International Geothermal New Briefs for the week of March 3, 2014

geotwitriptych-March2014
Geothermal photos via Twitter users @MShaw08 in Iceland and @mikelongsv in Kenya

The Geothermal Energy Association brings you this week’s geothermal news briefs from around the world.

U.S. States
*California: Stanford Geothermal Workshop Papers Available
*California: Mare Island VA Outpatient Clinic to get Geo System
*Illinois: Geo System to Cut Energy Costs at Walgreens
*Kansas: Ikea Store to Get Geothermal System

Africa
*GRMF Awards $5 Million to Ethiopia and Kenya

The Americas
*Canada: Barriers to Geo Development Discussed
*Canada: Toronto Building Uses New Geo System Technology
*Mexico: $18 Million will go to Geothermal Innovation Center

Asia-Pacific
*Indonesia: Government to Require Surety Bonds for Geo Exploration
*Japan: Sierra Magazine Discusses Geothermal Potential
*Malaysia: Geo Power Expected in 2016
*New Zealand: Geothermal Survey Underway at Lake Rotomahana

Europe
*Scotland: Glasgow Abandoned Mines to be Mapped for Geo Potential
*Turkey: Contract Signed for Geo Power at Urmulu
*Ukraine: Area Energy Policy Considered

The 39th annual Stanford Geothermal Workshop was held February 24-26 in Stanford, California. Click here for many of the papers that were presented.

A Veteran Affairs Outpatient Clinic on Mare Island, California will be fitted with a geothermal heating system this year. It is expected to reduce energy costs and recover the $2.1 million installation and purchase costs within eight to 10 years.

A new geothermal system at an Illinois Walgreens is expected to lower the store’s energy usage by ~46%.

A Kansas Ikea store will soon feature a geothermal system for heating and cooling. About 50 of the company’s stores have geothermal systems, though this will only be the second in the U.S.; the other one is in Colorado. Geothermal is part of Ikea’s goal to be energy independent by 2020.

This week in Africa, Ethiopia and Kenya were awarded a US$5 million grant from the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF) for Eastern Africa.

Canada has no geothermal power plants despite Ring of Fire resources. An article on Desmog.ca says reasons for this include cheap hydropower, no cost on carbon, and limited government support.

A new office of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario used new geothermal heating system drilling technology that will allow more older buildings to be retrofitted with geothermal. This is the first building in Toronto to receive the LEED Platinum Certification.

The first installment of a 239mn-peso (US$18mn) pledge will kick off Michoacán’s geothermal innovation center Cemie, which is made up of supporting organizations and is meant to facilitate development of projects and training programs.

This week geothermal director Tisnaldi of Indonesia’s Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry said winners of government geothermal power plant tenders will soon be required to provide surety bonds as guarantees. A financial guarantee of US$10 million would be required for each geothermal exploration well.

A Sierra Magazine article about Japan’s geothermal potential includes an interview with GEA’s Karl Gawell. The need for geothermal in the aftermath of the Japan nuclear crisis, as well as the importance of preserving the nation’s onsen (or hot spring spa) culture, are discussed.

Malaysia’s first geothermal power plant at Apas Kiri, Tawau, is expected to begin delivering 30 MW of electricity to the Sabah State Grid in May 2016. The company that is developing the project, Tawau Green Energy Sdn Bhd, has signed an agreement with the University of Auckland to set up a geothermal resource center and provide training. Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Maximus Ongkili was quoted from the signing ceremony, “we want to promote use of renewable energy and reduce our dependency on fossil fuel. Currently renewable energy accounts for 0.85% of our country’s energy mix and we hope to increase that to 5.5% in the nearest future.”

There are two known active geothermal systems under Lake Rotomahana in New Zealand, which boasts Rotorua’s warmest temperatures. Scientists have now begun a full geothermal survey that will take measurements, photos, and water samples at over 100 points across the lakebed. GNS Science, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the University of Waikato, and Te Arawa Lakes Trust are involved in the project.

Scotland continues to assess its geothermal potential. Glasgow Caledonian University, backed by Scottish Power, is expected to launch their project to map the geothermal potential from Glasgow-area abandoned mining tunnels, to be completed over the next three years. The area already has a small-scale system of heating and cooling for 17 houses. In addition, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London has pointed out EGS potential in the East Grampians, and the Energy and Climate Change Directorate of the Scottish Government have identified “deep geothermal energy as a particularly important emerging renewable energy technology that could have the potential to play a significant role in Scotland’s future energy provision.” There has also been further discussion brewing around a potential undersea cable from Iceland to Scotland to deliver Iceland’s abundant geothermal.

In Turkey, Karadeniz Holding has signed on for geothermal power from a 24-MW ORC plant by Italian firm Exergy in the Umurlu geothermal field near Denizli. The contract is valued at over $30 million and will be delivered in two phases of 12 MW each. Power from the proposed facility is expected in mid-2015.

Effects on energy markets could be one result of the current political trouble between Ukraine and Russia. “The crisis – as terrible it is – might actually strengthen the notion of rethinking energy policy in Europe. With the right incentives, geothermal energy could provide necessary heat for district heating systems across Europe and thereby decrease the need for Russian gas, providing more independence and a generally better market position,” according to ThinkGeoEnergy.com.

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