GEA Leading News: International Geothermal Showcase; SOTU; U.S. New Renewables Market

Check out the latest updates on GEA’s upcoming International Geothermal Showcase, and this week we also look at the President’s State of the Union address, as well as the growing role of renewables in the total installed U.S. operating generating capacity. But first, our Graph of the Week:

Graph of the Week: Capital Cost Estimates Can Help Determine Geothermal Needs

EIAApril2013CapitalCostEstimateComparison
EIA estimated total project engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) costs for five renewable technologies. Geothermal estimates are based on a 50-MW facility.


Above: Our Graph of the Week shows capital cost estimations for five technologies, organized by EIA into five categories: Civil Structural Material, Mechanical Equipment, Electrical/I&C Supply, Project Indirect, and Owner’s Costs. While it is well known in the geothermal industry that the levelized cost of the full lifetime of a geothermal power plant is competitive with other resources, the capital costs are known to be high, and a deeper look can help determine how to ease upfront risks and costs in the future. EIA’s analysis of the data noted the importance of site selection, which, when done well will both bring down costs and increase the success of the plant. EIA stated, “Technologies such as wind, geothermal, or hydroelectric must be sited in suitable locations to take advantage of the particular resource . . . [U]pward sloping supply curves for each of these technologies [assume] that the lowest-cost, most-favorable resources will be developed first, and that costs associated with the technology will increase as only higher-cost, less-favorable sites are left to be developed.” Relatedly, the Department of Energy’s geothermal office announced a funding opportunity this week for Play Fairway Analysis, a method that has been used in oil and gas development that takes regional and detailed geologic and geophysical data and identifies best locations for drilling.

GEA’s 2014 International Geothermal Showcase Calls for Enhancements to Geothermal Finance, Policy
Presidential Address: Didn’t Mention Geothermal, Did Promote Efforts to Benefit the Industry
Renewables Provide 37% of All New U.S. Electrical Generating Capacity in 2013

GEA’s 2014 International Geothermal Showcase Calls for Enhancements to Geothermal Finance, Policy
GEA Press Release (Washington, D.C.) January 28 ~ Organizations and individuals at the forefront of clean energy development are marking their calendars for Earth Day 2014 (Tuesday, April 22), when the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) will host a one-day International Geothermal Showcase at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. With the global geothermal market showing dramatic growth, the event will feature an exciting program showcasing geothermal projects, trends and governmental policies in the U.S. and around the world.

For the event, GEA will also release a new, consolidated annual update on the US and international geothermal industries. GEA is pleased to be holding the Showcase with support from the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the U.S. Department of Energy Geothermal Technologies Office.

“For one day, on April 22nd, Washington will become the geothermal capitol of the world,” commented Karl Gawell, noting that GEA’s International Showcase will bring together the industry, policy makers, analysts, NGOs, and other experts to review what needs to be done to advance geothermal energy. “With projects under development in nearly 70 countries, the Fourth GEA International Showcase is sure to be an exciting event bringing together industry and governmental leaders from across the globe.”

Leading speakers from government and finance have already confirmed. Ali Zaidi, the Senior Director of Cabinet Affairs for The White House will present the Showcase’s luncheon keynote address. Confirmed panelists and presenters include Magnus Gehringer, CEO, Consent Energy LLC; Craig O’Connor, Director, Office of Renewable Energy & Environmental Exports, Export-Import Bank of the United States; Pierre Audinet, Clean Energy Program Team Leader, ESMAP Program, The World Bank; Mary Mervene, Managing Director, Structured Finance, Overseas Private Investment Corporation; Dave Watson, CEO, EnergySource; Mike Long, Vice President, Galena Advisors- a division of POWER Engineers; Horst Kreuter, Director, Geothermal Power Tanzania; Stanley Kamau, Director/Head of Public Private Partnership (PPP) Unit, Ministry of Finance, Warren Dewhurst, Managing Member, Dewhurst Group; Mark Taylor, Head of Research, Non-Intermittent Clean Energy, Bloomberg New Energy Finance; Ann Robertson-Tait, Business Development Manager and Senior Geologist, GeothermEx; Doug Hollett, Program Director, US DOE Geothermal Technologies Office; and Alex Richter, Board Member, International Geothermal Association. In addition, invited speakers include representatives from the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Army, Gradient Resources, CFE, Alstom, Cyrq Energy, Reykjavik Geothermal, Geothermal Development Company, Ethiopia Electric Power Corporation, the African Development Bank, KenGen, PowerAfrica, Enel, PLN- Indonesia, Pertamina Geothermal, US Geothermal, EDC, and more.

The Showcase will cover topics including:
• The geothermal market today;
• Projects under development in the U.S. and internationally;
• Outlook for the future of the geothermal market;
• Policies driving geothermal development;
• New technologies; and
• Federal agency support at home and abroad.

The last GEA international event in Washington DC was held in 2012 and involved more than 250 industry leaders, government officials and other power sector representatives from the U.S. and 26 countries around the world.

For more information or to register, please visit geo-energy.org. For questions regarding sponsorships, please contact Kathy Kent at Kathy@geo-energy.org. To request press credentials, please contact Shawna Seldon, The Rosen Group, 917 971 7852 or shawna@rosengrouppr.com.

Presidential Address: Didn’t Mention Geothermal, Did Promote Efforts to Benefit the Industry
President Barack Obama delivered his State of the Union address on January 28 with reiterations on the need for climate change action as well as renewable energy support for both domestic and international markets. He commented that the U.S. has reduced its total carbon pollution more than any other nation in the past eight years, “But we have to act with more urgency – because a changing climate is already harming western communities struggling with drought, and coastal cities dealing with floods.” On renewable energy, the President said: “Let’s continue that progress with a smarter tax policy that stops giving $4 billion a year to fossil fuel industries that don’t need it, so that we can invest more in fuels of the future that do.”

Following the presidential address, GEA Executive Director Karl Gawell said: “As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words. While the President didn’t specifically mention “geothermal,” he touched on actions that the Administration is taking that will enhance the geothermal power industry. From East Africa to Eastern Europe to East Asia, U.S. companies are at the cutting edge of technology to produce power from the Earth’s vast and largely untapped geothermal resources. Efforts to promote international competitiveness, to head off global warming, and to boost U.S. economic growth will all be beneficial. They will also create jobs and enhance the Nation’s energy security. We are hopeful that the President and Congress will work together on these and other initiatives in the year ahead.”

The past year saw the advent of the Administration’s National Climate Action Plan to double U.S. energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions by 17% from 2005 levels by 2020. In a press release, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute this week noted a recent Stanford University / Resources for the Future / USA Today poll showing 79% of respondents “thought the U.S. government should do a great deal, a lot, or a moderate amount about global warming,” and, “A remarkable 81% agreed that the government should limit the amount of greenhouse gasses that U.S. businesses put out.”

Renewables Provide 37% of All New U.S. Electrical Generating Capacity in 2013
Via Sustainable Energy Coalition/SUN DAY Campaign, source: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ~ According to FERC’s latest “Energy Infrastructure Update” report, renewable energy sources accounted for 37.16% of all new domestic electrical generating capacity installed during 2013 for a total of 5,279 MW. That is more than three-times that provided for the year by coal (1,543 MW – 10.86%), oil (38 MW – 0.27%), and nuclear power (0 MW – 0.00%) combined. However, natural gas dominated 2013 with 7,270 MW of new capacity (51.17%). Among renewable energy sources, solar led the way in 2013 with 266 new “units” totaling 2,936 MW followed by wind with 18 units totaling 1,129 MW. Biomass added 97 new units totaling 777 MW while water had 19 new units with an installed capacity of 378 MW and geothermal steam had four new units (59 MW). Renewable energy sources now account for 15.97% of total installed U.S. operating generating capacity.

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