Friday, April 21, 2017

USA, California: Legislation Would Level the Playing Field for Baseload Renewables Like Geothermal

Assembly energy panel gives boost to renewable bill (Daily Democrat)

Assemblywoman
Cecilia Aguiar-Curry
Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry has been able to pass a renewable energy proposal despite opposition by state utilities.

AB 920 made it out of the Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee this week. If approved the legislation will maintain a place in the energy market for renewable resources such as geothermal, biomass, and biogas.

Biomass and geothermal facilities contribute property taxes and royalties to local economies, in addition to being job creators. Tax credits and tax exemptions for renewables like wind and solar, coupled with low labor costs, undercut the market. As a result, over 75 percent of the renewable energy in California comes from wind and solar. AB 920 will help level the playing field so renewable resources that are economic drivers have a fair chance to compete for contracts.

USA, Washington: Bill that Improves Permitting Process for Geothermal Exploration Awaits Governor's Signature

Washington Senate Bill 5470 (LegiScan)

Legislation would advance the development of renewable energy by improving the permitting process for geothermal resources exploration in Washington State.

Geothermal Resource Potential Map of Washington State
Washington Senate Bill 5470 has passed unanimously in both the House and Senate and has been delivered to the Governor's desk for signing.

"The public has a direct interest in the safe, orderly, and nearly pollution-free development of the geothermal resources of the state. The legislature hereby declares that it is in the best interests of the state to further the development of geothermal resources for the benefit of all of the citizens of the state while at the same time fully providing for the protection of the environment."

"The development of geothermal resources shall be so conducted as to protect the rights of landowners, other owners of interests therein, and the general public. In providing for such development, it is the purpose of this chapter to provide for the orderly exploration, safe drilling, production, and proper abandonment of geothermal resources in the state of Washington."

USA, Idaho: National Lab Collaboration will Study Integrating Solar Topping Cycle at Raft River Geothermal Power Plant

Energy Department Announces New National Laboratory Collaborations with 38 Small Businesses (DOE)

Raft River geothermal plant. (Courtesy U.S. Geothermal)
Today, at Earth Day Texas 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the 38 small businesses that will collaborate with national lab researchers through the Small Business Vouchers (SBV) pilot. SBV facilitates access to the DOE national labs for American small businesses, enabling them to tap into the intellectual and technical resources they need to overcome critical technology challenges for their advanced energy products and gain a global competitive advantage. Eight DOE national laboratories will receive funding to partner with 38 competitively selected small businesses across the country.

One collaboration in the geothermal area will integrate a solar topping cycle at the U.S. Geothermal Inc. Raft River Geothermal Power Plant in Idaho. Two national laboratories will work with small businesses on this project.

Read More........

Germany: Initial Results Indicate Good Geothermal Potential from Malm Aquifer

Regional Energy Concept Goes Ahead (ERDWERK)

With support from the Bavarian Department of Commerce (StMWI), a regional energy concept has been developed by the South-East Bavaria Regional Planning Association (RPV18). Within the framework of the project, possible financial savings and reductions in CO2 emissions were identified.

ERDWERK GmbH is responsible for investigating the deep and surface geothermal potential. The project is well underway and the initial results indicate that good to very good thermal and/or electrical potential from the deep and surface geothermal resources exist across the entire region.

The analysis shows that deep and near-surface geothermal energy can be used almost anywhere in the entire planning network for electricity generation and / or heat supply. The different uses in the municipalities can be attributed both to the depth of the thermal deepwater aquifer (here the Malm-Aquifer) as well as to regional differences in the geothermal gradient (elevation of the temperature increase with depth). Localities in the alpine region are predominantly located in geologically favorable valleys. Heating and cooling with geothermal energy near the surface is possible in RPV 18 as a whole.

Link to the article........

Germany: Holzkirchen Geothermal Plant to Begin Construction in Fall

Testing at Holzkirchen Geothermal Plant is Complete (ERDWERK)

United Kingdom: UK Geoenergy Observatory to Survey for Geothermal in Central Scotland

Scientists to shed light on UK's underground energy technologies (NERC)

Extract of the UK subsurface from the
National Geological Model (UK3D)
Meeting future energy demand for the United Kingdom (UK) will require new technologies. These may include making use of the Earth's subsurface - using methods such as harnessing geothermal energy, shale gas extraction, and carbon storage - in an environmentally sustainable way. This means we need to understand the impact of these technologies on the environment.

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) has confirmed £31 million to build the UK Geoenergy Observatories. Researchers will carry out scientific monitoring and observation to establish the state of the current environment and determine if these technologies have a significant effect.

A site in Cheshire is a potential location for monitoring and observation of shale gas extraction and carbon capture. The second location is intended to be in central Scotland and focus on geothermal energy.

Read More........

Taiwan: Renewable Energy Certificates Encourages Enterprises to Use Renewables

‘Green’ energy certification aims to attract investors (Taipei Times)

(Courtesy CIA.gov)
The Ministry of Economic Affairs of Taiwan yesterday established the National Renewable Energy Certificate center as part of efforts to attract foreign enterprises that pledge to use “renewable” energy when investing or placing orders with local manufacturers.

RECs, also known as “green” tags, provide proof that an enterprise’s electricity was generated from an eligible renewable energy source. The US, EU, Japan and Australia also have institutions to issue RECs.

Certifiable renewable energy sources include solar, wind, biomass, hydroelectric and geothermal power, bureau Director-General Liu Ming-chung (劉明忠) said.

Read More........

Guatemala: Canadian Company Acquires Mita Geothermal Project

Bluestone Resources Closes C$80 Million Subscription Receipt Financing and Signs Definitive Agreement to Acquire Goldcorp's Cerro Blanco Project and Mita Geothermal Project (Junior Mining Network)

Vancouver-based Bluestone Resources Inc. has announced the closing of its previously announced private placement financing. The company is also pleased to announce that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Goldcorp Inc., also based in Vancouver, and its affiliates in respect of the previously announced acquisition of the Cerro Blanco Project and the Mita Geothermal Project. 

Further to the company's press release dated January 11, 2017, the company is pleased to announce that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Goldcorp and its affiliates to acquire 100% of the Mita Geothermal project located in Guatemala, which is owned by Goldcorp's indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, Geotermia Oriental de Guatemala S.A.

Chile: Chemical Engineer, Marianna Zeppieri at the Cerro Pabellón Geothermal Plant

Marianna, the “Queen” of Cerro Pabellón: My Life on Mars (Enel Green Power)

Marianna Zeppieri and her colleagues at Cerro Pabellón
She arrived in Chile in July 2015 and is a Project Engineer and the only stable female presence on the Enel Green Power team that built the first geothermal plant in Latin America, at 4500 metres altitude in the Atacama Desert

First she did a degree and a PhD, then she became part of Enel’s big team. A chemical engineer, Marianna Zeppieri has always had a clear idea of her future: “On the day of my job interview, I asked specifically to work in the world of renewables and to have work experience abroad. I’m fascinated by the idea of getting to know other cultures and to understand realities that are very different from ours”.

Her big break came in July 2015, when we launched the works at Cerro Pabellón, our geothermal plant located at 4500 metres above sea level in the Atacama Desert. Marianna didn’t think twice: when the project was approved, she packed her bags and left her beloved Rome. She’s now lived in Chile for almost two years as Project Engineer at Cerro Pabellón.

Indonesia: USA Companies Sign Agreements to Develop Geothermal Energy

RI, US sign nine business agreements (ANTARA)

(Courtesy CIA.gov)
Indonesia and the US signed nine business agreements here, Friday, following US Vice President Mike Pence's visit to the country from April 19 to 21.

One regards cooperation between  PT PLN and Halliburton for the development of geothermal power plant in Tulehu, Ambon, and long-term strategy for the development of geothermal energy.

Announcement had also been made regarding the cooperation between PLN and Ormat Technologies for the conclusion of 3x110 MW PLTP (geothermal plant) Sarulla with an investment of around US$1.7 billion.

Of the total investment, US$260 million would come from Ormat.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Global: Call for Papers for the Geothermal Energy Event of the Year - Submission Deadline is May 31st

GRC 2017 Annual Meeting - Call for Papers


Geothermal Resources Council Annual Meeting will be held Oct. 1-4 in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. Theme is “Geothermal Energy - Power to do More.”

The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) has issued a call for papers for the world’s biggest geothermal conference of the year taking place October 1-4, 2017, in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA at the Salt Palace Convention Center.

Themed “Geothermal Energy - Power to do More” the 41st GRC Annual Meeting will reflect the world-wide availability of a clean, dependable renewable energy that is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, providing both flexible and baseload power production.

The GRC Annual Meeting is the industry’s largest annual gathering of leading geothermal energy scientists, producers, renewable energy industry stakeholders, regulators, utilities, and key associated business leaders. The four-day event will offer technical, policy, and market conference sessions, educational seminars, tours of local geothermal and renewable energy projects, and numerous networking opportunities. Registration also includes entry to the GEA GeoExpo+.

Over 1,260 attendees came to the 2016 GRC Annual Meeting and GEA GeoExpo+ from around the world, highlighting the GRC’s role in connecting the global community. With increasing interest in geothermal as a reliable source of renewable energy providing both flexible and baseload power production around the world, the GRC is looking ahead to an even stronger international attendance in 2017.

USA: News from the Heat Pump Industry

Heat Exchange Industry News (Geothermal Exchange Organization)


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

Headlines and features in this month’s edition include:
  • GEO Has Another Successful D.C. Fly-In
  • GEO Remains Hopeful for Reed Bill
  • Trump Shutters EPA Clean Power Plan
  • State Geothermal Heat Pump Incentives
  • California Promotes GHPs to State Legislators
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 in the USA.

GEO Industry News (PDF)

USA: Geothermal Energy Producing States Lead the Clean Energy Drive

Clean Energy Momentum: Ranking State Progress (Union of Concerned Scientists)

Geothermal energy helps California and other western states figure high in renewable energy rankings

To assess state leadership in this historic transformation, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) created the Clean Energy Momentum State Ranking. While the federal government can play important roles in making efficiency, renewable
energy, and vehicle electrification a national priority, states can be a consistent, powerful, positive force as well.

California, a stellar all-around performer, leads the way on clean energy momentum. The Golden State appears in eight top-10 lists. It is tops in electric vehicle adoption and one of the top five on six other metrics: residential
solar capacity per household, energy savings, clean energy jobs, renewable electricity standard targets, ease of corporate renewable energy procurement, and carbon reduction targets.

Read More.........

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Europe: More Information on Applying for Geothermal Project Funding

Geothermica - Call To Action


Geothermica, the new consortium of 16 geothermal energy research and innovation programme owners and managers from 13 European countries and their regions, has now published its Call Text and Guideline for Applicants for the first transnational call.

Geothermica will call for innovative demonstration projects and technology development projects that accelerate geothermal energy deployment. Projects will deliver outcomes by 2021. Joint projects will have a strong industry participation. Project proposals will meet both, Geothermica and national/regional funding rules.
More Information.......

USA, California: Peninsula Clean Energy Now Largest Community Choice Aggregator in the Golden State

Peninsula Clean Energy Now Serving All of San Mateo County with Lower Cost, Cleaner Electricity (News Release)

Peninsula Clean Energy (PCE) became California’s largest community choice energy program this month, as the joint powers authority completed the enrollment of almost 300,000 accounts that are receiving electric generation service. PCE is a joint powers authority of the 20 cities in San Mateo County, and the county itself, set up to sell power to the 750,000 residents, as well as the businesses and institutions, of the region.

Peninsula Clean Energy customers are automatically enrolled in ECOplus, a 50% renewable energy supply that is cleaner and greener than PG&E, and priced 5% below PG&E’s generation service rate. Customers can also opt-up to ECO100, comprised of 100% renewable energy sources and priced at a slight premium to PG&E service. PCE customers see a new line item on their PG&E bill for PCE’s service, along with a corresponding generation credit from PG&E for the energy supply PG&E previously provided.

Read More........

Romania: New Support Scheme to Aid Development of Geothermal Energy

New State Aid Scheme in Romania to encourage production of energy from biomass, biogas and geothermal resources (Lexology)

(Courtesy CIA.gov)
The Romanian Government has just approved through Government Decision no. 216/2017 a new state aid scheme aimed to support investments for promoting energy production from less exploited renewable resources, namely biomass, biogas, geothermal energy.

The New Support Scheme is applicable until 2020 and has a total allocated budget of EUR 100,630,588 (85% ensured from the European fund for regional development and 15% ensured from the state budget).

The technical potential remained unexploited is of approximately 8,000 ktoe, where biomass and biogas represents 47%, solar energy represents 19%, wind energy represents 19%, hydropower energy represents 14% and geothermal energy represents 2%.

Read More.........

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

GRC Annual Meeting & GEA GeoExpo+

Food Bloggers’ Guide of Where to Eat in Salt Lake City, UT (foodiecrush)

A guide to eating out at the geothermal energy event of the year!


Just minutes from summer’s outdoor adventure and winter’s world-class ski resorts with what is known world over as “The Greatest Snow On Earth”, Salt Lake City hasn’t relied solely on what mother nature has provided to feed the souls of local residents and worldwide visitors.

In this mountain city that just happens to border the desert, the restaurants and diners, bars and brewpubs, coffee shops and bakeries are just as vital to the local climate and lifestyle as skiing and biking and hiking in the towering Wasatch mountains of which the city is best known for.

Read More.......

USA, Texas: Two-Day Conference Will Advance Understanding of Geothermal Resources in Oil Country

SMU Power Plays Conference (SMU Geothermal Lab)

January 10-11, 2018 on the Southern Methodist University (SMU) Campus in Dallas, Texas



Power Plays will advance the understanding of geothermal resources, providing you with insights into developing this clean energy reserve. Join others with expertise in field operations, project development, technology, finance, engineering and resource assessment from the geothermal, oil & gas, and renewable energy sectors to explore economic solutions for geothermal energy at the Power Plays: Drilling into Geothermal Energy Applications conference.

Submit an abstract today.

The event includes:
  • Opening Networking Reception and Poster Session, January 10, 2018
  • Conference with oral presentations and panel discussions, January 11, 2018

USA, California: The Energy Commission's Geothermal Grant and Loan Program Past, Present & Future: A Conversation with Geothermal Stakeholders

Lead Commissioner Workshop for CEC Geothermal Grant and Loan Program is Tomorrow (CEC)

The Energy Commission's Geothermal Grant and Loan Program Past, Present & Future: A Conversation with Geothermal Stakeholders

Wednesday, April 19, 2017, 1:00 p.m.
California Energy Commission, 1516 Ninth Street, First Floor, Rosenfeld Hearing Room, Sacramento, California (Directions)

The Renewable Energy Lead Commissioner for the California Energy Commission, David Hochschild, will conduct a workshop on the Energy Commission's efforts to support and advance the integration of geothermal energy resources in California through the Geothermal Grant and Loan Program.

You may also participate in this meeting through WebEx, the Energy Commission's online meeting service. Presentations will appear on your computer screen, and you may listen to audio via your computer or telephone. Please be aware that the meeting may be recorded.

To join the meeting: Go to https://energy.webex.com and enter the unique meeting number: 928 259 619. When prompted, enter your name.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Finance: Geothermal has "the Greatest Potential in Terms of Increased Performance over the Coming Years" - Enel Green Power CEO

Towards the next frontiers of renewable energy technologies (LinkedIn)

Francesco Venturini, Chief Executive
Officer, Enel Green Power
Francesco Venturini, Chief Executive Officer, Enel Green Power

Geothermal is not among the most widespread and well-known of renewables. Although it is one of those with the greatest potential in terms of increased performance over the coming years.

The direction in which we need to work now has been recognized even by EU research programs. Main innovations go in three directions:

Firstly, new generation of plants exploiting deep geothermal high-temperature and high-pressure fluids, namely supercritical fluids with a temperature higher than 400°C and pressure higher than 200 bar. The challenges here is in the research for breakthrough materials and technological solutions to convey and exploit such aggressive geothermal fluids at challenging conditions of temperature, pressure and chemistry.

Another way to spread this energy source will be through the hybridization of geothermal technology with other renewables. As Enel Green Power we have already created two proof-of-concepts. The first is Stillwater, in Nevada, which combines solar and geothermal. The second is Cornia, in Italy (Larderello) which combines geothermal with biomass.

And finally, increasing the performance of plants in low temperatures (120 - 150°C) where classic thermodynamic improvement could result in a very important boost for the diffusion of geothermal electricity generation throughout Europe.

Read More........

Science & Technology: DOE Funded Project Helping to Survey Geothermal Reservoirs

EERE Success Story—“Seeing Underground” to Advance Geothermal Energy (EERE)


Energy sources originating from beneath the Earth’s surface satisfy over 80% of total U.S. energy needs, and a key energy challenge today is to ensure safe, sustainable, and affordable availability of these natural resources in the subsurface. A key issue, however, is being able to “see” what is in the subsurface.

The Department of Energy (DOE) is busy at work funding R&D to advance technologies that allow access to this reliable, secure energy source under the SubTER crosscut - a DOE initiative that unites five key DOE agencies in a collaborative effort to ultimately improve our nation’s energy security and availability.

Read More........

USA: Energy Consumption in 2016 Includes 0.23 Quads Geothermal

American energy use, in one diagram

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory at the Department of Energy



A quad is a unit of energy equal to 1015 (a short-scale quadrillion) BTU, or 1.055 × 1018 joules (1.055 exajoules or EJ) in SI units. The unit is used by the U.S. Department of Energy in discussing world and national energy budgets. (Wikipedia)

USA, California: Another Community Choice Aggregator Launches

Silicon Valley Clean Energy "turns on the power" for residents and businesses (News Release)

The Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) board of directors and staff held a press conference in front of the Cupertino Community Hall to commemorate the first official day SVCE begins supplying 100% carbon-free electricity to customers in Silicon Valley.

Established by twelve local communities, SVCE is a Community Choice Energy agency chartered to provide new and competitive clean power options for local residential and commercial electricity customers. SVCE is responsible for electric generation, purchasing and building electricity supplies. The event celebrated SVCE becoming operational and supplying electricity to its first phase of customers, which are 20 percent of residential accounts, all small and medium commercial accounts and municipal accounts. All remaining customers will be enrolled in July 2017.

SVCE supplies 100% carbon-free electricity from sources such as wind, solar and hydropower. PG&E continues to deliver electricity over existing power lines, maintain the lines, send bills and provide customer service. This provides customers with a great combination of the same electric service and reliability they’re used to, but with cleaner energy and lower rates.

Read More........

USA, California: New Community Choice Aggregator is Opportunity for Geothermal Sales

Monterey Bay Community Power Will Start Enrolling in Summer (Goodtimes)


Monterey Bay Community Power (MBCP), a new group, aims to launch next spring as a green alternative to Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E).

Both the Santa Cruz City Council and the county Board of Supervisors officially signed on to MBCP, the tri-county Community Choice Energy (CCE) partnership, in late February. The agreement brings together local governments with ones from San Benito and Monterey counties.

“At some point, MBCP can choose to be an owner of plants or continue to purchase from renewable projects,” says Virginia Johnson, the project manager for MBCP. “In Southern California, we are overloaded with solar systems throughout the state. There are plenty of places to buy renewably generated power for our program.”

Read More.........

USA: U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry Concerned About Erosion of Resources Providing Baseload Power

Electric Grid Study Ordered by U.S. Energy Chief to Boost Coal (Bloomberg)

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry
U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry is ordering a study of the U.S. electric grid, with an eye to examining whether policies that favor wind and solar energy are accelerating the retirement of coal and nuclear plants critical to ensuring steady, reliable power supplies.

The 60-day review, which Perry set in motion Friday, comes as regulators increasingly wonder how to balance electric reliability with a raft of state policies that prioritize less stable renewable energy sources.  

In an April 14 memo obtained by Bloomberg News, Perry highlights concerns about the “erosion” of resources providing “baseload power” -- consistent, reliable electricity generated even when the sun isn’t shining and the winds aren’t blowing.

“We are blessed as a nation to have an abundance of domestic energy resources, such as coal, natural gas, nuclear and hydroelectric, all of which provide affordable baseload power and contribute to a stable, reliable and resilient grid,” Perry wrote in the memo to his chief of staff. But in recent years, grid experts have “highlighted the diminishing diversity of our nation’s electric generation mix and what that could mean for baseload power and grid resilience.”

Malaysia: 30 MW Tawau Geothermal Power Plant In Operation in 2019

Malaysia’s 1st Geothermal Power Plant In The Making (The Malaysian Reserve)

Green Energy Sdn Bhd (TGE) is on track to develop Malaysia’s first geothermal power plant project in Tawau, Sabah, in 2019. 

TGE has received all requisite approvals to develop, construct, operate and maintain a geothermal power plant, exporting 30 MW to the Sabah Grid, under a 21-year renewable energy power purchase agreement (PPA) with Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd at a feed-in tariff of RM0.45 per kWh. 

The approvals included land lease agreements with the Sabah Forestry Department and Sabah Parks, within whose land the project area is located, TGE project development GM Andrew Amaladoss told The Malaysian Reserve. 

He said initial studies at the project area indicated a potential of 67 MW. 

Philippines: Chevron Asset Sale Closing Expected by the End of Year

Star Energy Closes Deal for Chevron's Salak, Darajat Geothermal Plants (Jakarta Globe)

A consortium led by Star Energy, a utility subsidiary of Indonesia's largest petrochemical group Barito Pacific, has completed the $2.3 billion acquisition of two geothermal power plants from global energy giant Chevron.

The transaction is part of a $3 billion takeover of three Chevron's geothermal assets in Indonesia and the Philippines. The 370-megawatt power plant in Mount Salak in Bogor, West Java, and 240-megawatt geothermal power plant Darajat in Garut, West Java.

Chevron closed the deal for Indonesian assets on March 31, and it will appear in the company's first quarter financial report, Chevron's upstream executive vice president Jay Johnson said in a statement on Saturday (15/04).

The consortium will also buy from Chevron a 40 percent stake in 326-megawatt Tiwi Makban geothermal plant in the Philippines — the closing is expected to take place by the end of 2017.

Read More........

Indonesia: 20 MW Geothermal Power Plant to be Built on Bacan Island

South Halmahera to have geothermal power plant (ANTARA)

A geothermal power plant would be built in the regency of South Halmahera, North Maluku, utilizing a geothermal reserve, which has a capacity of 140 megawatts in Songa, on Bacan island.

"The Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Ministry has told the district administration of South Halmahera that the tender would be open for the project this year," head of the regional research and development planning board (BPPPD) Daud Djubaedi said here on Monday.

The geothermal power plant to be built would have a capacity of 2x10 MW Daud said.

Read More........

USA, Nevada: Vacancy at Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy

Research Scientist, Geoscience Data Manager


The position will be responsible for collecting, compiling, cataloguing, maintaining and publicly-disseminating information related to Nevada’s geothermal resources, including geotechnical reports, well datasets, geological, geophysical and hydrological data, and core samples from geothermal drilling in Nevada. 

This will include new geothermal data generated by ongoing geothermal exploration, development, and research, such as the US Department of Energy-funded FORGE (Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy) project in Fallon, Nevada.

USA, Nevada: Employment Opportunity in Geothermal Energy

Geothermal Operator - Enel Green Power

Stillwater Geothermal Plant, Fallon, Nevada

The Geothermal Power Plant Operator is qualified through the facilities qualification program to operate the Salt Wells Geothermal Facility, and perform outside operations of the Stillwater Geothermal, Stillwater Solar, and Stillwater CSP at the direction of the Control Room operator and Operations Supervisor.

They are responsible for the safe and efficient operation of the geothermal power plant equipment for which they have qualified. The Geothermal Power Plant Operator will read and record all parameters associated with an operating power plant and geothermal well field and Perform outside Duties as assigned.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Indonesia: Testing Continues at the 240 MW Sorik Marapi Geothermal Power Project

Proud Geothermal Worker (Twitter)

Testing continues at the 240 MW Sorik Marapi geothermal power project in Mandailing Natal Regency, North Sumatra, Indonesia.

Finance: Increasing the Value of Geothermal in the Energy Mix

Is Geothermal Competitive in an Era of Low Cost Renewables? (New Energy Events)

by Kevin Wallace, POWER Engineers (GRC Board of Directors)

News on power purchase rates of 40-50 $/MWh for new solar-PV plants begs the question – can geothermal be competitive, with prices challenging for any but the largest of geothermal projects? We feel geothermal still has a valuable role in the energy portfolio, if the wider benefits are considered.

The value to the grid of stable, baseload power with some ramping capability is generally not considered in auctions that are judged merely on costs per MWh. As system operators experience higher penetrations of intermittent resources such as solar (resulting in the infamous ‘duck curve’), simplistic pricing methods cause distortions in the true cost of grid operations. When pricing shifts to accurately reflect system integration costs, the value of having geothermal in the energy mix will be increased.

Canada: Federal Budget is a Milestone for Geothermal Energy

Geothermal Makes Breakthrough in Federal Budget … Now What? (Desmog Canada)

For more than a decade, advocates of geothermal energy have pushed for the same kind of treatment other energy producers receive from the federal government — with little progress.

But with the release of the federal budget on March 22, that changed.

The budget included the expansion of financial mechanisms to geothermal, which will allow these emerging renewable energy operators to write off more expenses. The change is significant for geothermal energy, which requires higher upfront investments than wind or solar.

“This is a milestone for us,” said Alison Thompson, chair and co-founder of the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association (CanGEA). “We’re legitimate. We’re there.”

Global: Call for Papers for the Geothermal Energy Event of the Year - Submission Deadline is May 31st

GRC 2017 Annual Meeting - Call for Papers Deadline Extended


Geothermal Resources Council Annual Meeting will be held Oct. 1-4 in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. Theme is “Geothermal Energy - Power to do More.”

The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) has issued a call for papers for the world’s biggest geothermal conference of the year taking place October 1-4, 2017, in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA at the Salt Palace Convention Center.

Themed “Geothermal Energy - Power to do More” the 41st GRC Annual Meeting will reflect the world-wide availability of a clean, dependable renewable energy that is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, providing both flexible and baseload power production.

The GRC Annual Meeting is the industry’s largest annual gathering of leading geothermal energy scientists, producers, renewable energy industry stakeholders, regulators, utilities, and key associated business leaders. The four-day event will offer technical, policy, and market conference sessions, educational seminars, tours of local geothermal and renewable energy projects, and numerous networking opportunities. Registration also includes entry to the GEA GeoExpo+.

Over 1,260 attendees came to the 2016 GRC Annual Meeting and GEA GeoExpo+ from around the world, highlighting the GRC’s role in connecting the global community. With increasing interest in geothermal as a reliable source of renewable energy providing both flexible and baseload power production around the world, the GRC is looking ahead to an even stronger international attendance in 2017.

Science & Technology: Expedition to Drill Into Earth's Mantle for First Time

Japan-led research group preparing to drill down to the mantle (The Japan News)

Aiming for the world’s first-ever direct excavation of the Earth’s mantle (see below), an international research group led by the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) will conduct a preliminary study in the waters off Hawaii in September, The Yomiuri Shimbun learned Tuesday.

The area is considered to be a leading candidate site for the drilling. The research group, including researchers from Japan, the United States and the Europe, plans to intensively investigate the underground structure of the area to find a suitable spot for drilling.

JAMSTEC and its partners aim to realize the excavation of the mantle in the early 2020s — at the earliest — using Japan’s deep-sea scientific drilling vessel Chikyu.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Kenya: Exploration to Start at Barrier Geothermal Field

Private Olsuswa geothermal project in Kenya to start early exploration work (ThinkGeoEnergy)


The private developer of the Olsuswa geothermal project near Lake Turkana in Kenya is now planning to start early exploration work on the project site in the Barrier geothermal field.

The Olsuswa geothermal project in Kenya is one of only a handful private geothermal developments in the country. The developer, Olsuswa Energy Limited is a Kenyan based company focused on renewable energy projects across Africa. The company has been granted a geothermal resource license (No.1/2016) as per the Geothermal Act (1982) for the northern most-known geothermal prospect- Barrier Volcanic Complex in Turkana County, Kenya.

Read More.........

Opportunity to Exhibit at the Geothermal Energy Event of the Year!

Exhibit at GRC Annual Meeting & GEA GeoExpo+

This is the premier gathering to learn about the latest developments in geothermal energy. Last year, the GRC Annual Meeting & GEA GeoExpo+ hosted more than 1,200 representatives from over 30 countries.  In 2017, an even broader audience is anticipated.

With a multi-dimensional 3-day trade show and ample opportunities for networking, the 2017 the GRC Annual Meeting & GEA GeoExpo+ presents exhibitors with the opportunity to maximize their exposure at a premier event.

GEA GeoExpo+ Exhibitor Packet (PDF)

Iceland: "Supercritical conditions can increase the power output of a typical geothermal well by 10 times"

Engineers drill world's hottest well hoping for clean energy eruption (Phys.Org)

Credit: Chris Baraniuk/ DEEPEGS
Using state-of-the-art drilling technology, engineers have dug more than 4.5 km below the earth's surface in an attempt to harness the endless geothermal energy inside our planet.

Hjalti Páll Ingólfsson, from the Geothermal Research Group (GEORG) in Iceland, works on the DEEPEGS project, partly funded by the EU, under which a team of geothermal researchers recently drilled the world's deepest well in an active volcanic area — the HS Orka geothermal field in Iceland — reaching a depth of 4,659 metres. They hope to tap into the limitless supply of geothermal energy by accessing searing hot water under such extreme pressure that it's in a supercritical state, which has properties of both a gas and a liquid.

'Supercritical conditions can increase the power output of a typical (geothermal) well by 10 times,' said Ingólfsson. 'That's at least the theory, and our aim with doing this demonstration is to see if the theory is true.'

USA, Nevada: Vacancy at Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy

Research Scientist, Geoscience Data Manager


The position will be responsible for collecting, compiling, cataloguing, maintaining and publicly-disseminating information related to Nevada’s geothermal resources, including geotechnical reports, well datasets, geological, geophysical and hydrological data, and core samples from geothermal drilling in Nevada. 

This will include new geothermal data generated by ongoing geothermal exploration, development, and research, such as the US Department of Energy-funded FORGE (Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy) project in Fallon, Nevada.

Tanzania: Plans for 200 MW of Geothermal Energy by 2025

Tanzania: New Project to Add 200 MW (AllAfrica.com)

The Tanzanian government plans to start exploiting geothermal power at Lake Ngozi in Mbeya in the next fiscal year.

The generation will alleviate electricity shortages in Tanzania, which heavily relies on hydropower and lately gas.

The manager planning and projects for the Tanzania Geothermal Development Company, Mr Shakiru Kajungus, told The Citizen a renewable energy forum that feasibility studies in Songwe, Mbaka Kiejo and Ngozi had been completed.

According to Mr Kajungus, 200 MW of geothermal energy are expected to be generated by 2025. He said the government was working with foreign development partners to get more funds for the project.

Tanzania has 50 areas potential for generating 5,000 MW of geothermal power.


Indonesia: Tender for Renewable Energy Power Plants Coming Next Month

PLN to hold tender for renewable power plants in May (Jakarta Post)

State-owned electricity firm Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) plans to hold a tender for power plants generating renewable energy in May in a bid to meet the government’s goal to supply 23 percent of the national energy mix from renewable sources by 2025.

According to PLN’s electricity procurement business plan (RUPTL) for the 2017-2026 period, the company plans to acquire an additional 632 megawatts (MW) of electricity from renewable energy sources this year, almost half of which will come from geothermal power plants.

Read More.......

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

USA, Nevada: NV Energy Customers Served by 509 MW of Geothermal Energy

NV Energy Exceeds Nevada's Renewable Energy Compliance for 2016 (News Release)

NV Energy has filed its state mandated 2016 Renewable Portfolio Standard Annual Report with the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, showing that the company achieved a 22.2 percent renewable credit level in southern Nevada and 26.6 percent level in northern Nevada.

This is the seventh year in a row that NV Energy has exceeded the state's renewable energy mandate.  The 2016 legislated requirement is 20 percent, based on total retail energy sales.

The majority of NV Energy's renewable energy portfolio credits comes from geothermal resources, but solar resources now represent nearly a third of the total renewable energy resources. Today NV Energy customers are served by 19 geothermal energy plants with 509 MW of capacity.


USA, Washington: House of Representatives Unanimously Passes Bill that Improves Permitting Process for Geothermal Exploration.

House unanimously passes Brown bill to advance geothermal exploration (YakTriNews)

Geothermal Resource Potential Map of Washington State
The Washington state House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill that advances research on renewable energy by improving the permitting process for geothermal exploration. 

The bill was sponsored by Republican Sen. Sharon Brown of Kennewick. 

"Geothermal energy is a clean, renewable, environmentally-friendly resource that new technology and research are making even more viable," Brown said. " I'm pleased to see the House and the Senate come together to unanimously approve this important reform bill that makes it easier to conduct general circulation within the county.

Under Senate Bill 5470, as amended by the House, a person drilling multiple core holes while gathering geothermal test data only has to pay a single permit fee of $200 to DNR. The bill also eliminates redundant public hearings and notice requirements associated with geothermal core holes.

Because the bill was amended in the House, the measure now returns to the Senate, where Brown and her colleagues will have an opportunity to agree with the House changes.

Read More.........

USA, California: The Energy Commission's Geothermal Grant and Loan Program Past, Present & Future: A Conversation with Geothermal Stakeholders

Notice of Lead Commissioner Workshop for CEC Geothermal Grant and Loan Program (CEC)

Wednesday, April 19, 2017, 1:00 p.m.
California Energy Commission, 1516 Ninth Street, First Floor, Rosenfeld Hearing Room, Sacramento, California (Directions)

The Renewable Energy Lead Commissioner for the California Energy Commission, David Hochschild, will conduct a workshop on the Energy Commission's efforts to support and advance the integration of geothermal energy resources in California through the Geothermal Grant and Loan Program.

The Energy Commission's Geothermal Grant and Loan Program Past, Present & Future: A Conversation with Geothermal Stakeholders
You may participate in this meeting through WebEx, the Energy Commission's online meeting service. Presentations will appear on your computer screen, and you may listen to audio via your computer or telephone. Please be aware that the meeting may be recorded.

To join the meeting: Go to https://energy.webex.com and enter the unique meeting number: 928 259 619. When prompted, enter your name.

Science & Technology: Seismometer Helps Explain How Old Faithful Geyser Erupts

Seismic listening system offers new look at Old Faithful geyser (News Release)

Jamey Farrell of the University of Utah at Yellowstone
After deploying hundreds of seismometers around the Old Faithful Geyser in 2015 and 2016, scientists have a clearer picture of how the geyser erupts and what may lie beneath the popular tourist attraction in Yellowstone National Park.

At the 2017 Seismological Society of America's (SSA) Annual Meeting, Jamey Farrell of the University of Utah will describe how this seismic ear to the ground is helping the national park plan for its future infrastructure needs around the geyser. The data also offer a unique glimpse at the active hydrothermal system below the geyser, and how its activity could be used to monitor the eruption of less predictable geysers.

The GRC are hosting a 4 night trip to Yellowstone National Park from the GRC Annual Meeting & GEA GeoExpo+, being held in Salt Lake City, Utah, October 1-4.

Japan: Growing Influence in East African Geothermal Energy Sector

Japan looks to grow its presence across Africa (The Worldfolio)

(Courtesy CIA.gov)
Between 2016 and 2018, Japan has pledged to invest $30 billion in Africa’s development, as it bids to join the likes of China and the US in the battle for influence on the continent.

Competition in Africa is heating up, with Japan aiming to increase its presence and influence on the continent as it looks to make up ground lost to China since the turn of the century.

Japanese players in the geothermal sector are seeking to boost geothermal capacity in East Africa from 600,000 kilowatts to more than 1 million kilowatts, as part of the Power Africa programme, an initiative launched by former U.S. president Barack Obama in 2013. Japan joined Power Africa last year, following the signing of a partnership agreement between the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Other partners of Power Africa, which has leveraged nearly $43 billion in commitments from the public and private sectors, include the African Development Bank (AfDB), the World Bank, Sweden, Canada, Norway, the United Kingdom and the European Union.

St Lucia: Public Meeting on Geothermal Energy Project Today

Public consultation on Saint Lucia’s Geothermal Development Project (St. Lucia News Online)

April 11th 2017, between 9:00 am and 12:30 pm at the Leisure Inn Conference Room, in Soufriere

The exploratory phase of the project continues with the next crucial steps being the completion of an environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) which entails a preliminary assessment of environmental and social impacts associated with the project. Also, included in the immediate next steps is a pre-feasibility assessment which entails initial financial, economic, legal and power systems evaluations.

This assessment will provide informed recommendations to the Government on proceeding to the next stage of the geothermal programme.

To this end, the Department of Sustainable Development in collaboration with the Department of Planning and National Development with support from the World Bank is pleased to convene its third public consultation on the Geothermal Resource Development Project in the town of Soufriere.

The consultation is scheduled to take place on April 11th 2017, between 9:00 am and 12:30 pm at the Leisure Inn Conference Room, in Soufriere. The consultation is opened to key stakeholders and community members in the town of Soufriere and Choiseul where the geothermal resource is located.

Monday, April 10, 2017

China: Geothermal Energy Powers Xiongan Special Economic Zone

New Economic Zone Heats Up With Geothermal Energy (Caixin Global)

Xiongxian has been named as one of three counties in Hebei province that will form the new Xiongan special economic zone, slated for major development to take pressure off nearby Beijing.

With only 390,000 residents, Xiongxian has been plucked from obscurity partly due to its unusual status as an area where all the heat comes from clean geothermal energy. That contrasts sharply with Beijing, about 110 km (70 miles) away, and most other cities in northern China that rely on coal for most of their winter heat.

Such coal burning is a major factor behind polluted air that has plagued Beijing and nearby cities for the last decade, and has made environmental protection a top priority for the central government under its current Five-Year Plan through 2020. Geothermal power could play a bigger role now with the rise of the Xiongan New Area, and the inclusion of the resource in China’s latest national economic development plan.

Monday, February 27, 2017 - China: Geothermal District Heating Makes Great Strides in Northern Hebei Province - Global Geothermal News

Turkey: 295°C Bottom Temperature at 3,816 Meters Recorded at Bozköy Geothermal Project

Hottest geothermal well in Turkey reported with 295 centigrades (ThinkGeoEnergy)

Reported this week from Turkey,  3S Kale Energy Production Company has announced a record bottom temperature of 295 degrees Celsius at  a depth of 3,816 meters in Cappadocia. This is the hottest geothermal well ever drilled in Turkey.

The well was drilled on the Bozköy geothermal license within the borders of the provinces of Aksaray and Nigde.

Read More.......

Iceland: Krafla Magma Testbed Project Will Involve a 2.1 Kilometers Deep Geothermal Well

Iceland Magma Drilling Project May Revive Giant UK Power Cable Link (Reuters)

Krafla power station under the stars, Iceland by Bastien Poux. 
Scientists will study the possibility of producing geothermal energy from magma for the first time, in a $100 million project in Iceland, which if successful could produce up to 10 times more energy than from a conventional well.

The magma project, called Krafla Magma Testbed, will involve drilling a hole 2.1 kilometers deep directly into a magma chamber below the Krafla volcano in northern Iceland.

The project is being coordinated by Iceland's Geothermal Research Group (GEORG) and the British Geological Survey, with the participation of 38 institutes and companies from 11 countries including the United States, Canada and Russia.

Producing geothermal energy from magma would enable Iceland to export more energy and could also revive a plan to build a power cable from Iceland to Britain to provide power to British homes, in what would be the world's longest power interconnector.

USA, Hawaii: Challenge of Overproduction and Curtailment of Renewable Energy

Proactive Solutions to Curtailment Risks | Identifying New Contract Structures for Utility-Scale Renewables (SEPA)

Renewable Energy Utilization, December 2015
Combine high levels of solar generation with self-contained grids unable to export power to other regions, and you have the unique challenge of overproduction and curtailment now facing Hawaiian Electric Companies, which provides power on five of the state’s six islands.
 
A report from the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) and ScottMadden tackles the problem with a new approach to power purchase agreements, aimed at allocating risk evenly between developers, utilities and customers — and turning distributed generation from “must-take” to dispatchable power. With an eye to achieving the state’s goal of 100-percent renewable generation by 2045, PPA models in the report seek to incentivize dispatchability, preserve system flexibility and maximize value for consumers.