Thursday, May 24, 2018

Geothermal Energy News from Around the World

Global Geothermal News - Weekly Update

A Round-up of this week's geothermal energy news.......
Click on the links to view the whole story and other news on Global Geothermal News.

This weekly summary of Global Geothermal News has been made available, once again, to all our friends in the international geothermal energy community. However, if you wish to take advantage of the many other benefits of membership of the Geothermal Resources Council, please join our association.......... - To those of you who are GRC Members - Thank you for your support!

Kenya: AUC Awards Grant to Fund Geothermal Exploration in Western Kenya

Homa Bay geothermal firm gets exploration millions (Business Daily Africa)

Kenya renewable energy firm Capital Power has secured $720,000 (about Sh72.6 million) from the African Union Commission (AUC) for a 140 megawatts (MW) geothermal prospect in Homa Bay County.

Director Tony Wanyama said the funds will be used to conduct a surface study and infrastructure upgrade programme at the Homa Hill.

The grant represents 80 per cent of the total cost of the surface exploration at $1.07 million (about Sh107.9 million).

Capital Power will conduct the studies starting this year, with the commissioning of the power plant expected by 2023.

Germany: Continuing Deep Geothermal Energy Development May Require Government Aid

Tiefengeothermie: Hohe Risiken blockieren Bohrungen - Deep geothermal energy: high risks block drilling (Bizz-Energy)

Deep geothermal drilling in Trebur, Hessen.
Photo: Creative Commons / Ben Gasoline.
Die Erdwärmenutzung durch oberflächennahe Bohrungen nimmt zu, aber die potenzialreiche Tiefengeothermie stagniert. Nun fordert die Branche Anschubhilfe vom Staat.

(From Google Translate) The use of geothermal energy through near-surface drilling is increasing, but the potential-rich deep geothermal energy is stagnating. Now the industry is calling for start-up aid from the state.

Some swear by the potential of an inexhaustible source of energy, while others warn against self-generated earthquakes, toxic gases and radioactivity. As controversial as the use of heat from deep wells is, their reality is modest: according to the German Geothermal Association, there are just 36 power plants in Germany that are known as deep geothermal energy. Its 35 megawatts (MW) electric power equals twelve modern wind turbines. The heat output of 315 MW looks a bit more impressive, it roughly corresponds to the power of three modern gas-fired power plants. Although there are plans for around 30 other plants, there are currently only two under construction. One in the Bavarian Holzkirchen, the other in Munich.

Weiterlesen........                       Read More........

Thanks to Bernhard Welker for the lead.

Mexico: Two Day Conference on Geothermal Energy in Latin America

5th Geothermal Congress for Latin America and the Caribbean (GEOLAC)

Global Geothermal News is pleased to be a Lead Content Partner and the Geothermal Resources Council as a Partner for the GEOLAC conference.

July 17-18, 2018, Mexico City, Mexico

Co-hosted by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and The World Bank, and featuring high level participation from SENER, this year’s event will gather governments, utilities, multilaterals, developers and capital providers to map the role of geothermal across LAC’s rapidly changing energy matrix, showcase emerging opportunities for investment, pinpoint regional obstacles, and highlight new sources of funding.

More Information..........

Geothermal Energy Event of the Year - Essential Information

GRC Annual Meeting & Expo - A Geothermal Event!

14-17 October, 2018
Peppermill Resort Spa Casino, Reno, Nevada, USA

Nearly 1,000 attendees came to the 2017 GRC Annual Meeting and Expo from 35 different countries 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 2018.

Canada: Good Graphic of Saskatchewan Geothermal Power Project

Canada's first-ever geothermal power plant in the works for Torquay area (Saskatoon StarPhoenix)

An underground aquifer could one day power hundreds of thousands of Saskatchewan homes. The project will be the first attempt to generate commercially viable electricity through geothermal power in Canada.

Iceland: Another Successful Geothermal Energy Master’s Thesis!

MSc Thesis: Steady State Numerical Modelling of Los Humeros Geothermal Field (Iceland School of Energy)

Scherezade Diaz Martos successfully defends her master’s thesis

At the beginning of this month, Scherezade Diaz Martos, MSc in Sustainable Energy successfully defended her master’s thesis project, in which she conducted a steady state numerical modelling of the Los Humeros geothermal field.

Scherezade was supervised by Juliet Newson from Reykjavik University.  Michael John O´Sullivan from the University of Auckland was present as an examiner.

Read More.........

USA, Hawaii: Close-Up View of Conditions At Puna Geothermal Venture

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Status Report (U.S. Geological Survey)

Wednesday, May 23, 2018, 10:46 PM HST (Thursday, May 24, 2018, 08:46 UTC)

Eruption of lava and ground cracking continues in the area of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens subdivision.

The middle portion of the fissure system continues to produce the most robust eruptive activity in the Lower East Rift Zone. The fountains from Fissure 22 feed a single lava channel that reaches the coast just north of MacKenzie State Park. The actual point of entry has continued shifting to the west. Fountains erupted from Fissures 5, 6, 13, and 19 continued to feed a lava flow advancing to the south along the west side of Fissure 22 flows that reached the ocean late this afternoon.There are now two ocean entry points that produce occasional small explosions.

Volcanic gas emissions remain very high from the fissure eruptions.

More Information.........

USA, Hawaii: Lava Wall is Blocking Molten Rock from Flowing North Toward Puna Geothermal Venture

Lava wall protecting geothermal plant (KITV Honolulu)

(Video 1:39 Minutes)

Officials say lava spatter from Hawaii's erupting volcano is creating a wall that's helping protect a nearby geothermal plant.
U.S. Geological Survey scientist Wendy Stovall said Wednesday that lava erupting from a vent closest to Puna Geothermal Venture is shooting higher than lava coming out of other vents. She says it's also producing the highest lava wall, which is blocking molten rock from flowing north toward the plant.
Residents have been concerned about hazards if lava flowed over the plant's facilities or if the molten rock heated chemicals at the plant. Lava from the eruption on the Big Island is primarily flowing south toward the ocean.
Officials shut down Puna Geothermal shortly after Kilauea began erupting on May 3. On Tuesday, officials finished plugging wells that bring up hot liquid and steam that feed a turbine generator.

Netherlands: Opportunities for "Ultra Deep Geothermal"

Can Ultra-deep Geothermal Contribute to a Sustainable Energy System? (Elektor)

The last five years, geothermal energy has seen a slow but steady rise. District heating in Germany, France and the Netherlands is a success. Due to financial and regulatory constraints growth of Ultra Deep Geothermal (UDG) energy slackens, though. Can UDG serve as a renewable energy source in the Netherlands, now that it is phasing out Groninger gas?

Ultra deep geothermal energy (UDG) is ..... a chance for Dutch industry as well as a headache. Some forty percent of all energy demand in the Netherlands is heat; housing and process industry take an equal share. Up until now, UDG is used at two to three kilometres depth for sixteen greenhouses in Holland (Westland and Haarlemmermeer) but there are opportunities for other industries (like paper and dairy) as well. Moreover, the Dutch government recently announced that natural gas from its Groningen field has to be phased-out before 2023 (due to recent earthquakes in the Northern part of the country).

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Global: $15,000 in Educational Awards Available to Eight Students in Global Geothermal Energy Community

2018 Geothermal Resources Council Scholarships - Deadline is This Week  (News Release)

Applications must be received by Friday May 25, 2018 to be considered.

The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC), a non-profit educational association dedicated to the promotion of geothermal energy and associated technologies around the world, has announced the following changes to the 2018 GRC Scholarship Awards:

Science & Technology: Algorithms Pick Out Hidden Signals that Could Boost Geothermal Energy Production

Machine learning reveals cyclic changes in seismic source spectra in Geysers geothermal field (Science Advances)

The earthquake rupture process comprises complex interactions of stress, fracture, and frictional properties. New machine learning methods demonstrate great potential to reveal patterns in time-dependent spectral properties of seismic signals and enable identification of changes in faulting processes. 

Clustering of 46,000 earthquakes of 0.3 < ML < 1.5 from the Geysers geothermal field (CA) yields groupings that have no reservoir-scale spatial patterns but clear temporal patterns. Events with similar spectral properties repeat on annual cycles within each cluster and track changes in the water injection rates into the Geysers reservoir, indicating that changes in acoustic properties and faulting processes accompany changes in thermomechanical state. 

The methods open new means to identify and characterize subtle changes in seismic source properties, with applications to tectonic and geothermal seismicity.

Machine learning reveals cyclic changes in seismic source spectra in Geysers geothermal field, by Benjamin K. Holtzman, Arthur Paté, John Paisley, Felix Waldhauser and Douglas Repetto. Science Advances  23 May 2018: Vol. 4, no. 5, eaao2929 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aao2929

USA, Hawaii: Good Overview of the Lava Flows Near Puna Geothermal Venture

USGS Scientist Gives Hawaii Eruption Presentation (May 22, 2018) (Big Island Video News)

(Video 9:22 Minutes)

USA, Hawaii: Lava Overwhelms Former Hawaii Geothermal Energy Project-Wellsite A

Former Hawaii Geothermal site destroyed by lava; PGV says risk of of hydrogen sulfide release ‘minimal’ (Hawaii Tribune Herald)

Puna Geothermal Venture can be seen at lower right,
close to the line of lava flow. Honolulu Star-Advertiser
photo by Cindy Ellen Russell.  
Lava from Kilauea volcano has destroyed the former Hawaii Geothermal Project site adjacent to Puna Geothermal Venture, according to Hawaii County Civil Defense Director Talmadge Magno.

In his noon update for radio today, Magno said, “There is no immediate threat to any of the wells at PGV.”

From the Hawaiian Electric Company website: For eight years, Hawaii Electric Light Company operated the Hawaii Geothermal Energy Project-Wellsite A, a 3-megawatt power plant.

In the 1980s, the “Hawaii Deep Water Cable ” study was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and the State of Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Hawaiian Electric Company was the prime contractor for the study with the actual research work done by a number of subcontractors.

Completed in 1990, the multi-year research project concluded that transmitting geothermal electricity from Hawaii Island to Oahu was technically feasible. However, the State did not pursue the project due to high costs and possible environmental impacts related to the project at a time when oil prices remained relatively low.

United Kingdom: Funding Approved for Eden Deep Geothermal Energy Project

Funding Approved For Geothermal Power Source At Eden Project (Insider Media)

Funding for a project which could power Cornwall's Eden Project with renewable energy has been given approval by Cornwall's Council.

The project, proposed by EGS Energy in partnership with Eden in Bodelva near St Austell, involves drilling a well to gain access to the hot rocks below, creating enough heat and electricity to potentially power the Eden Project and surrounding homes.

Cabinet portfolio holder for planning and economy, Bob Egerton said: "We know that granite in some areas of Cornwall has the highest heat flow in the UK – and the natural geothermal springs are rich in Lithium deposits.

"If we can find a way to exploit geothermal power successfully, these hot rocks have the potential to provide Cornwall with a rich source of strategic minerals and renewable energy, as well as significant benefits to the local economy from jobs, research and investment.

"By supporting one-off exploration projects like Eden and United Downs, This exploration for geothermal power at the Eden Project is a first step towards testing the technology we need to help us to exploit geothermal power more widely across Cornwall."

Read More........

USA, Hawaii: Puna Geothermal Venture "Essentially Safe"

Geothermal plant declared ‘essentially safe’ (Honolulu Star-Advertiser)

Rainbow from a Passing shower. Puna Geothermal
Plant, Pahoa, Hawaii, USA. Taken by Sam Abraham on
February 24, 2012. GRC Photo Contest.
A geothermal well field next to a volcanic rift that is fountaining lava was declared “essentially safe” Tuesday after measures were taken to prevent uncontrolled releases of underground fluids and gases.

Crews used water to quench two Puna Geothermal Venture wells and inserted a chemical plug into a third well on the property.

Tom Travis, administrator of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, said the wells are isolated and are each sealed off with two large valves on top “so the status is stable, predictable and understandable, and there’s no reason as a result of any of the status of wells to feel any undue concern.”

Iceland: Icelandic Investment Fund to Sell Stake in Geothermal Energy Development Company HS Orka

Lífeyrissjóðir vilja selja 13 prósent í HS Orka - Pension funds want to sell 13 percent in HS Orka  (Visir)

Fagfjárfestasjóðurinn ORK, sem er að mestu leyti í eigu íslenskra lífeyrissjóða, áformar að selja 12,7 prósenta hlut sinn í HS Orka. Formlegt söluferli hófst í síðustu viku, samkvæmt heimildum Markaðarins, en væntingar eru um að á bilinu sjö til átta milljarðar króna geti fengist fyrir eignarhlutinn í orkufyrirtækinu. Miðað við það verðmat er markaðsvirði fyrirtækisins um 55 til 63 milljarðar. Það er fyrirtækjaráðgjöf Kviku banka sem hefur umsjón með söluferlinu.

(From Google Translation) The Icelandic Investment Fund, ORK, which is largely owned by Icelandic pension funds, plans to sell its 12.7 percent stake in HS Orka. A formal sale process began last week, according to market sources, but expectations are expected to be in the range of seven to eight billion krónur for the shareholding in the power company. Based on that valuation, the company's market value is about 55 to 63 billion. Corporate Finance of Kvika Bank will oversee the sales process. 

Lestu meira.........                       Read More........

USA, Hawaii: Lava is Ponding Near Puna Geothermal Venture

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Status Report (U.S. Geological Survey)

Tuesday, May 22, 2018, 10:22 PM HST (Wednesday, May 23, 2018, 08:22 UTC)

Eruption of lava and ground cracking continues in the area of Leilani Estates subdivision.

Over the course of the day, the most active eruptive activity in the Lower East Rift Zone shifted to the middle portion of the system of fissures. The most active fissures were 22,19, 6, 5, and 23. Fissure 17, at the northeastern end of the fissure system is only weakly active now. Fissure 6 is feeding a flow to the south, roughly parallel to the western flow from fissure 22. Fountaining of fissures 5 and 23 fed flows in the eastern part of Leilani Estates.

More Information.........

Iceland: Submit an Abstract to World Geothermal Congress

2020 World Geothermal Congress - Abstract Submission Open

April 27 - May 1, 2020, Reykjavik, Iceland

The technical program committee of the 2020 World Geothermal Congress would like to invite you to submit an abstract for the meeting. Abstract submissions will close on Thursday 31st January 2019.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

USA, Oregon: Portland General Electric Issues RFP for 100 MW of Renewable Energy Including Geothermal

PGE Seeks 100 Average Megawatts of New Renewable Resources (News Release)

Portland General Electric (PGE) Company is continuing its push for a clean and reliable energy future for its customers and the communities it serves by issuing a request for proposals (RFP) today seeking an additional 100 average megawatts of renewable power generating resources. PGE shared the RFP in draft form with potential bidders and stakeholders earlier this year, and on May 16 received final Oregon Public Utility Commission sign-off to move forward with the competitive bidding process. After final adjustments to reflect commission direction, the RFP is now open for bids.

Bids submitted must meet a minimum size of 10 megawatts, and can represent multiple technologies including geothermal, biomass, biogas, solar, wind and hydroelectric power. Bids can also be structured in a variety of ways, including power purchase agreements or proposals for facilities that PGE would own and operate. 

Opinion: Uncertainty Makes Geothermal Less Attractive to Investors and Utilities

Opinion: Lack of long-term U.S. energy plan impedes transformative technology (The Brookings Institution)

Lance Collins, J. Silbert Dean of Engineering - Cornell University

In the case of geothermal, there are no national guidelines indicating how much it should be contributing to total energy production. Support for geothermal projects in the form of loan guarantees, lending support, or cooperative agreements has been inconsistent since the 1970s and a tax credit for geothermal developers expired in 2016 – the same year a new energy bill stalled in Congress that may have boosted funds directed at geothermal projects. This uncertainty makes geothermal less attractive to investors and utilities.

In the more than 60 years we’ve recognized energy as an important societal problem, we’ve failed to come up with the means and determination to change our reliance on fossil fuels. Researchers in universities and labs across the country will continue to innovate and find new ways to make energy more efficient, cheap, resilient to natural disasters, and less damaging to the environment. It is essential that we partner with government and policymakers to create a pipeline for these innovations to reach the market, so that we can ensure a sustainable energy future.

Read More.........

USA, Nevada: Permission Sought to Build 62 MW McGinness Hills III Geothermal Power Project

Geothermal power plant near Austin next McGinness Hills phase (Northern Nevada Business Weekly)

McGinness Hills Geothermal Power Plant
(GRC Fieldtrip 2015 - Photo by Ian Crawford)
Energy company ORNI 41 — a subsidiary of Ormat Nevada, Inc. — has applied to the Nevada Public Utilities Commission for permission to build a geothermal power plant 10 miles north of Austin.

The McGinness Hills III project would include a 62-megawatt electric power plant built next to two existing 48 MW generating stations. Austin is located about 2 hours east of Fallon, off Interstate 80.

Along with the new power plant, the company is proposing a 230-kilovolt power line to connect it to the grid.

The plant, like the first two phases of the McGinness Hills project, would be built on BLM land. The company has already filed its applications with the federal government and BLM previously approved the location for a geothermal facility.

The new plant will require drilling five near production wells and two injection wells. The injection wells will be on private property leased to ORNI/Ormat. It will include about 15 acres of land altogether.

USA, Nevada: Private Investor Buys Into Tungsten Mountain Geothermal Power Plant

Ormat Announces Closing of $33.4 Million Partnership Transaction for Tungsten Mountain Geothermal Power Plant (News Release)

Ormat Technologies Inc. today announced that one of its wholly-owned subsidiaries that indirectly owns the 26 MW Tungsten Mountain Geothermal power plant entered into a partnership agreement with a private investor.

Under the transaction documents, the private investor acquired membership interests in the project for an initial purchase price of approximately $33.4 million and for which it will pay additional installments that are expected to amount to approximately $13 million. Ormat will continue to operate and maintain the power plant and will receive substantially all the distributable cash flow generated by the power plant.

The Tungsten Mountain geothermal power plant, located in Churchill County, Nevada, began commercial operation on December 1, 2017. Tungsten Mountain is the first power plant to sell its power under the 26-year Ormat Northern Nevada Geothermal Portfolio Power Purchase Agreement with Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA), which was announced in June 2017.

Read More.........

United Kingdom: Lucien Bronicki Receives Engineering Award for Geothermal Energy Work

Prince Philip Medal Awarded to Geothermal Energy Pioneer (News Release)

Lucien Bronicki
Lucien Bronicki, Former Chairman and CTO of Ormat Industries Ltd, is to receive the 2018 Royal Academy of Engineering Prince Philip Medal for his outstanding work in developing new technologies to harness the earth's geothermal power.

The Prince Philip Medal is the Academy's most prestigious individual award, made in honor of its Senior Fellow, Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh KG KT. The award is made biennially to an engineer of any nationality who has made an exceptional contribution to engineering.

Lucien Bronicki has made significant contributions to engineering science as a whole, with about 50 scientific publications and 35 authored patents, with another 65 co-authored. He has also supported institutions focusing on geothermal energy production, such as the Geothermal Resources Council in the USA.

Lucien Bronicki said, "It is a great honor to receive the Prince Philip Medal. At the time, "selling" a completely new type of power unit against well established and proven diesel generators or geothermal steam plants was difficult and it is gratifying that today there are many well established manufacturers and R&D centres promoting ORC systems."

USA, Hawaii: Lava Inches Closer to Puna Geothermal Venture but Main Flow Stays Away

Lava creeps onto geothermal plant site on Hawaii's Big Island (Reuters)

A lava flow encroaching onto the shuttered Puna Geothermal Venture power plant destroyed a warehouse on the property Monday evening, but the top executive in Hawaii for PGV said the concerns about lava inundation at the plant have been overblown.

Puna Geothermal Venture can be seen at lower
right, close to the line of lava flow. Honolulu
Star-Advertiser photo by Cindy Ellen Russell.  
Molten lava from the erupting Kilauea Volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island crept onto a geothermal power plant site on Monday, as workers rushed to shut down the facility to prevent the uncontrollable release of toxic gases.

Crews worked into the night to cap the 11th and final well at the Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV) plant, which provides about 25 percent of the Big Island’s power, as lava from an active fissure flowed 200 to 300 yards from the nearest well pad, county and federal officials said.

The plant has been closed since shortly after lava began erupting on May 3 through newly opened fissures in the ground running through neighborhoods and roads on the far eastern flank of Kilauea.

Within a week, some 60,000 gallons (227,124 liters) of the highly flammable chemical pentane, which was stored at the plant, were moved from harm’s way. The state said last week it was pumping cold water into the wells and would cap them with iron plugs.

USA: Over $600,000 for Geothermal Technologies in SBIR Funding

Energy Department Announces Nearly $13 Million in Small Business Research and Development for EERE (News Release)

As part of today’s $34 million announcement by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary, Rick Perry, for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) research and development projects, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) will fund 87 new projects across 34 states, totaling nearly $13 million in funding.

Nine EERE technology offices are funding 10 Phase I topic areas (Advanced Manufacturing I & II, Bioenergy, Buildings, Fuel Cells, Geothermal. Solar, Vehicles, Water, and Wind) across 29 subtopics. Some examples of EERE-funded projects include the following geothermal themed projects:

Porifera Inc., San Leandro, CA
$149,916.79 - SBIR
An Efficient PFO-SPS System for Concentration of Brines and Wastewater 

Using Low Enthalpy Geothermal Heat Concentration of brines and wastewater is an energy intensive process and does not utilize available geothermal heat. This proposal will enable the design of a pilot system that will concentrate challenging wastewaters using geothermal heat. The system will be able to reach higher concentrations and treat more problematic water using less energy compared to state of the art technologies.

Mainstream Engineering Corporation, Rockledge, FL
$149,955.11- SBIR
Thermal energy storage for dispatchable geothermal power

Heat energy from the earth represents a nearly inexhaustible and underutilized domestic energy resource. This project is developing technology that will allow geothermal power plants to operate flexibly, allowing them to seamlessly adjust their electrical power output in response to requests from the electric utility based on demand.

Tech4Imaging LLC, Columbus, OH
$155,000.00 - SBIR
Non-Invasive Operations Tool for Dispatchable Geothermal Wells

A lack of information on how geothermal wells should be properly balanced between harvesting hot water/steam and returning cool water puts wells at risk of being over exploited. An operational control system utilizing an innovative non-invasive mass flow meter and other well data is being developed to equip Well Operators with the tools necessary to analytically manage these valuable resources.

TerraCOH Inc., Hopkins, MN
$149,999.69 - SBIR
CO2 Plume Geothermal (CPG) and the Earth Battery -- Innovative Geothermal Power Production Using Non-water Working Fluids

The DOE seeks to enable expansion of geothermal as an on- demand energy source. TerraCOH’s innovative CO2 Plume Geothermal (CPG™) technology uses CO2 as the geothermal heat transfer/energy storage fluid, allowing far more, lower-temperature areas to be cost-effectively used for geothermal power in general and as a dispatchable energy source.

Read More.........

Germany: International Geothermal Association Releases Manifesto for Change

Preparing For The Future – The IGA Is Implementing Far Reaching Changes (News Release)

Preparing for the future – The International Geothermal Association is implementing far reaching changes

A new look for the website at
Upon concluding a tremendous amount of work on a strategic alignment program, the International Geothermal Association is implementing a series of changes. These improvements will help prepare the geothermal sector for the future and emphasize the IGA’s role in the representation of the Global Geothermal Energy Sector.

To focus and strengthen its role, the International Geothermal Association (IGA) is proud to announce a series of reforms following the recent decisions made during the IGA Board of Directors meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland.

IGA has made strides toward a more sustainable, independent structure that reflects the international nature of the representing body of the global geothermal sector through the association. This effort will transition IGA to an independent structure and position itself for growth by changing its funding model and modus operandi.

Read More.........

Monday, May 21, 2018

USA, Hawaii: Lava Flows Away From Puna Geothermal Venture

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Daily Update (U.S. Geological Survey)

Sunday, May 20, 2018, 2:15 PM HST (Monday, May 21, 2018, 00:15 UTC)

Moderate-level eruption of lava continues from multiple points along the northeast end of the active fissure system. 

Spattering continues from Fissures 6 and 17 with significant lava flows being erupted from Fissures 20. Two of these lava flows from Fissure 20 reached the ocean along the southeast Puna coast overnight; however, a crack opened under the east lava channel early this morning diverting the lava from the channel into underground voids. This may cause changes downslope in the channel system and the ocean entry.

Read More.......

Indonesia: World Bank and IFC Support Geothermal Energy Development

Indonesia: Tapping Geothermal for Greener Growth (World Bank)

The World Bank is supporting the development of a credit facility that will channel $650 million in finance into geothermal exploration drilling, through a combination of IBRD lending, concessional finance, and funding from the Indonesian government.

IFC is collaborating with the World Bank to identify the concerns of potential private sector investors in the sector and is developing a complementary facility to fund downstream activities.

Read More..........

Opportunities for Exposure at Largest Annual Geothermal Gathering in the World

Sponsor The Geothermal Event Of The Year!

Sponsorships for the GRC Annual Meeting & Expo are now available. These are great opportunities for companies to get more exposure at the largest annual geothermal gathering in the world.

The 2018 meeting will take place in Reno, Nevada from October 14th through the 17th.The four-day event will offer technical, policy, and market conference sessions, educational seminars, tours of local geothermal and renewable energy projects, an expo and numerous networking opportunities.

Make the geothermal community take notice, become a sponsor now!

More Information........

Friday, May 18, 2018

USA, New York: Cornell University Presents Geothermal District Heating Scheme

Cornell experts present ambitious geothermal proposal to community (

Seeking a carbon neutral solution to heat its campus, Cornell – a university with a storied history of digging giant holes – presented their proposal for what, by volume, is likely to be the largest hole dug in the university’s history; one, they say, could lay the groundwork for a revolution in district heating in the Northeastern United States.

At a session Thursday evening attended by dozens of members of the community and faculty, a group of Cornell researchers presented a preliminary outline of their proposal for a massive geothermal heating system they hope to build beneath Cornell’s campus. The ambitious project, first proposed as part of the campus’ climate action plan drafted in 2009, aims to heat Cornell’s campus by digging a hole nearly three miles down, encasing it in concrete and pumping a solution of water and anti-corrosive deep into the earth, where it will be heated and recirculated 15,000 feet above through a system of pipes throughout the campus.

USA, Hawaii: GRC Member from California is at Puna Geothermal Venture

DOC Visits Hawaii Volcano to Help Secure Geothermal Plant (Cal Conservation)

GRC Member Charlene Wardlow, California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR)’s Geothermal Program Manager, is helping the State of Hawaii with one aspect of the Kilauea volcano’s eruption.

Global: $15,000 in Educational Awards Available to Eight Students in Global Geothermal Energy Community

2018 Geothermal Resources Council Scholarships - Deadline is Next Week  (News Release)

Applications must be received by May 25, 2018 to be considered.

The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC), a non-profit educational association dedicated to the promotion of geothermal energy and associated technologies around the world, has announced the following changes to the 2018 GRC Scholarship Awards:

USA: NREL Streamlining Collection and Sharing of Geothermal Data Sets

Access to Data Accelerates Innovation and Adoption of Geothermal Technologies (NREL)

The future of research and development in the geothermal sector is being driven by data-informed decisions and research built upon the quantifiable outcomes of previous endeavors.  The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has adopted a strategy of measuring success “not when a project is completed, or an experiment concluded, but when scientific and technical information is disseminated.” The timely dissemination of critical information is what allows future research projects to build upon previous lessons learned, reduce duplication of efforts, and combine findings into new innovative research projects.

Over the past few years, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)’s geothermal team has developed several tools and platforms to streamline the collection and sharing of geothermal data sets, enabling new breakthroughs in geothermal research and development.

Europe: What Stakeholders in Near-surface Geothermal Resource Project Need to Develop their Projects

Report of the relevant needs of Stakeholders in the field of Near-surface Geothermal Resources (GRETA)

12 partners from 6 different countries has met into the GRETA project with the aim demonstrate the potential of Near-surface Geothermal Resources (NSGE) in the Alpine Space and to share its knowledge to foster the integration of this technology into future energy plans in the area at different administrative levels. This approach will help to reduce total CO2-emissions in environmentally sensitive regions using renewable energy sources which are very widely available, thus establishing transnationally integrated low carbon policy instruments.

On the basis of the results presented from Focus Groups in the Pilot Areas of Germany, Italy and Slovenia, the understanding of differences and similarities of barriers and needs regarding the expansion of the geothermal system in the given countries have identified the initial installation cost as a common barrier.

The data analysed in this comparison reveal each of these countries having different needs and barriers in regulations, financial, technical, research, organisation and administration, geological maps and opportunities areas. The strong association between these barriers and local and national administration dynamics suggests own directions for policy makers and the geothermal private sector within these sampled countries to be sought for the expansion of own national geothermal sector.

Read More........

Sweden: Climeon Reports Rapid Progress in Geothermal Heat Power Projects

Climeon Investor News - Interim report for the period 1 January - 31 March 2018 (News Release)

Important events, January - March included:

  • In January 2018 Climeon owners Gullspång Invest AB, LMK Forward AB and Blue AB decided to establish the financing company Baseload Capital Sweden AB (Baseload Capital) to accelerate global geothermal heat power projects. Climeon will participate through a minority stake of 19.9 percent 
  • A business agreement worth over EUR 5 million was signed in February 2018 with the German energy provider Geoenergie Kirchweidach, resulting from the Letter of Intent signed in the fourth quarter 2017 

Important post-closing events include:

  • During April, a new business agreement was signed with Borealis GeoPower, Canada, worth around EUR 1 million. Climeon has thus won the world’s first order of geothermal power plant in Canada
  • A representative office opened in Japan to investigate and evaluate Climeon’s potential in the local market 

Thomas Öström CEO: We see proof after proof that it is attractive for customers and financial backers to invest in geothermal heat power. The plants produce electricity around the clock, all year long, and electricity producers can sign long-term Power-Purchase Agreements (PPA) with a fixed price (i.e. during 15 years) for the electricity supplied to the grid. A product that makes electricity from hot water thus makes money out of hot water with great predictability for a long time to come. Cash flow and investments can thereby be calculated, which also makes it easier for customers to obtain financing. 

The existence of Baseload Capital is a clear advantage since customers frequently need to finance their investments externally. For understandable reasons, banks lack experience in financing our type of heat power, which means that the processes are slower when using a bank. Baseload Capital focuses entirely on sustainable baseload power, and can offer our customers pre-approved loans with favorable conditions. Baseload Capital provided financing for both Icelandic Varmaorka and U.S. Wendel, thereby freeing Climeon from its previous financing commitments to these customers. 

Finance: “A faster route to power production, which improves the business case, is to use ‘wellhead generators’.”

Decreasing the equity requirements with wellhead power plants (Green Energy Geothermal)

At the Iceland Geothermal Conference, London-based Green Energy Geothermal (GEG) gave a presentation as part of a session on competitiveness and innovation.

Featuring three technology providers, including GEG, a proposed GeoMagma power plant and a presentation the competitiveness of the geothermal sector, the session focused on how different approaches could help in more geothermal development.

In its presentation, GEG focused on a recent financial model done by a third party, looking at the financial impact of staging a larger-scale geothermal development 110 MW project. The case study looked at two scenarios, the traditional approach with two 55 MW units and another approach with eleven 10 MW units by GEG.

Malawi: Toshiba to Supply 1 MW to 10 MW Geothermal Wellhead System

Toshiba signs MoUs to support African hydropower, geothermal roll-out (Engineering News)

Energy systems multinational Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions signed four Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) to cooperate with African countries to develop hydropower and geothermal energy systems.

Toshiba Africa MD Iwasuke Shimada points out that the company has signed MoUs with Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Djibouti for geothermal power development in these countries, and that it has supplied and helped to develop geothermal power plants in Kenya.

One of the MoUs is with Malawi’s Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining (MNREM) for the development and supply of equipment and the development of operational and management guidelines, and to facilitate capacity building programmes for geothermal power in Malawi.

Specifically, the agreement includes feasibility and geotechnical work, early construction and the supply of geothermal power generation equipment, including a 1 MW to 10 MW geothermal wellhead system.

From the Global Geothermal News archives:

Costa Rica: IDB Line of Credit to Help Development of 55 MW Borinquen I Geothermal Project

Legislative Assembly approves $ 500 million IDB credit line for electric projects (BNamericas)

This Thursday, May 17, the Legislative Assembly unanimously approved and in the second debate the bill of law 19.998 that authorizes the agreement of a line of credit for $ 500 million to the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The instrument, known as the CCLIP (Conditional Credit Line for Investment Projects), will be aimed at the development, modernization and expansion of infrastructure linked to renewable electricity generation projects, including the Borinquen Geothermal Field, as well as transmission networks and national distribution.

USA, Hawaii: Wells Killed at Puna Geothermal Venture - Lava Still a Threat

Geothermal Power Plant in Hawaii Remains Threatened by Lava (Energy Manager Today)

(Courtesy USGS)
A geothermal energy conversion plant that produces about a quarter of the energy for the Big Island of Hawaii remains under threat from the Kilauea volcano eruption.

Earlier this week, three active wells at the Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV) had to be shut down with cold water.

The eruption, which started about two weeks ago, prompted an emergency shutdown at PGV on May 3. This week, authorities began pumping cold water into the plant’s wells to kill them.

“The danger’s gone as long as we maintain the wells killed,” Tom Travis, director of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency told Hawaii News Now. “However, there’s also danger of lava flows going across the top of the well.” That, he explained, would mean they no longer have a way to put cold water over the wells. The next step is to put plugs in the well above the geothermal resource, Travis said.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Science & Technology: The CarbFix Project at Hellisheidi Geothermal Power Station

Turning carbon dioxide into rock - forever (BBC News)

Waste CO2 from the steam (I) goes to the gas separation station (II) is diluted in water (III) piped to the injection site (IIII) and pumped underground where it mineralises into rock
Hellisheidi  power station is not just an accomplished provider of green energy. It is also the site for a scientific breakthrough; an experiment to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) and turn it into stone - forever.

Thus keeping this greenhouse gas out of the atmosphere and putting a dent in global warming.

"Mankind has been burning fossil fuels since the industrial revolution and we have already reached the tipping point for CO2 levels", says CarbFix project leader Edda Sif Aradottir. "This is one of the solutions that can be applied to reverse that".

Called CarbFix, the project is pioneered by an international consortium led by Reykjavík Energy, the French National Centre for Scientific Research, the University of Iceland and Columbia University.

East Africa: Update On Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility

First Progress Report of the Chairperson of the Commission of the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (African Union)

The main challenges for development of geothermal resources in the East African Rift System include: (i) inadequate policy and regulatory framework to attract investments; (ii) large upfront cost of geothermal resource exploration and development; and (iii) risks in resource “exploration” and “power development”. 

The projects in Annex III, are pre-qualified to submit full application for the Fifth Application Round:

I wish to note that the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility Program remains one of the successful projects in the Commission, despite the challenges mentioned above. Much progress continues to be made by the developers in preparing their GMRF grant applications and in complying with the GRMF requirements.

The Commission will continue to work with development partners to improve the capacity and expertise of interested Member States and mobilize more financial resources to meet the increased interest in geothermal energy development as witnessed by the growing number of projects that are submitted for grant awards. It is critical that Member States put in place the appropriate institutional, legal and regulatory frameworks, in order to attract more private investors and allocate adequate resources to the Commission for the expansion of this Programme to other AU countries.

Science & Technology: Geothermal Energy Pioneer Explains EGS

Quakes, fracking and geothermal: opportunities and challenges (Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions)

Ernest Majer
Ernest Majer, one of North America’s foremost experts in the subject of seismicity and geothermal systems, spoke to The Climate Examiner about enhanced geothermal systems (EGS), how it differs from conventional geothermal, what challenges the sector faces, and his views on a recent event in South Korea.

Majer began his career in the 1970s exploring seismic activity at California’s Geysers geothermal field, a complex of 22 geothermal plants and the largest single geothermal power producer in the world. He has worked at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory on the issue for over 40 years.

Philippines: Phinma Withdraws from Leyte Geothermal Power Exploration Project

Phinma pulls out from proposed Leyte geothermal project (Business World)

Phinma Petroleum and Geothermal, Inc. (PPG), formerly Trans-Asia Petroleum Corporation, has withdrawn from a service contract that sought to explore the possibility of geothermal energy in Leyte, the company told the stock exchange on Thursday.

The energy exploration company, a unit of Phinma Energy Corp., said it would recognize a loss of P32.7 million for the write-off of its share in expenditures incurred so far in Service Contract No. 51 in Eastern Visayas.

Philippines: AboitizPower’s Cleanergy Center Showcases Geothermal Energy

Science tour gives peek of how geothermal energy powers homes, offices (Philippine Star)

Geothermal energy comes from the heat of the earth and is produced by drilling holes into the earth to tap the steam from geothermal reservoirs. But how exactly is this converted to electricity to power our homes and offices, especially amid the hot and dry summer?

Watch as tours you inside the AboitizPower’s Cleanergy Center—the country’s first energy educational facility.

(Video 2:03 Minutes)

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Global: $15,000 in Educational Awards Available to Eight Students in Global Geothermal Energy Community

2018 Geothermal Resources Council Scholarships - Deadline is Next Week  (News Release)

Applications must be received by May 25, 2018 to be considered.

The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC), a non-profit educational association dedicated to the promotion of geothermal energy and associated technologies around the world, has announced the following changes to the 2018 GRC Scholarship Awards:

Undergraduate Scholarship Awards:
  • The number of recipients will be increased from two to three; 
  • Instead of a lump sum, each recipient will receive a stipend of $250 and travel expenses (up to $750) to attend the GRC Annual Meeting (double occupancy); 
  • Each award recipient will be required to either present at the meeting (poster or paper such as from a senior thesis) or prepare a report for the GRC Bulletin describing what they learned from attending the meeting and how they would utilize what they learned for their educational or career path. 
Graduate Scholarship Awards:
  • The number of recipients will be increased from three to five; 
  • The amount of each award will remain $2,500, but travel expenses will now be considered part of this total rather than offered separately; 
  • Each award recipient is required to submit a paper on his/her research (or research progress) to be published in the GRC Transactions and deliver results at the meeting as either a poster or oral presentation; 
  • If the recipient presents in the year of the award then the full $2500 is awarded , but they will be expected to cover their own travel and accommodations from the award money; 
  • If the recipient defers to present/publish the following year then $750 is withheld to cover travel expenses for when the recipient presents. 
The Student Project Award will not be awarded this year to allow us to increase the number of graduate awards.

If you have any questions regarding the GRC Scholarship Awards, please contact Brian Schmidt at or (530)758-2360, ext. 104.

USA: Just Under 8,000 Employed in the Geothermal Power Generation Industry - Report

The 2018 U.S. Energy and Employment Report (EFI & NASEO)

According to the study the geothermal power generation industry employed 7,927 in 2017, up from 5,768 in 2016.

Produced by the Energy Futures Initiative (EFI) in partnership with the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO), the U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER) provides a quantitative lens with which to evaluate the employment impact of new energy technologies, shifting fuels deployment, and evolving transmission and distribution systems.

The 2018 U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER) finds that the Traditional Energy and Energy Efficiency sectors today employ approximately 6.5 million Americans. These sectors increased in 2017 by about 2 percent, adding 133,000 net new jobs, roughly 7% of all those created in the country.

The USEER analyzes four sectors of the U.S. economy including Electric Power Generation and Fuels Production.

According to the study the geothermal power generation industry employed 7,927 in 2017, up from 5,768 in 2016 and 7,645 in 2015.

Read More........

Indonesia: 55 MW Lumut Balai Geothermal Power Plant to Go Online By End of Year

Pertamina and PLN tussle to reach PPA for Lumut Balai plant (Asian Power)

It will be commercially operational by the end of this year and so far, no agreement has been reached.

Pertamina Geothermal Energy and PLN continue to lock horns over an adapted price for power fromt he 55 MW Lumut Balai geothermal power plant in Ogan Komering Ulu Regency, South Sumatra, Indonesia.

The facility is expected to go online later this year, but both parties have not settled for a Power Purchase Agreement.

The price of electricity that was previously agreed upon is US$0.116/kWh, but PLN requested a review as it deemed the price too high.

The government has asked PLN and Pertamina to immediately discuss the price of electricity sold from geothermal power plants.

Read More.........