International roundup: Geothermal in Bolivia, Croatia, Honduras, Iran, and more

“Weekly news roundup for international geothermal markets”

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Geothermal photos via Twitter users @NatlParksPhotos at Yellowstone National Park, U.S., and @julesdwit in Iceland

This week’s international roundup brings you headlines from California, Hawaii, New Mexico, Iran, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Nevis, American Samoa, The Philippines, Croatia, France, Iceland, and Turkey.

Click below to keep reading “Weekly news roundup for international geothermal markets”

U.S. States

*California: Berkeley Researchers Measure Geothermal Temperatures
Berkeley Lab researchers have developed a computer program called GeoT that uses techniques for measuring geothermal reservoir temperatures in a new way. The program uses a fluid sample obtained at the surface, looks at the concentrations of dissolved salts, then reconstructs the data to reflect the deeper concentration. [lbl.gov]

*Hawaii: Royalties Incentivize Geothermal for the PUC and Public, Says Governor
In early July, Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie signed Senate Bill 2953 requiring royalties from geothermal resources on Hawaiian Home Lands to be paid to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. “I hope this will act as an incentive and as an urging, to the (Public Utilities Commission) and to public opinion on the opportunity to move forward on the incredible geothermal resources that exist here on the Big Island,” the Governor said in a statement. [hydrogenfuelnews.com, bigislandvideonews.com]

*New Mexico: State to Add Significant Renewable Energy
PNM Resources’ New Mexico Utility, which this year began purchasing geothermal energy for the first time, expects to add significant additional renewable energy resources to its power portfolio in the coming years, as stated in its 2014 Integrated Resource Plan. PNM utilizes geothermal energy from Cyrq Energy’s 4-MW Lightning Dock power plant. [fierceenergy.com]

Africa and the Middle East

*CIF Announces US$115M for Geothermal and Solar PV in Africa
Geothermal and solar PV energy development in African countries will see a total $115 million influx under Climate Investment Fund (CIF) Dedicated Private Sector Programs. The African Development Bank is the implementing agency. CIF has chosen Benin, Ghana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zambia to receive new funding and operational support under the Scaling Up Renewable Energy in Low Income Countries Program, bringing the number of African countries piloting CIF climate-smart investment plans to 25. [afdb.org]

*Iran: Geothermal Included in Economic Development Plan
Geothermal is expected to be part of a five-year economic development plan for Iran that could see up to 5,000 MW electricity, Yousef Armodeli, secretary of New Energies Committee in the Office of Vice-President for Science and Technology, was quoted in local press. Eight specialized committees are considering measures that include “Using renewable sources of energy, equipment of scientific and technological centers, supporting knowledge-based companies, using solar, wind, geothermal and biomass energies,” Armodeli said. [irna.ir]

The Americas

*Geothermal Fund in Latin America Targeted for Early Next Year
Following announcement of a Geothermal Development Projects Fund in Latin America, Piensa en Geotermia interviewed Mauricio Garrón at CAF – Development Bank of Latin America. Garrón said, in part, “The idea is that Rödl & Partner will finally set the fund for August of this year and at the same time we are applying for the necessary resources which will make up the total amount of the fund. It will probably be available early next year.” [thinkgeoenergy.com]

*Bolivia: Construction Financing Approved for Laguna Colorada
A loan by the International Cooperation Agency of Japan (JICA) for US$30M will finance the construction of the Laguna Colorada geothermal plant. A first phase of 50 MW generation is targeted for 2018. The loan, though previously announced, has just been approved by the government. [thinkgeoenergy.com]

*Costa Rica: Legislators Approve Geothermal Bill
The Legislative Assembly in Costa Rica have approved $1 billion in loans for a geothermal project in Guanacaste. Funds are coming from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency, the European Investment Bank and the Costa Rican Electricity Institute. The Constitutional Court is up next to review the bill. [insidecostarica.com]

*Honduras: New Government Contracts Include 40 MW Geothermal, 560 MW Total Renewables
Translated by Marcelo Lippman–The Honduran government ratified electric power generation contracts for a total of 560 MW; i.e., hydroelectric (450 MW), biomass (70 MW) and geothermal (40 MW). A few days before the new “Ley General de la Industria Eléctrica” becomes law and prevents the national electric company, the Empresa Nacional de Energía Eléctrica (ENEE), from issuing contracts without going through the tender (bid) process, the ENEE Board of Directors approved the purchase of the 560 MW. [Source: centralamericadata.com]

*Nevis: Project Decision Disputed
Following last week’s announcement that a geothermal contract in Nevis was no longer valid, West Indies Power CEO Kerry McDonald said: “The recent declarations by Deputy Prime Minister Mark Brantley and the NIA, stating that there is a court order terminating WIPN’s license which allows the NIA to negotiate a new Geothermal Development License with a third party, are incorrect and misleading.” [thinkgeoenergy.com]

*Northern Marianas Islands: Geothermal Exploration Contract Announced
The geothermal project for the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands (CNMI) took a step forward with the announcement of a joint venture contract. Maevelle Energy today announced it would be assessing the resource along with 4i’s CNMI, LLC and Alexander Drilling of CNMI. Maevelle Energy President Justin Mahlmann said in a press release, “This project is a tremendous step towards realizing goals of power generation through renewables for the Commonwealth. Helping to deliver affordable power through renewable energy to Saipan is a testament to the strength of our services.”

Asia and the Pacific

*American Samoa: Geothermal Site Identified at Tutuila
American Samoa’s geothermal exploration is a success so far. Using aerial surveys, geological mapping, and water and soil analysis, the American Samoa Power Authority identified a potential site for geothermal development on the western part of Tutuila. A second phase of the exploration begins this month. [radionz.co.nz]

*The Philippines: BacMan Gets New Turbine Generator; Rare Eagles Released at Geothermal Reservation
Energy Development Corp’s Bacon-Manito Unit 3 will be shut down for about one month for maintenance work, including replacing the existing turbine generator unit [interaksyon.com]. EDC BacMan was also in the news for releasing two Philippine Serpent Eagles and a Philippine Hawk Eagle into the wild at the company’s geothermal reservation in Sorsogon. “EDC BacMan Geothermal Reservation covers 25,000 hectares of protected forest area and is a recognized model of sustainable development for successfully harmonizing its 130-MW geothermal power operations with environmental protection,” states manilastandardtoday.com.

*The Philippines: Preparations Continue for Northern Negros Relocation Project
The Northern Negros Relocation Project will relocate existing equipment from a geothermal plant to a new location on the island, at Nasulo, and is expected to be completed this year. EDC has named another party to be involved in the process: the telecoms system, protection system, instrument and electrical equipment and services will all be supplied by ABB. [ceasiamag.com]

Europe

*EGS Projects in Croatia and France Win European Commission Support
On July 8, the European Commission (EC) awarded financing to two enhanced geothermal system (EGS) projects as part of a total €1 billion toward 19 projects that fight climate change. The two EGS projects are in Croatia and France. The project in Draskovec, Croatia, won €14.7 million to generate 3.1 MWe, while the French-German cross-border project won €16.8 million and aims to produce 6.7 MWe electricity and 34.7 MWth heat. The funding comes under the second call of “NER300,” a financing instrument through revenues from the sale of emission allowances, is jointly managed by the EC along with the European Investment Bank and Member States. [europa.eu, ner300.com]

*Iceland: Geothermal Used in Unique Salt Process
Norður Salt CEO and co-founder Gardar Stefansson was recently interviewed about his company’s unique salt products that are made using geothermal energy. He says the idea started a question that was very practical for Iceland: “Can we cook seawater with geysers?” Norður uses a traditional local method that it has refined and made even more efficient “by creating sub-atmospheric pressure conditions that allow for boiling at lower temperatures,” according to coolhunting.com.

*Turkey: Geothermal Considered for Aydin Province
Turkish Turcas Petrol has applied to build a 13.2-MW geothermal plant in Aydin province. [einnews.com]

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