Friday, June 29, 2012


Landsvirkjun in Iceland Announces New Renewable Energy Power Purchase Agreement With PCC (Energy Digital)

Landsvirkjun today announced that it has signed a new power purchase agreement (PPA) with PCC BakkiSilicon hf, an Icelandic subsidiary of the Germany-based industry holding PCC SE. Under this new contract, Landsvirkjun will provide clean, renewable energy to power a metallurgical grade silicon metal production plant being built by PCC in Bakki near Husavik on Iceland's north coast. The 32,000 ton facility is scheduled to come online in late 2015 and will require 52 megawatts (MW) of power, or 456 gigawatt-hours (GWh) annually, which will be derived from renewable sources such as geothermal and hydro.



Alterra Power receives an offer for its interest in an Icelandic power company (Canadian Business)

VANCOUVER - Alterra Power (TSX:AXY) has received an offer for its 66.6 per cent interest in HS Orka, a geothermal power company in Iceland.

Alterra did not release financial terms on Friday of the non-binding deal, which requires the approval of the Icelandic government.

"Exploring this transaction does not change Alterra's focus on expanding and optimizing its clean energy operations in Iceland," Anders Kruss, vice-president of corporate relations, said in a news release.

Read More....


Vale geothermal plant to start generating power (Statesman Journal)

VALE, Ore. -- The operator of Oregon's first geothermal plant near Vale says it will start generating electricity this summer.

In an update Wednesday to Malheur County officials, U.S. Geothermal environmental manager Scott Nichols said the first of three power plant units will start on July 6. The second will follow later in July and the third by the end of the summer.

Read More....

Thursday, June 28, 2012


NH Adopts Full Thermal Incentive for Renewable Portfolio (Melodika)

 New Hampshire is the first state to fully incorporate renewable thermal energy into its RPS program, and grant incentives to biomass, solar and geothermal project developers that are equivalent in value to those for developers of renewable electricity projects. Renewable energy certificates (RECs) will be worth up to $29 per megawatt-hour of useful thermal energy produced by qualified thermal projects, and the program is authorized at least through the year 2025.



U.S. Geothermal Announces Mechanical Completion of Second Power Module at Neal Hot Springs (Market Wire)

U.S. Geothermal Inc., a leading renewable energy company focused on the development, production and sale of electricity from geothermal energy, today announced that its construction contractor has provided a notice of mechanical completion for the second of three 7.3 net megawatt, air cooled power plant modules at the Company's Neal Hot Springs project, located in Malheur County, Oregon.

Construction on the 22 net megawatt project is approximately 93 percent complete and is expected to achieve full commercial operation late in the third quarter of 2012. Commissioning activities on the first module are progressing, with the first turbine roll scheduled to occur in August. Once the turbine has been commissioned, the first module will undergo performance and acceptance testing, leading to continuous operation. All major components are now on site and the third power plant module now slated to achieve mechanical completion during the second week of July.

Read More....


Geothermal Energy Association Announces Finalists for 2012 GEA Honors (Environmental Expert)

The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) announced today the finalists for the GEA Honors, which recognize companies and individuals that have made significant contributions during the past year to advancing technology, spurring economic development or protecting the environment.

Read More....

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


PEA goes geothermal (Seacoast Online)

There's something new going on underneath the grounds of Phillips Exeter Academy.

Forty-nine geothermal wells, each 400 feet deep and eight inches in diameter, are being installed under the Academy Building lawn as part of Phase 2 of the Phillips Hall renovation project. The installation of the wells began the day after graduation earlier this month.

Through a closed-loop pump system, the wells will provide heating and cooling to Phillips Hall, which currently doesn't have an air conditioning system.

"We looked at a number of alternative systems to bring cooling into Phillips Hall," said Roger Wakeman, director of facilities management at PEA.

After doing some research, Wakeman said, it was determined the geothermal wells would be about 30 percent more efficient in energy use then conventional heating and cooling, and the project would pay for itself in 12 to 13 years.

Read More....


Introducing, “The Earth Thermometer” (Energy Digital)

Targeted to the geophysical exploration, geothermal and soil science sectors, the Earth Thermometer is a 1.6 metre long needle probe that can be used for short or long-term deployments. Data can be stored for up to one year and the probe’s durable construction allows it to be re-used multiple times. Temperature readings are taken at 30cm and 110cm below the surface.

“The Earth Thermometer is another piece of equipment for the geophysicist’s toolbox. Because it is reusable and easily deployed, we expect to sell units to geophysical rental equipment companies worldwide,” said Graeme Beardsmore the device designer and Hot Dry Rocks’ President.

Read More....


Portland airport terminal gets green kudos (The Sacramento Bee)

PORTLAND, Maine -- Maine's Portland International Jetport has become the nation's second commercial airport to receive LEED gold certification.

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and its gold certification demonstrates that the airport was built to environmentally friendly, energy-efficient standards.

Airport Director Paul Bradbury says the new terminal will save $150,000 a year in fuel costs thanks to installation of the state's largest geothermal system. The system features 120 wells, each 500 feet deep.

Read more....

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) Awards 2012

Deadline for submissions is June 30

Last years winners of the GRC Awards

The 31st Annual Award winners will be announced at the Geothermal Resources Council Annual Meeting in Reno, Nevada. 

The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) is is pleased to announce the opening of nominations for this year's GRC Awards. The awards recognize distinguished colleagues in the geothermal community from around the world and have been a highlight of the geothermal calendar since the late 1970's.

The winners will honored at the GRC Annual Member Meeting and Awards Luncheon, the climax to the GRC Annual Meeting being held at the Peppermill Resort Spa in Reno, Nevada, USA from September 30 - October 3. The theme for this year's meeting is Geothermal: Reliable, Renewable, Global.

Read More.......                             Nomination Form (PDF)

Monday, June 25, 2012


Landsvirkjun Announces New Renewable Energy Power Purchase Agreement With Geothermal Metal Recycling (Market Wire)

Landsvirkjun and GMR Endurvinnslan ehf. (Geothermal Metal Recycling - GMR) announced on Monday June 25 that the two companies have agreed on terms for a new power purchase agreement (PPA).

Under this new contract, Landsvirkjun will provide clean, renewable energy to power a steel and scrap metal recycling plant at the Grundartangi industrial area on Iceland's southwest coast. The power purchase agreement commits Landsvirkjun to provide GMR with up to 10 MW of power for a seven year period.

Read More....


Geothermal Energy: The World’s Hottest Investment (Wall Street Daily)

Geothermal energy if often overshadowed by other forms of alternative energy, but investors should sit up and take note of the investment prospects. The fact is, geothermal energy in 2010 actually produced twice as much power as solar and wind combined. And its growth prospects are improving.

Current development of global geothermal energy pipelines now exceeds 9 gigawatts (GW). To put that in perspective, the current total of installed geothermal capacity only amounts to 11 GW worldwide – and that’s after 30 years of development.

Read More....


Geothermal In The Land Of Burning Man (Earth Techling)

For example: On your way to Burning Man this year, peer off to the west, oh, about eight miles before you hit Empire on Highway 447. You won’t be able to see it, but just a short drive out that lonely two-lane stretch of cracked macadam, out behind the hills, there’s clean energy being produced.

The Sen Emidio geothermal plant has been operating in what is officially (and somewhat oddly) called the San Emidio Desert Known Geothermal Resource Area since the late 1980s. But a significant upgrade has been under way over the past couple of years, and last week U.S. Geothermal began commercial operation of a new 8.6 megawatt power plant.

Read More....

Friday, June 22, 2012


Environmentalists laud Ball State efforts (News-Sentinel)

The International Sustainable Campus Network gave the college its Excellence in Integration Award Wednesday.

The group cited Ball State's courses on environmental sustainability and the creation of an environmental council to conserve resources around the campus. The group also lauded the college's focus on building LEED certified facilities and a large geothermal heating and cooling system.

Read More....


Tremendous Potential in Geothermal Energy (Penny Stock Detectives)

When we think of green energy, we think of how to most efficiently use the natural energy alternatives we have available in a way that harms the environment the least.

Geothermal energy is the most fascinating green energy alternative, because its source of green energy is practically limitless, while causing little harm to the environment.

We all intuitively understand that, even at shallow depths, the earth provides a lot of heat. Despite thinking of particular areas around the world that have naturally warm climates, the truth is that, if we dig even a shallow amount underneath the earth’s crust, we can literally feel the natural heat that is generated by the earth itself.



U.S. Grants for Clean Energy Will Create Jobs in Africa (Bloomberg Business Week)

The U.S. will provide $20 million in grants for clean-energy projects in Africa, an industry that will create new jobs in the region, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.

The continent has abundant sunlight as well as geothermal and hydropower reserves that can be used to produce electricity, Clinton said today during a press briefing at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro.

Read More....

Thursday, June 21, 2012

United Kingdom:

"The Geothermal Energy Market to be Worth $12.94bn in 2012" According to New Visiongain Report (Energy Digital)

As traditional fossil fuel energy sources dwindle and increase in price, renewable energies become a more attractive prospect and more cost competitive. Geothermal energy, whether used to produce electricity by driving a turbine, or used directly for heating, has considerable potential for growth due to its ability to consistently deliver energy.

Read More....


U.S. Geothermal Inc. Announces San Emidio Achieves Commercial Production (Market Wire)

U.S. Geothermal Inc., a leading renewable energy company focused on the development, production and sale of electricity from geothermal energy, is pleased to announce that its wholly owned subsidiary, USG Nevada LLC, has notified its customer NV Energy that Commercial Operation was achieved by the new 11.75 gross (8.6 net) megawatt Unit I power plant. Electrical energy from the new power plant is now being sold for $89.75 per megawatt hour ("MWH"), subject to a 1% annual escalator, under the terms of a 25 year power purchase agreement. The new power plant is projected to generate an average of approximately 71,500 MWHs of electrical power each year. The new power plant replaces an existing facility that, prior to being removed from service, generated approximately 23,000 MWH annually using the same production and injection wells.

Read More....


Geothermal energy conference to take place in Reykjavík Iceland (Ice News)

The Iceland Geothermal energy conference, IGC 2013, is set to take place at the Harpa Conference Centre in Reykjavík between 5th – 8th March next year. The event, hosted by the Iceland Geothermal initiative, will be focusing on the geothermal value chain.

The Iceland Geothermal Conference is uniquely situated in a region rich in geothermal energy, and due to this, field trips will be offered as part of the program to selected geothermal areas close to Reykjavík in order for attendees to experience Iceland’s geothermal energy first hand.

Read More....


Does Energy-Related Drilling Trigger Earthquakes? (The Energy Collective)

Last week the National Research Council published a comprehensive study of the seismic hazards and risks of a variety of energy-related drilling activities. Despite widely publicized reports of drilling-related quakes in Ohio and Arkansas, the report concluded that such events are very rare, compared to both the total number of wells drilled and to naturally occurring earthquakes.

Read More....


100 Days to the GRC 2012 Annual Meeting 

September 30-October 3, 2012
Reno, Nevada, at the Peppermill Resort Spa.

"Geothermal: Reliable, Renewable, Global".

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Geothermal: Is the Past Prologue? (Honolulu Civil Beat)

Tapping into Pele’s energy in the past has unleashed considerable heat, not just from the ground but from the heart and soul of the community. And that’s because in trying to draw from what the land has to offer, people and culture were treated like poor relatives waiting for a handout. The disrespect to culture and traditions and the disregard for people in the initial pursuit of profits from geothermal energy are not easily forgotten. It has left scars on the landscape and on our sensibilities.

Read More....


Bill O'Reilly: Look to Iceland for Obama's vision for America (PostBulletin)

REYKJAVIK — President Obama would like Iceland. Geothermal energy, free health care, and high taxes dominate the landscape. Mr. Obama would be in his element, even if the actual elements are a bit harsh. Iceland is definitely worth a look if you want to understand the president's vision for America, which is why I have traveled here.

Read More....


House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight, and Government Spending Hearing (Insurancenewsnet)

The advantages of geothermal energy are many. It harnesses a naturally available energy source, it offers base load electricity year-round with high reliability, and it provides an environmentally friendly alternative to fossil-fuel power generation.

Read More....


Sacred Sites: California’s Medicine Lake Highlands and Hatchet Mountain (Indian Country Today Media Network)

Geothermal and wind are forms of the renewable energy that, to many concerned people of Turtle Island, will be integral to any sort of solution to the ongoing energy crisis the planet faces. Geothermal and wind power are good, right?

You might hear a different reaction if you broach the subjects with members of the Pit River, Modoc, Shasta, Karuk, Wintu and other Tribes who hold sacred the region northeast of Mount Shasta, in California.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Geothermal: Kenya pins its hopes on steam power (Financial Times)

Deep inside the rim of the world’s second-largest volcanic caldera, the smell of rotten eggs and furious clouds of white smoke hug the rugged land. Here, where the earth’s crust thins as the Rift Valley twists its way north, scientists are hunting for steam.

Read More....


PGE kicks off 1,000 MW geothermal project (Eco-business)

Pertamina Geothermal Energy (PGE), a subsidiary of state oil and gas firm PT Pertamina, has launched a 1,000-megawatt (MW) geothermal energy investment package with financial assistance from the World Bank and the government of New Zealand.

Read More....


Second Annual GEA National Geothermal Summit to Bring Top Industry and Policy Leaders to Sacramento  (Altenergymag)

Washington, D.C. (June 18, 2011) – Registration is now open for the GEA National Geothermal Summit to be held August 7-8 in Sacramento. Hosted by the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA), the Summit brings together policy leaders, utilities and industry professionals to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing the geothermal industry at a time when all renewable technology sectors are striving for sustained growth in order to deal with the world's current energy crisis.

Read More.....


Bohr, Baby, Bohr! German Policies Support Enhanced Geothermal Drilling (greentechmedia)

Germany may have found the secret sauce that encourages new geothermal projects: policies that directly support drilling and financing the power plant—by lowering investor risks.



New and Improved GRC Geothermal Library Available (Press Release)

35,000 records on all aspects of geothermal energy now available on the GRC library website

The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) is is pleased to announce that the new and improved GRC Geothermal Library is fully operational, with a streamlined interface making geothermal research easier. Features include basic and advanced searches, sorting options, the ability to produce customized lists of citations and PDF downloads.

The GRC Geothermal Library contains approximately 35,000 records on all aspects of geothermal energy, including exploration, reservoir engineering, power plant design and operation, direct use, geothermal heat pumps, regulatory issues, energy policy, energy markets, news briefs, and more.

Friday, June 15, 2012


Germany Opens Public Access to Online Geothermal Information System (Cross-Posted from Think Geoenergy)

Geotis Database, Snapshot of Installation Page
(Source: Geotis.De)
GeotIS, the Geothermal Information System  has debuted an English version to the public.

The system provides information about the geothermal potential of Germany and geothermal installations using deep geothermal energy. From now on, an English version also meets demand of an international audience.


USAID And GEA Announce Public-Private Partnership Initiative at AGOA Forum (United States Agency for International Development)

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Geothermal Energy Association signed a MOU agreement today to develop geothermal resources in East Africa. At the annual meeting of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum, USAID’s Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Africa, Michael Curtis, and Karl Gawell, Executive Director for the U.S. Geothermal Energy Association said the region’s resources have the potential to address power shortages in countries along the Rift Valley.


Geothermal Energy as a New Energy Supply Alternative (I Love Chile)

(Courtesy CIA Word Factbook)
Chile is a country rich in nature energy sources, such as solar, wind, biomass, and hydro. It is also a country with a high potential for geothermal energy. Chile belongs to the Pacific Ring of Fire, a massive line of intense volcanic and seismic activity. Therefore, geothermal energy generation is a new opportunity for the country to solve its growing need for energy.

Read More.....


Prelude to a Catastrophe: “The Unusual Character of the Seismic Activity Became Clear”  (Scientific American)

Mount St. Helens from Spirit Lake. Skamania County,
Washington. August, 1975. The volcano exploded in 1980.
(Image courtesy Donal Mullineaux, USGS.)
Mount St. Helens had always been more seismically noisy than her siblings. Studies in the early 1970s found two types of earthquake: typically “volcanic” quakes high on the mountain, and classically tectonic quakes a few kilometers beneath to the northeast and southwest. Further studies revealed the earthquakes with “volcanic” signatures to be glaciers grating down the mountain. None of this was unusual for an ice-covered volcano in a tectonically feisty area.


Official opening of state-of-the-art greenhouse in Turkey - Powered by Geothermal (Fresh Plaza)

(Courtesy Sera Culture)  
Tuesday, 12 June, saw the celebratory opening in Aydin (Turkey) of Turkey’s most modern greenhouse: the Sustainable Innovation Centre. The joint venture and opening were celebrated in the presence of more than 100 guests invited from both the Netherlands and Turkey.

The greenhouse came into being following a comprehensive study conducted by Sera Culture, Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture and various specialist companies in the horticultural sector. The result of these studies is a greenhouse most ideally suited to south-western Turkey that utilises geothermal energy. Taking contemporary trends and future developments into account, the underlying principle was one of sustainable production. This resulted in a model glass greenhouse more than 4 hectares in size and using terrestrial heat with the required CO2 being obtained from the spring water and added to the greenhouse atmosphere. The water is then pumped back into the underlying strata.


Kenya Power Report Q3 2012 - new market research report (TransWorldNews)

Kenya's power sector continues to diversified its energy generation capability.

Over the longer term, the favoured form of renewable energy is geothermal, where potential is believed to be considerable.

Business Monitor International anticipates that Kenya's overall power generation will grow by an annual average of 11.15% between 2011 and 2016, to reach 11.77TWh. Driving this growth will be a 4.78% annual average increase in hydropower and a 28.02% annual average rise in the supply of renewables-based electricity.

- Kenya Electricity Generating Company's (KenGen) plans to build six new geothermal power plants are part of Kenya's bid to diversify its power mix away from costly thermal and unreliable hydropower. Nonetheless, we note that the US$12bn price tag associated with these relatively small projects is prohibitive, and we note that the company is likely to encounter difficulties in raising the financing required.

- Electricity feed-in tariffs (FiTs) in Kenya have boosted interest in renewable energy sources in the country. Kenya's FiTs guarantee the price paid for electricity from renewable sources, ensuring these technologies are cost competitive with more conventional power plants and encourage the development of renewables facilities in the country.


Japan To Set Clean-Energy Subsidies Matching Panel’s Proposals (Bloomberg)

(Courtesy CIA World Fact Book)
Japan is set to announce incentives for renewable-energy generation on June 18 and will endorse the rates proposed by a government panel, an official said today.

The decision is needed for Japan to start a so-called feed- in tariff program on July 1 to increase clean-energy use following the March 2011 nuclear accident.

The five-member panel proposed in late April tariffs for solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and small hydropower and the ministry sought public opinions until June 1. Edano will endorse the tariffs recommended by the panel for all five types of clean energy, said Trade Minister Yukio Edano.

The industry minister’s confirmation will mark the final step in setting the tariffs that will be good until March 2013. The minister will set the terms and rates paid each year.

For geothermal, the panel suggested 27.30 yen a kilowatt-hour for plants with the capacity of 15,000 kilowatts or more and 42 yen for smaller plants, both for 15 years.


Geodynamics Sells Rig (Upstream Online)

Australian geothermal energy company Geodynamics has sold a custom-built National Oilwell Varco rig for A$21 million (US$21 million), to coal bed methane company Pangaea Resources, the company has announced.

Geodynamics chief executive Geoff Ward said the sale of Rig 200, a 3000 HP, 1 million pound A/C rig, would bolster the company’s balance sheet amidst difficult market conditions.


Geothermal Energy: Pros and Cons 
(Triple Pundit)

(Courtesy Eyeline-imagery:
Flickr Creative Commons)   
The core of the Earth, some 4,000 miles beneath its surface, is a fiery morass of superheated gas and molten rock which exists at roughly 7200 degrees Fahrenheit. That temperature is maintained by the decay of radioactive particles located within the Earth’s core. Technically, one could say that geothermal power is a form of nuclear power, though with far different implications from nuclear power as we know it, since these reactions occur in a containment vessel with walls thousands of miles thick. Even so, we still get things like uranium and radon gas, seeping up to the surface.

USA, Nevada:

Reclamation Announces Decision on Patua Geothermal Project Phase II  (Lahontan Valley News)

The Bureau of Reclamation has signed a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for an Environmental Assessment (EA) on the impacts of various projects on Reclamation-managed lands as part of the Patua Geothermal Project Phase II.

Gradient Resources Inc., (GRI) has obtained the rights to federal geothermal leases issued by the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), for portions of the Patua Geothermal Project Phase II. The lease areas are located in Churchill and Lyon counties. BLM manages the subsurface geothermal resources underlying the federal leases in the project area, and Reclamation's Lahontan Basin Area Office is the surface management agency. BLM oversees approval of the geothermal facilities on Reclamation-managed lands in consultation with Reclamation.


Kenya courts private geothermal investors (Engineering News)

(Courtesy CIA World Factbook)
Kenya is courting private-sector investors to help accelerate the development of geothermal power projects and tackle the country’s chronic power deficit.

After it became apparent that raising about $2-billion to finance the building of geothermal plants with a combined capacity of 2,000 MWe would be a tall order, the authorities decided to target equity investors to finance the projects.

The State-owned Geothermal Development Corporation (GDC) has already put out bids inviting equity investors to fund the installation of 800 MWe of capacity at a cost of $800-million.

The GDC says it would like to enter into joint venture agreements with four equity investors to fund the Menengai II project, where 120 wells will be drilled, with the steam sold to power generators like the Kenya Electricity Generating Company.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


GRC Annual Meeting - Update

In this issue:
  • Don't Forget to Submit Your 2012 GRC Awards Nomination!
    Deadline: June 29, 2012
  • GRC Annual Charity Golf Tournament Registration
  • The GRC Annual Photo Contest
    Submission Deadline: August 31, 2012
  •  Become A Sponsor of the World's Largest Annual Geothermal Gathering!


New Tax Benefits for Australian Geothermal Explorers (Mondaq)

(Courtesy CIA World Fact Book)
Exposure draft legislation released this week will allow geothermal explorers to access immediate tax write offs and deductions for exploration expenses in certain circumstances.

The new rules will apply to assets first used after 1 July 2012, and will give geothermal exploration entities the same ability to claim immediate tax deductions and depreciation on certain assets as miners and other exploration companies.

USA, California:

California Grid Hits Record Solar Generation Peak (KCET)
(Courtesy Cal ISO)
On June 8, a record 849 MWe of solar-generated electricity was feeding into the state's power grid but on the same day geothermal generated a steady baseload 924 MWe.

Eric Wesoff at GreenTechMedia notes that California reached a renewable energy milestone last week: At one point on June 8, according to the California Independent System Operator (CaISO), a record 849 MWe of solar-generated electricity was feeding into the state's power grid.

According to CaISO's own figures -- which you can track daily here -- the solar contribution has dropped slightly in the last few days, likely a result of slightly lower statewide temperatures reducing peak demand.

A bit of perspective is important here. Even as it was breaking that record on June 8, the state's solar generating capacity wasn't the largest contributor of renewable energy to the grid, according to CaISO. Geothermal plants put a bit over 900 MWe into the grid, and geothermal and solar combined were far outstripped by the state's wind turbines, which generated something in the neighborhood of three gigawatts of power during the course of the day.


Indonesia to Expand Direct Appointment for Geothermal Concessions (The Jakarta Globe)

(Courtesy CIA World Fact Book)
The Indonesian government is planning to expand use of the direct appointment mechanism to award geothermal concessions in a bid to boost the sector’s development, Energy Minister Jero Wacik said.

Under the current system, the government can directly appoint a company to expand an existing geothermal concession. Wacik said that under the new regulation, such direct appointment could also be used for new concessions.

He said the move is expected to help accelerate the development of geothermal energy and reduce dependency on fossil fuels for power generation.

Read More.....

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


How to Hold Geothermal Project Community Meetings and Gain Credibility (Cross-posted from Think Geoenergy)

Community engagement is becoming increasingly crucial to successful project development in the geothermal world, so it is important to take community meetings and engagement serious and plan them thoroughly.

New Zealand:

Drilling issues for Mighty River (Timaru Herald)

Mighty River Power says it has been having problems drilling wells for a new geothermal plant near Taupo, but claims the project is on track to be completed within budget.

The state-owned energy company, slated to be the first to be partially privatised under the Government's mixed ownership model, is spending up to $466 million building the 82 MWe Ngatamariki, about 17km east of Taupo.

In an update on its development projects released this morning, Mighty River said the second injection well drilled at the site "brought some challenges for the project team" although these remained within the contingency budget for the project.

The statement did not give details on the nature of the problems.


Technical Session Topics Announced for GRC Annual Meeting (Press Release)

70 Hours of presentations offered at the 2012 GRC Annual Meeting in Reno, Nevada.

The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) is is pleased to announce the topics for the Technical Sessions at the 2012 GRC Annual Meeting.

The topics on offer are:
  • African Rift
  • Basin & Range
  • Business Development
  • Case Studies
  • Coproduction
  • Direct Use
  • Drilling 
  • EGS
  • Exploration
  • Geochemistry
  • Geology
  • Geophysics
  • Heat Pumps 
  • Power Operations
  • Production
  • Technology
  • Regulatory/Environmental Issues
  • Reservoir Management
  • Resource Assessment

New Zealand:

Mighty River Power Development Projects Update (News Release)

Mighty River Power has today released an update of its key development projects, both domestic and international.

Geothermal represents 0.3% of generation globally but is growing strongly as many companies look to expand their domestic electricity generation from renewable sources. Through its investment in GGE the Company has built a platform for international geothermal growth, which leverages its experience and rare competencies in this global niche.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


IEA calls for $36 trillion more in clean energy investments (CNN Money)

The International Energy Agency said the world's clean energy investments are sorely lacking and this week called for an additional $36 trillion of funding by 2050.

In a sharply-worded introduction to a 700-page report, IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven said governments and private industry need to do far more if the world is to hold global warming to what most scientists say is an acceptable level.


Geothermal potential in Dua Sudara and Airmadidi, North Sulawesi (

Minahasa Utara district 
(Courtesy Google Maps)
The energy and mineral resources office of North Sulawesi province is examining two areas – Dua Sudara and Airmadidi in Minahasa Utara district – for their geothermal potential.

“We have already requested the government, particularly the geological agency, to carry out a preliminary investigation of these two regions,” said Marly Gumalag, the head of general mining division of the energy and mineral resources office of North Sulawesi province, here on Monday.

Marly stated a preliminary investigation was necessary to ascertain before auction whether the proposed location had the necessary geothermal potential.

Read More....


Oji Paper Turns Page To Geothermal Power (Nikkei)

Oji Paper Co. said Tuesday that it will survey a company-owned forest in Hokkaido to gauge its potential for geothermal power.

The joint effort with general contractor Obayashi Corp. will begin in the fall and is expected to cost at least several billion yen.

With the domestic paper market in decline, Oji is looking to branch out into natural resources and energy. The firm owns 190,000 hectares of forest in Japan, making it one of the largest corporate woodland owners.

Read More.....

Monday, June 11, 2012


Upcoming GRC Co-Sponsored Events


Nicaragua Looks to Geothermal for Energy Independence (National Geographic)

View of Los Maribios volcanic chain,
Nicaragua. (Courtesy National Geographic
 - Photograph by Joshua Berman)
Stretching across Nicaragua’s west coast, the Maribios volcanic chain may harbor a solution to the country’s energy crisis. The power embedded in those volcanoes is being harvested through geothermal projects, which could help Nicaragua wean itself from its dependence on imported fossil fuels and meet more of its energy demand.

Costa Rica:

Costa Rica Invests in Geothermal Power (IPS News)

Miravalles geothermal power 
station. (Courtesy Costa Rican 
Institute of Electricity)
The government of Costa Rica hopes to increase its power generation by tapping into volcanic hot spots, and to that end it has introduced a controversial bill in Congress that would allow drilling into volcanoes in national parks.

In January, the governmental Costa Rican Institute of Electricity (ICE) announced that it is contracting equipment for the geothermal power station of Las Pailas, on the side of the Rincón de la Vieja volcano, in the northwest province of Guanacaste.

The plant is scheduled to become operational in 2011, adding 35 megawatts to the 163.5 that are already supplied by the five units of the Miravalles volcano power station, in operation since 1994.

That same year, a third project, the Borinque, on the northeast side of the Rincón de la Vieja volcano, will be launched.

USA, Hawai'i:

Hawaii County Sees Rising Number of Geothermal-Related Relocation Requests (Pacific Business News)

Hawaii County has approved the purchase of five homes near the Puna Geothermal Venture plant, and the county Planning Department is processing another seven relocation requests.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald is reporting that the latest relocation requests have been filed in the past month, and Hawaii County will spend about $1 million if all 12 homes end up being purchased.

USA, Hawai'i:

Geothermal Bills Pass First Reading (Big Island Video News)

During the Hawaii County Council’s long day on Thursday, a few bills pertaining geothermal energy were passed on first reading.

Bill 256, dealing with the geothermal royalties paid to the county by the Puna Geothermal Venture, will be renamed and redefined in order to facilitate the relocation of people living within one mile of the geothermal facility. Many of the residents living that close to the power plant say they have been suffering health problems and place the blame on the geothermal company. The bill will also allow expenditures for air quality monitoring equipment. The money will no longer be used for general community benefits, like paving roads and so forth… (VIDEO 3:19 minutes)


Chevron Eyes Geothermal Plant on Luzon Island (StocksandShares.TV)

Partnering with APC Group, the power and infrastructure affiliate of Belle Corporation, energy giant Chevron Corporation is planning to put up a geothermal power plant in Kalinga, Philippines.

APC Group chairman and president Willy Ocier said, “Chevron Corporation will have to drill four wells in its service area first to confirm surveys on its steam energy resources before the group can finalize the details of the planned power plant.


China Topped USA in Renewable Energy Investment in 2011 (USA Today)

China was responsible for almost a fifth of the total investment volume, spending $52 billion on renewable energy last year. The United States was close behind with investments of $51 billion, as developers sought to benefit from government incentive programs before they expired. Germany, Italy and India rounded out the top five.

It noted that developing countries are also exploring the use of renewable energy other than hydropower, which has long been a popular source in poor countries.

Nations in East Africa are seeking to take advantage of abundant geothermal capacity in the Rift Valley. Kenya aims to meet half of its electricity needs with geothermal power by 2018. Djibouti, Eritrea, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda are also exploring geothermal use. Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2012 (PDF)

Friday, June 8, 2012


Kenya to Build High-Voltage Transmission Line (Reuters)

Kenya plans to build a 100 kilometre power transmission line to carry electricity from upcoming geothermal and wind power projects, a senior government official said on Friday.

"This construction of the line from Suswa in Naivasha to Isinya in Kajiado will help us (carry) ... between now and 2020 at least 1,500 MW, rising to 2,000 MW," Patrick Nyoike, permanent secretary at the ministry of energy, said.


Mexico President Signs Ambitious Climate Targets into Law (Clean Techies)

Mexico President Felipe
Wikipedia Commons)
Mexico President Felipe Calderon this week signed into law ambitious climate targets aimed at drastically cutting the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions and increasing the share of clean energy in the coming decades.

The law, passed unanimously by the Senate, commits Mexico to cut greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2020 and 50 percent by 2050. In addition, it stipulates that 35 percent of Mexico’s energy will come from renewable sources by 2024 and that all government agencies will be required to use green energy sources.


Leveling the Energy Playing Field: Senate Bill to Allow Renewable Energy MLPs (CleanTechnica)

Sen. Christopher Coons
One of the ways the US federal government subsidizes the fossil fuel industry — natural gas and oil distributors in particular — is through Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs). These special purpose investment vehicles exempt investors who form them from certain corporate income taxes. The catch is that MLPs have to distribute most of their income to partnership shareholders on a quarterly basis.

Sen. Christopher Coons (D-Delaware) believes renewable energy industry participants could benefit greatly if they were allowed to form MLPs, and he, along with Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), on June 7 introduced legislation — The Master Limited Partnerships Parity Act — to make it happen.


Wasabi Energy of Melbourne, Australia, said this morning it has received a second order for its lower temperature Kalina Cycle power plant via its partnership with engineering giant FLSmidth.

The AIM-listed group will receive a one-off licence fee based on the output of the 4.75 MW generator, which will run on recycled heat from Star Cement’s Ras Al Khaimah operation in the United Arab Emirates. It will be installed in the second quarter of next year.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

United Kingdom:

Geothermal Project Could go Cold Without Investment (This is Cornwall)

Heat Map of Cornwall
The company behind ambitious plans to generate electricity using the heat from rocks deep underground near Redruth has warned the project cannot go ahead without investment.

Geothermal Engineering has earmarked land at United Downs as the site of the UK's first commercial "hot rocks" power plant.

It believes it can generate 10 MWe, enough to power 20,000 homes, by digging bore holes to harvest heat from rocks deep underground.

Research carried out by engineering consultants suggests geothermal could meet one fifth of the UK's electricity demand.

And although government financial support for geothermal is the same as for technologies such as offshore wind and solar power, it is only half the rate offered in Switzerland and Germany, said  Ryan Law, managing director of Geothermal Engineering.


Report Pegs Small Caribbean Islands' Geothermal Potential at 870 MWe (Business News Americas)

The technical potential for renewable energy development of small Caribbean island nations reaches 1.62 GW including 870 MWe of geothermal, according to a report released by the Organization of American States' sustainable development department.

The breakdown for the 4 island nations with geothermal potential is as follows:
  • Dominica 300 MWe
  • St Kitts and Nevis 300 MWe
  • St Lucia 170 MWe
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines 100 MWe
Download the full report: Energy Policy and Sector Analysis in the Caribbean 2010-2011 (PDF)

USA, Washington:

Comment Invited on Washington State Geothermal Lease ( - Seattle)

The Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest is seeking public comment until July 5 on whether to lease a portion of 9,308 acres of land nominated for geothermal exploration and development, located northeast of the town of Skykomish, Wash., within the North Fork Skykomish, Beckler, and Rapid River watersheds in Snohomish county.

Comments are due by July 5, contrary to the incorrect scoping period closing date in recent postal mailings of June 8. To comment or ask questions about this project, email Tasha Lo Porto or call at 425-783-6039. Mail written comments to Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, 2930 Wetmore Avenue, Suite 3A, Everett, Wash. 98201.

New Zealand:

Experts to Discuss Developing Geothermal Energy in New Zealand (Scoop)

A comprehensive workshop covering the many aspects of developing geothermal energy gets underway in Taupo next week.

Called ‘From Start to Steam’, the four-day event starting on 11 June will feature specialists explaining the myriad of steps involved in developing geothermal energy either producing electricity for the national grid, or supplying heat energy for direct use applications such as industrial processing or timber drying.  Download: From Start to Steam Flyer (PDF)


Possible Tax Exemption for Geothermal Equipment in Ethiopia (IPP

The Ethiopian Government is working on the possibilities of exempting tax on geothermal and alternative energy equipment, the Project Coordinator for bio-fuel production in the ministry of Minerals and Energy, Paul Kiwele said yesterday.

Explaining the consideration, he said, “…the elimination of tax on equipment will attract many companies to invest in the industry creating the availability of reliable and progressive energy.”

Read More......

USA, Reno:

Ram Power Announces Update for San Jacinto-Tizate Project and Corporate Credit Facility (Press Release - Marketwire)
  • The Project's Phase II, 36 MWe net expansion continues to be constructed on time and on budget, with construction-to-date approximately 75% complete. Construction of the Phase II expansion is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2012, with a commercial operation date of December 2012. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

USA, Alaska:

The Biggest Bang of the 20th Century: The 1912 Eruption of Novarupta in Alaska (

A schematic of the magmatic plumbing for the 1912 Novarupta 
eruption. Figure 158 from Hildreth and Fierstein (2012). 
Today (June 6) marks the 100th anniversary of the largest eruption of the 20th century, yet many people have never ever heard its name. In fact, the name was wrong for almost half a century! What is known as the Novarupta or Katmai eruption of 1912 was huge – ejecting almost 30 cubic kilometers of ash and debris into the atmosphere or along the ground as pyroclastic flows. That represents ~13 cubic kilometers of magma (once you correct for all the air in ash) erupted over the course of ~60 hours. That is a rate of nearly 220 million cubic meters per hour, which is roughly 520 million tonnes per hour – or to put it another way, that is ~5,300 Nimitz-class aircraft carriers per hour. Now that is an eruption!


83 Geothermal Exploration Concession Requests Under Review In Chile (Cross-posted from ThinkGeoEnergy)

The Chilean Ministry of Energy is currently reviewing 83 geothermal exploration concession requests. More than half of the requests come from Serviland Minergy, Energía Andina, Minera Escondida, Hot Rock and GeoGlobal Energy.