Asia-Pacific: Geothermal headlines from American Samoa, Australia, Japan, and The Philippines

This week, Asia-Pacific geothermal markets saw new progress in American Samoa, Australia, Japan, and The Philippines.

*American Samoa: Geological Survey Looks at Geo Energy Potential
*Australia: Industry Progressed in 2013 but Needs Funding and Support
*Japan: Resort in Fukushima Announces Geothermal Project
*The Philippines: Biliran Project Enters Construction Phase

Funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Interior, geological scientists were in American Samoa this week conducting a survey on geothermal potential. American Samoa’s Renewable Energy Committee chairman Tim Jones told press the committee is waiting on final reports.

In an EcoGeneration article, Hot Dry Rocks Technical Director Graeme Beardsmore discusses highlights of 2013 for the Australian geothermal industry, including progress at development sites across the continent: Habanero and Paralana, both in South Australia, and Mid West in Western Australia. Beardsmore says lack of funding and lack of government support were key challenges, and several companies withdrew from the sector, while GeoDynamics is looking at the larger Pacific region for expansion. Looking to better promote development through research and education in 2014 and beyond, the Australian Geothermal Energy Group has formed the Australian Geothermal Energy Association.

A small-scale geothermal project is in the works for the Tsuchiyu resort in the city of Fukushima, Japan, where tourism has declined since the nuclear power plant accident in 2011. Using clean energy could help revive the community, and potential profit starting in July 2015 will be about $980,000/year from electricity sales. The project could generate power for about 500 households.

Orka Energy of Iceland along with Biliran Geothermal are now in the construction phase for the anticipated 49-MW Biliran geothermal plant in Leyte, The Philippines. Toshiba will provide the turbine, and 600 jobs are expected to be offered. “The project here has very strong geothermal energy resources,” Eirikur Bragasson, Chief Executive Officer of Orka told press. Funds for the project are also coming from New Zealand.

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