Geothermal updates from the Asia-Pacific regional markets.
*Japan: Toshiba and Orix Create Geothermal JV
*Pakistan: Geothermal Energy Association Participates in a U.S.-Pakistan Business Council Roundtable Discussion
In Japan, companies Toshiba Corp. and Orix Corp. have decided to set up a joint venture for geothermal power generation. The JV looks to develop up to 2,000 kW at the hot spring village of Okuhida in Gifu Prefecture using Toshiba’s small power generation system.
Last Wednesday, the U.S.-Pakistan Business Council hosted a roundtable discussion on power sector opportunities in Pakistan at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The discussion featured Pakistani Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif, as well as other senior representatives from Pakistan’s power sector. During the gathering, Asif discussed his desire for Pakistan to explore renewable resources while also acknowledging that the ready availability of coal resources proves tempting for Pakistan given its current energy deficit. Asif made it clear that although he supports increased focus on renewable energy, he believes the new U.S. policy of refusing to fund most coal plants abroad while continuing to use coal at home is a hypocritical policy.
Representatives of different renewable energy sources responded to Asif’s remarks by making cases for their respective industries in Pakistan. GEA Executive Director Karl Gawell attended the discussion and urged the minister to pursue geothermal opportunities in Pakistan, especially in those locations where resource has been discovered but has not yet been tapped. Two other geothermal industry representatives seconded Gawell’s statements.
In response to these comments, Asif acknowledged that although he has not explored Pakistan’s geothermal resources in great detail, he knows that there is substantial geothermal potential in his country.
In addition, Gawell was interviewed on Pakistani GEO-TV this week.