada.

At the end of 2014, the GRC membership stands at over 1,450 from 49 different countries.

Photos of the new Board of Directors can be seen on the GRC Website at www.geothermal.org/BOD.html

France:

European Parliament City to be Heated by Geothermal Energy (francetv)

French energy company Fonroche has been awarded a research license to explore for geothermal resources in the city of Strasbourg, the capital and principal city of the Alsace region in eastern France and the official seat of the European Parliament.

Early in 2015, Fonroche will start drilling to 3,500 meters at the Illkirch and Eckbolsheim sites with an aim of producing enough geothermal energy to heat 80% of Strasbourg.

Read More......

USA:

Majority of Americans Prioritizes Developing Alternative Energy Sources (Pew Research Center - News Release)

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Dec. 3-7 among 1,507 adults, finds that the public are fully behind developing renewable energy resources in the U.S.A.

In broad terms, developing alternative energy is viewed as a more important priority than expanding the exploration and production of oil, coal and natural gas. By two-to-one (60% to 30%), more prioritize the development of alternative energy sources than expanded extraction of energy from traditional sources. However, attitudes on this question vary widely across demographic groups.

Adults under 30 express broad support for prioritizing alternative energy development over expanding traditional sources (74%-20%). By contrast, those 65 and older are roughly divided over whether developing sources such as wind, solar, [geothermal] and hydrogen is the more important priority (48%) or whether expanding production of oil, coal and natural gas should be given more priority (41%).

Read More......

USA, California:

The Geysers Geoscience Intern Opportunity

Calpine has announced a supervised position that will allow a geosciences student interested in a career in the geothermal industry to apply and enhance their knowledge of geothermal resource operation and development. The selected candidate will benefit from exposure to the operations of a well-established geothermal energy provider, familiarization with 3D model building and visualization software, and the relationship of subsurface geologic structure to surface mapping.

This position will require the individual to work a normal day shift. Limited overtime work (nights and weekends) may be required. This job will be based at The Geysers power plant near Middletown, California.

USA:

Geothermal Energy in 2014: Emerging Economies Power Up (CleanTechnica)

The U.S. GEA has released a series of figures and forecasts to finish off 2014, and in so doing highlighted the impact US geothermal power companies are having in emerging economies.

In a press release, the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) announced “continued growth” in the global geothermal power sector, with “more countries developing projects, and an increase in on-line capacity of between 4% and 5% for the third year in a row.”

According to the GEA, there were 700 MW of new additions in 2014, pushing the global total upwards of 12.7 GW across 24 different countries. There are also 11.7 GW of capacity additions in development, and another 1.8 GW of power under construction in 80 countries.

Read More.......

Finance:

Insurance Products Can Help Grow Renewable Energy (Artemis.bm )

Report highlights how a new geothermal drilling risk insurance product for the Kenyan and Ethiopian markets can help develop the industry in East Africa.


The latest independent review from ClimateWise, which was prepared by PwC, highlights the important role that insurance, reinsurance and insurance-linked securities (ILS) can play in the financial fight against the perils of climate change.

Following the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting in Lima, Peru of December this year, ClimateWise has released their 2014 report revealing what the organisation believes the insurance and reinsurance market could, and should be doing to help.

The study continues to praise the work of innovative products including the 1-in-100 initiatives, and the same praise is surely due to other ventures like the Indian national crop insurance scheme, the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) and the African Risk Capacity (ARC).

But, as ClimateWise acknowledges, perhaps more products like this are needed throughout the world; “There are further opportunities to innovate and develop new risk insurance products in emerging and developing markets for low carbon industries. One example is the development of a new geothermal drilling risk insurance product for the Kenyan and Ethiopian markets.”

Read More........

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Technology:

Can New Drill Tech Unleash the Potential of Geothermal Energy? (GigaOm)

The next generation of geothermal energy technology — called enhanced or engineered geothermal, or EGS for short — has long been just out of reach in a commercial sense. Why? Because it’s just been too expensive mostly due to the high cost of drilling new enhanced geothermal wells deep down into hard hot rocks over 10,000 feet below the earth’s surface.

But according to next-gen geothermal startup AltaRock, a new type of drilling technology could help solve this problem of high cost drilling. AltaRock CEO Aaron Mandell tells me that the company has entered into a partnership, and created a joint venture, with a company called ON Energy, which is the U.S. supplier of Korean drilling company Hanjin D&B. AltaRock and ON Energy plan to use a new type of “hammer” drilling tech that could help commercialize enhanced geothermal energy.


Read More........

Kenya:

Geothermal is #1 Energy Source in Kenya (investorintel.com)

Kenya’s geothermal power generation touched a fresh high in October, topping the country’s power mix and signalling relief for electricity consumers.

Data show geothermal generated was 339.4 million units (kilowatt-hours), a record in Kenya’s history.

This equaled 43.8 per cent of the energy mix in the month, ahead of hydro at 36 per cent (279.02 million KWh) and thermal at 20.2 per cent (156.66 million units).

Read More......

United Kingdom:

North East England at the Forefront of Multi-Million Pound Geothermal Energy Plans (The Journal)

Despite a recent setback, scientists say the North East has the potential to become the site of the UK’s first geothermal energy scheme in decades


Location of the Shiremoor Project
(Courtesy Cluff Geothermal)
Now North Tyneside, Weardale and Bishop Auckland are at the forefront of multi-million pound plans to deliver emission-free heat to thousands of North East properties.

Despite the recent announcement that the Newcastle Science Central borehole had failed to find sufficient water to support a geothermal network, scientists say the potential for the rest of the North East is excellent.

London-based Cluff Geothermal, headed by George Percy, son of the Duke of Northumberland, has identified a site close to the A19, near Shiremoor, to drill a geothermal borehole.

The aim is to tap into water – at a temperature of 70°C - at a depth of two kilometers which will then be brought to the surface to deliver heat to homes and businesses.

Europe:

Legend: Geothermal Energy in the Balkans (Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso)

Thanks to the project LEGEND (Low Enthalpy Geothermal Energy Demonstration cases for Energy Efficient building in Adriatic area), sponsored by the Province of Ferrara with the support of the European Geothermal Energy Council, awareness of the importance of geothermal energy has started to spread in some Balkan countries.

The areas of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Slovenia, Serbia, and Albania have optimal geological and climatic characteristics for geothermal exploitation, given the presence of an average-temperature sedimentary basin throughout the western Adriatic coast.


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Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia:

New Transmission Project for East Africa

Interconnector will help deliver renewable energy in the East African Rift Valley


Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia have signed a power interconnector memorandum of understanding (MOU) project.

The inter-governmental agreement signed on 15 December in order to stimulate investment in power generation is worth 1.2 billion US dollars. The agreement sets out principles that underline the relationship amongst the three governments.

The power connector project will link the East African Power Pool (EAPP) to the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) and promote electricity trade, boost trade and security of electricity supply. Implementation of the project will also foster regional integration in the three states by consolidating work relations through supply mechanism.

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Canada:

Site C Dam Approved by B.C. Government (CBC)

Hydropower project chosen over geothermal and other renewable energy alternatives


The British Columbia government has approved the $9 billion Site C dam — a massive hydroelectric project that would flood a large area of the Peace River Valley in northeastern B.C.

In making the announcement, Premier Christy Clark said the Site C Clean Energy Project will provide B.C. residents with a reliable source of power for the next 100 years for the least cost to the taxpayer.

“Affordable, reliable, clean electricity is the backbone of British Columbia’s economy,” said Clark. “Site C will support our quality of life for decades to come and will enable continued investment and a growing economy.”

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

St. Lucia:

St. Lucia Receives $2.8 Million for Geothermal Project (Fox News Latino)

The St. Lucia government announced on Tuesday that its Geothermal Resource Development Project has received $2.8 million in grants from the World Bank and the New Zealand government.

In a statement, the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology said it hosted last week a delegation of technical experts from the World Bank, the U.K. Department for International Development and the New Zealand government to discuss the project.

"The Geothermal Resource Development Project in Soufriere is a key pillar of Saint Lucia's Sustainable Energy program, as it has the potential to provide a steady base-load of electricity; stabilize energy prices way into the future; attract investment as a result," the government stated.

According to a 2008 study by the Trinidad branch of the University of the West Indies, St. Lucia's estimated geothermal potential is 680 MW.

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United Kingdom:

New Renewable Energy Company will Explore for Geothermal in Southern England (OilVoice)

The Board of InfraStrata plc has announced that it has signed a binding Heads of Agreement for an Asset Exchange with Fyrd Energy Limited (Fyrd) to further renewable energy projects including a possible geothermal energy source in Dorset.

A new project company, Integrated GeoRenewables (Dorset) Limited (IGR), will seek to evaluate the potential to develop an integrated geo-renewable energy project with a hub in the Portland area of Dorset. IGR believes there is the potential to use the unique deep geology of the area to improve the efficiency of renewable generation, using such technologies as geothermal energy or compressed air storage. The existing sub-surface geological and engineering work (including deep drilling and seismic data), surface facilities engineering and environmental work undertaken by InfraStrata for its former planned gas storage project at Portland will have a significant value for IGR.

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USA, Oregon:

AltaRock Energy and ON Energy Form Geothermal Partnership to Advance Clean Power (Digital Journal)

Altarock will use “water hammer” drilling machine to speed up drilling at Newberry Volcano EGS project


AltaRock Energy and ON Energy announced today a partnership to further the commercialization of enhanced geothermal energy as a new source of electric power. The companies have entered into a partnership that will provide advanced tools for geothermal developers, through a joint venture.

According to the agreement, AltaRock’s Stimulation Services LLC business unit will contribute stimulation technology and ON Energy, the exclusive U.S. drilling services partner of South Korean company Hanjin D&B, will provide deep drilling services. By combining technical resources, the companies aim to take a leadership position in the commercialization of products for deep geothermal reservoirs.

This agreement is established on the heels of a successful demonstration in the city of Gwangju, South Korea. Utilizing a novel “water hammer” drilling machine, Hanjin D&B, the Korean manufacturing partner for ON Energy, achieved a depth of over 12,000 feet, at up to ten times the drilling speed of conventional drilling and as much as 50% lower cost. The water hammer is tailored for hard rock and can handle a wide variety of geologic conditions.

AltaRock and ON Energy have planned to collaborate on an integrated demonstration in 2015 at the Newberry Volcano EGS project in Deschutes County, Oregon.

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USA, Idaho:

U.S. Geothermal Completes Acquisition of Earth Power Resources (SYS-CON Media - News Release)

GRC Member Company U.S. Geothermal Inc. announced today that it successfully completed the previously announced acquisition of Earth Power Resources (EPR) on December 12, 2014. Under the terms of the Agreement, EPR was merged with and into U.S. Geothermal.

The assets acquired from EPR include geothermal leases covering 26,017 acres in Nevada, representing three projects that have an energy potential estimated in the range of 158 to 359 megawatts. Also included is EPR's complete geothermal resource database of new project opportunities located throughout the western United States, which EPR had compiled over its nearly 40 years of geothermal exploration experience.

"We are very pleased to have added the Earth Power project portfolio to our development pipeline and look forward to advancing the development of these excellent opportunities," said Dennis Gilles, Chief Executive Officer of U.S. Geothermal Inc. and GRC Board Member "We are also pleased to continue our growth through a combination of the development of internal projects and growth through strategic acquisition - this acquisition continues the execution of that plan."

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USA, California:

Petaluma Signs on with Sonoma Clean Power (Petaluma Argus Courier)

City will get geothermal electricity from The Geysers


The Petaluma City Council on Monday voted unanimously to join Sonoma Clean Power, becoming the last Sonoma County city to take part in the startup public electricity agency.

The 33,400 Petaluma electric customers will be enrolled in the program next summer, at the same time as Rohnert Park and Cloverdale. The three cities sat out the initial launch of Sonoma Clean Power, which began serving customers in May.

Sonoma Clean Power offers electricity that is 33 percent renewable, mostly from geothermal from The Geysers and solar plants, compared with PG&E’s 22 percent. Customers are saving 4 to 5 percent on electric bills with Sonoma Clean Power, and a PG&E rate increase next year will make Sonoma Clean Power’s rates more favorable.

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Kenya:

KenGen Rights Issue Due Early 2015 (Capital FM Kenya)

New funds will finance Olkaria IV, Olkaria VI, Olkaria VII, up to VIII and even Olkaria I, unit six geothermal projects


The Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) plans to kick off it Rights Issue in the first quarter of next year.

According to Energy and Petroleum Permanent Secretary Joseph Njoroge, the negotiations between KenGen and the government – which is the majority shareholder – “are in the last stages and the outcome will be known soon.”

KenGen targets to raise a total of Sh30 billion, with Sh15 billion coming from the rights issue while the rest through government means, yet to be decided.

The Rights Issue is expected to finance new projects comprising mainly a mix of geothermal and wind energy, to boost KenGen’s power generation capacity in the next three years.

“We have now commissioned 280 MW at Olkaria. Our next project is Olkaria IV, Olkaria VI, Olkaria VII, up to VIII and even Olkaria I, unit six which has 70 MW,” KenGen Managing Director Albert Mugo explained.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

New Zealand:

Mighty River Power to Exit Geothermal Investments in Chile & Germany (News Release)

Mighty River Power today announced that the company will exit its geothermal development interests in Chile and Germany, while keeping its stake in operating US interests.

The company announced earlier this year that it was undertaking a review of international geothermal investments as part of a broader strategic planning process.

Chief Executive, Fraser Whineray, said the international geothermal development options in all three countries have positive characteristics, but were now not in line with the company’s investment objectives.

“We will be commencing a sale process for the assets in Chile and Germany. In the US, where we have an interest in a 50 MW operating plant and a minority stake in a geothermal development company, no further development capital will be committed.”

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Europe:

The European Geothermal Innovation Award (EGEC)

The European Geothermal Innovation Award is given to companies which have made an outstanding contribution towards the field of geothermal energy in the form of innovative products, scientific research or project initiatives.

The winner will be announced at GeoTHERM Offenburg in March, 2015.

The European Geothermal Innovation Award is given to companies which have made an outstanding contribution towards the field of geothermal energy in the form of innovative products, scientific research or project initiatives.

A jury of five assesses submissions on grounds of originality, innovation, reliability, reduction of emissions and improvements in energy output.

At the end of January, a five shortlisted candidates will be announced as endorsed nominations, with the overall winner announced during the award ceremony at GeoTHERM.

USA, California:

MS Student Opportunities - Geothermal Research in Southern California (AGU Careers)

Two M.S. research assistant-ships (with tuition) are available for theoretical and field based studies in geothermal reservoir permeability.

Assistant-ships are for two years and support progress toward the M.S. Degree in Geology with the California State University Long Beach Department of Geology. Please contact Prof. Matthew Becker (matt.becker@csulb.edu) with unofficial transcripts and GRE scores and see our website for more information.

Climate Change:

UN Members Agree Deal at Lima Climate Talks (BBC News)

United Nations members have reached an agreement on how countries should tackle climate change.

Delegates have approved a framework for setting national pledges to be submitted to a summit next year.

Differences over the draft text caused the two-week talks in Lima, Peru, to overrun by two days. Environmental groups said the deal was an ineffectual compromise, but the EU said it was a step towards achieving a global climate deal next year in Paris.

The talks proved difficult because of divisions between rich and poor countries over how to spread the burden of pledges to cut carbon emissions.

The agreement was adopted hours after a previous draft was rejected by developing countries, who accused rich nations of shirking their responsibilities to fight global warming and pay for its impacts.

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New Zealand:

Deep Fault Drilling Project Looks for Geothermal Resources on South Island (Phys.Org)

Extending some 600-km from Milford Sound to Marlborough, the study of the Alpine Fault is New Zealand's flagship contribution to the world of geophysics. And now a sizeable portion of that community, drawn from 12 different nations have gathered in south Westland under the leadership of a team of New Zealanders from GNS Science, Victoria University and Otago University.

Their audacious mission is three-fold. First, they must drill down to – and hopefully through - the Alpine Fault which is estimated to lie at around 1 km depth beneath the Whataroa Valley. As the drilling proceeds, the team are monitoring a wide range of physical and chemical properties of the rock, gases and fluids encountered along the way. This is critical for maintaining the drilling momentum because constant adjustments need to be made as different conditions are met. These measurements are also revealing potential resources including geothermal waters that may be hot enough to become a viable energy source.

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Canada:

Direct-Use Geothermal Exploration Coming to BC (The Rocky Mountain Goat)

Over this coming winter, Geoscience BC will be gathering existing geothermal data on Valemount and other areas of the province. The aim is to help identify sites with economically feasible potential for geothermal direct-use applications, and potentially start a consortium to drill test holes to verify that potential.

Carlos Salas, professional geoscientist and Vice President of Oil and Gas for Geoscience BC, says the non-profit organization has been around for about 10 years. Its goal is to providing science to British Columbians so they can make informed decisions about resource development in the province. About three years ago, the board of directors thought they should start looking at geothermal energy.