Leaders in Montana and Washington State are talking about geothermal energy. In Djibouti and Kenya, geothermal projects are in financing stages. In Indonesia, geothermal plans soar.
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*Montana: Legislative Candidate Supports Geothermal Energy – Chuck Erickson, a Democrat running for the Montana House District 100 seat in the 2015 Legislature, was asked whether the state should encourage or discourage the production of coal, oil and gas. His response was, “My personal opinion – and it seems to ring true with a majority of the people I talk to in House District 100 – is that I’m not a fan of the coal industry; I’m a fan of clean energy. If we are going to promote any extraction industry it should be geothermal energy where all we are extracting is heat to produce electricity. If you look at the geothermal map of Montana there is potential all over the state. It’s a nondestructive process. We should promote other clean energy sources such as plasma gasification where we utilize our waste products for energy.” [missoulian.com]
*Washington State: Gov. Inslee Takes Steps Toward Carbon Emissions Limits – Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee (D) has signed an executive order appointing a 21-member Task Force for a “market-based” carbon-reduction plan. The group will study systems such as cap-and-trade or carbon tax, and state agencies were directed to support clean energy technologies. Inslee asked the agencies to work with utilities on phasing out electricity produced by coal. [Seattle Times; GEO member update]
*Djibouti: Lake Assal Financing Outlined – Details are moving forward for a major geothermal energy development in East Africa. In Djibouti, the World Bank says four full-size geothermal production wells at Lake Assal will be funded by WB along with the African Development Bank, Global Environment Facility of OPEC, and French financier Agence Française de Développement. [waltainfo.com]
*Kenya: KenGen Seeking Advisor to Secure Financing – Kenyan electricity producer KenGen is seeking an adviser for securing financing including identification, procurement, and selection of a private investor as related to the development of a 140-MW geothermal plant. [businessdailyafrica.com; engineeringnews.co.za]
*Mexico: Renewables Target Expansion is Considered – Mexico’s Energy Secretary Pedro Joaquin Coldwell was quoted about the country’s renewable energy goals this week. “We are proposing to expand the role of renewable energy to 33 percent of installed capacity by the year 2018,” Coldwell said. He added that legislators are expected to bring the target to debate in the coming weeks. The government seeks to support the renewable spectrum from “large companies with cutting-edge technology” to “those who want to put a solar panel on the roof of their house,” he said. [laht.com; globalpost.com]
Asia and the Pacific
*Indonesia: State Firm Plans to More than Double Geo Production in Four Years – Indonesia’s Pertamina Geothermal Energy, a subsidiary of the state oil and gas firm PT Pertamina, currently produces 402 MW of geothermal. The firm has plans to complete up to 445 MW of new additional geothermal by 2018, which would bring their new total to 847 MW of geothermal. These new additions would include two West Java plants: the 35-MW Kamojang Unit 5 plant and the 30-MW Karaha Unit 1. [thejakartapost.com]
*The Philippines: Geothermal Developer Shares Purchased – First Gen Corp. now has a 73% voting stake in developer Energy Development Corp. (EDC), the largest developer of geothermal energy in the Philippines. First Gens’ previous voting stake was 45%. It purchased the additional 31 million preferred shares from Prime Terracota Holdings Corp for P48.5 million. First Gen’s economic interest increased from 33.6% to 50.7%. [interaksyon.com]
*Germany: Geothermal Greenhouse Helps Environment and Economics – Geothermal energy is now being used for vegetable cultivation at a new 12-hectare greenhouse in Kirchweidach, Germany. “Geothermal heat provides heat, electricity and even ventilation around the clock. In Kirckweidach this advantage is now being used in the vegetables cultivation,” Dr. Erwin Knapek, president of Geothermie e.V. (WFG). “Protecting the environment and economics are hand in hand here.” He added that almost 100 new jobs were created by the project in Kirchweidach. [hortidaily.com]
*The Netherlands: Geothermal Had Top Growth Rates in 2013 – CBS Statistics Netherlands has reported that at 25% growth rate in 2013, geothermal energy was the fastest growing form of renewable energy in the Netherlands, where “Heat from deep geothermal resources is frequently used in greenhouse horticulture,” notes NationalJournal.com. “The use of geothermal energy extracted from shallow resources also increased and was mainly used to heat buildings.”
*Switzerland: St. Gallen Drops Geo Project – The city of St. Gallen in eastern Switzerland has decided not to move forward with a geothermal project. [swissinfo.ch]