Graph of the Week; Changes in White House environmental staff; Government shutdown; Coverage from this year’s Geothermal Energy Expo

Our Graph of the Week shows promising long-term potential for the California geothermal power market. In DC, the White House sees changes in its senior environmental staff, while the government shutdown continues. See also continuing coverage of the 2013 Geothermal Energy Expo.

Will geothermal energy fill the gap? Our Graph of the Week shows the gap between California's RPS energy needs and its expected generation and existing contracts. Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance
Will geothermal energy fill the gap? Our Graph of the Week shows the gap between California’s RPS energy needs and its expected generation and existing contracts. Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance


Graph of the Week Shows California’s Energy Needs an Opportunity for Geothermal
White House Sees Changes in Senior Environmental Staff
Government Shutdown Could Affect Projects
Coverage of 2013 Geothermal Energy Expo Continues

Graph of the Week Shows California’s Energy Needs an Opportunity for Geothermal
Above: Check out our Graph of the Week, “California Expected Generation Versus Contract Attrition (TWh),” shared with us by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. BNEF shows the long-term potential for the California geothermal power market. Geothermal projects started today, which will become operative in six to eight years, have a significant opportunity to fill the energy demand created by the state renewable portfolio standard. BNEF’s Mark Taylor presented the graph at the 2013 GRC Annual Meeting and GEA Geothermal Energy Expo in Las Vegas. GEA’s Ben Matek comments: “The discussion about the future of geothermal is often focused on barriers. Taylor argued that while the short-term market for geothermal might be bearish in the U.S., there is an argument that the market will be bullish in the long term as California looks for a firm and flexible, clean, and economical power source to replace its retiring infrastructure.”

White House Sees Changes in Senior Environmental Staff
President Obama will need to name a new senior environmental adviser, with the departure of Heather Zichal. Nationaljournal.com reports Zichal had been waiting to see through key parts of the President’s climate action plan before leaving. “She steadied the ship and allowed the president to relaunch an incredibly ambitious and important climate-change agenda,” Paul Bledsoe, senior fellow on energy and climate at the German Marshall Fund, and former Clinton White House climate adviser, was quoted. Zichal’s successor could likely be named from within the White House; the article names Zichal’s deputy, Dan Utech, as a likely successor. See Heather Zichal in past GEA news: GEA November 2008; GEA May 2010; GEA May 2011; GEA February 2013; GEA February 2013; GEA June 2013

Government Shutdown Could Affect Projects
Some geothermal heating and cooling projects could be affected by delays related to the U.S. government shutdown. Heraldandnews.com reports on the Lakeview Oregon geothermal heating project for Lake District Hospital complex and Lakeview schools: “The federal government shutdown could affect the project because the U.S. Department of Agriculture rural development agency must approve all request documents.” The U.S. government shutdown has halted funding to many programs that affect energy markets under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy, Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and others (Newswatch.nationalgeographic.com). Effects could include an information shutdown as databases and regular reports from agencies are some of the casualties (Cnbc.com). Industries are also looking at effects of the shutdown on tax reform, especially in the case of a potential budget deal.

Coverage of 2013 Geothermal Energy Expo Continues
Every year, the GEA’s Geothermal Energy Expo® hosts the world’s largest gathering of vendors providing support for geothermal resource exploration, characterization, development, production and management. This year’s event, co-located with the GRC Annual Meeting, was September 29 through October 2 in Las Vegas. Reactions from media on details of the event are rolling in from news sources that are interested in energy development, action on climate change, and issues affecting regional communities as well as international growth. Last week’s newsletter included GEA’s wrap-up report of the event and links to additional coverage on the events. This week, there are even more places to read up on the U.S. and international geothermal community’s biggest event of the year:

“GEA: Geothermal market will turn around,” Fierceenergy.com

“US Geothermal Industry Fights to Prove Its Value,” Renewableenergyworld.com

“US Geothermal Lags Behind While Kenya Sprints Ahead,” Cleantechnica.com

“Geothermal Industry Looks to Compete with Solar and Wind as a Renewable Energy Game Changer,” Green.tmcnet.com

“Loan program boosts U.S. Geothermal,” Idahostatesman.com

“Photos: GRC 2013 – Imperial Valley Field Trip,” Flickr.com

“Energy Industry Meetings: Geothermal, Net Zero Energy,” Energymanagertoday.com

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