Geothermal news briefs from Alaska, California, Hawaii, and West Virginia

Geothermal Energy Weekly brings you headlines from Alaska, California, Hawaii, and West Virginia.

*Alaska: USGS Study Shows Increased Potential on Akutan Island
*California: Cap-and-Trade to Grow in Second Year
*Hawaii: County to Direct Geothermal Asset Funds
*West Virginia: Geothermal Researcher Chosen for Presidential Award

A new study on Akutan Island, Alaska, shows more geothermal potential than previously thought. An abstract from the USGS authors states, “The springs now account for a heat output of ~29 MW, about an order of magnitude more than in 1981,” the date of the last study. USGS looked at chemical makeup and temperatures and concluded there is “a substantial geothermal resource on the island.”

Gov. Jerry Brown (D) of California has announced plans for proceeds from the state’s cap-and-trade sales, following the first full year of California’s program. The governor’s proposed allocation of the funds reflected the state’s focus on Sustainable Communities and Clean Transportation ($600 million), Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy ($140 million), and Natural Resources and Waste Diversion ($110 million). The cap-and-trade account is projected to grow to $850 million over the next fiscal year, and ARB will hold its next quarterly allowance auctions and reserve sales on February 19.

January 1, 2014 also kicked off a new aspect of California’s carbon trading program: the linkage between the California and Quebec systems, meaning participants in the two programs can exchange carbon allowances and offset credits. A 2013 World Bank report, “Mapping Carbon Pricing Initiatives: Developments and Prospects,” identified over 40 national and 20 sub-national jurisdictions worldwide that have either implemented or are considering carbon pricing mechanisms, and found that existing or coming carbon pricing programs influence about 20% of global emissions.

On the Big Island of Hawai’i, the Windward Planning Commission voted to hire a claims adjuster who will direct geothermal asset funds (funds paid by Puna Geothermal Venture since 1995) toward studies such as further air monitoring and health impact assessments.

Brian Anderson, a West Virginia University chemical engineering professor who has done extensive research on geothermal systems as well as natural gas hydrates and thermodynamic modeling is being honored by President Obama for his work. The Department of Energy nominated Anderson for the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers.

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