International roundup: Geothermal in Colombia, Nicaragua, Australia, Japan, and more

“Weekly news roundup for international geothermal markets”

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Geothermal photos via Twitter users @jaxdad78 at Yellowstone National Park, U.S., and @catherine_ma_nz in New Zealand

This week’s international roundup brings you headlines from Kenya, Canada, Colombia, Nicaragua, Australia, China, Indonesia, Japan, and pan-Europe.

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

Africa

*Kenya: Drilling Costs Effectively Reduced
An article on allafrica.com says that geothermal work in Kenya is impressive, stabilizing, economical, and needed. The author is a fan of the way the industry is saving costs on drilling: “GDC’s strategy to buy, own and operate rigs is a winner. It has significantly reduced the cost of drilling. Consequently, the model has saved the country money.”

*Kenya: Geothermal Drilling Planned for Seven Fields
Geothermal Development Company in Kenya is planning to conduct geothermal drilling at seven fields: Bogoria, Azuri, Baringo Korosi, Silali, Lipaka and Chepchuk. When it is eventually brought into operation, the Bogoria-Silali project is expected to generate 200 MW of geothermal power. Financiers include German Development Bank (KfW), African Development Bank (AfDB), the French Development Agency (AFD), and the World Bank. [africanreview.com]

The Americas

*Canada: Geothermal and Solar PV Combine Forces
A company in Ontario plans to combine solar photovoltaic and geothermal energy technologies. “Right now the use of geothermal energy in Canada is almost nothing, but we’re going to change that,” Hazem Mazhar, Capture Technologies’s chief technology officer, told local press.

*Colombia: Social Impact Assessment Brings Local Support
On RenewableEnergyWorld.com this week, Kara Dewhurst, The Dewhurst Group, writes about social impact assessments (SIA) and how the company is using them effectively for geothermal work in Colombia. “Other infrastructure projects in Colombia have faced the type of conflict and resistance one would expect to see,” Dewhurst writes. “[The Nevado del Ruiz] project is unique in the public support it has gained from the impacted community. The two companies involved in the planning and implementation have attempted to incorporate participatory strategies into the planning process by conducting an independent SIA and through outreach programs.”

*Nicaragua: Renewables Expansion Plan Would Include $600Mil for Geothermal
Translated by Marcelo Lippmann–In a proposed plan, 90% of Nicaragua’s electricity would be supplied by clean, renewable sources (biomass, geothermal, hydro, solar and wind) by 2020; presently that number is 52%. The total investment in this plan would amount to $2053 million. The proposed plan considers an investment of $638 million in geothermal, particularly for development in the geothermal areas of Managua-Chiltepe (35 MW), Casitas-San Cristobal (35 MW) and Mombacho Volcano. A total of 12 geothermal sites, including Momotombo and San Jacinto, have been studied in the past 25 years. On the basis of the collected data, these areas are the country’s best places for commercial production of geothermal steam.

Asia and the Pacific

*Asia Region Eyeing Geothermal Projects
An article on business-standard.com looks at geothermal energy developments in Indonesia, China, Japan, and The Philippines. Asia is poised to play a leading role in geothermal advancements, the article says.

*Australia: ARENA Endorses Geo Barriers/Opportunities Report
The Board of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has endorsed a report on the barriers and opportunities for geothermal energy in Australia. The report by the International Geothermal Expert Group “sets out the steps for developing an innovation roadmap for harnessing the potential of geothermal energy in Australia,” ARENA chair Greg Bourne told local press. “There is a need for a fresh approach to developing Australia’s geothermal potential by building on the successes to date and restoring investor confidence.”

*Australia: Geothermal Scientist Interviewed
Mike Sandiford, a professor at University of Melbourne and director of Melbourne Energy Institute, has studied the Earth’s formations from Antarctica to India to South Australia. He shares his perspectives in local outlet The Age. “While geothermal energy potential has not yet been realized [in Australia], we now know there is a vast resource,” he said.

*China: Regional Geothermal Plans Due by Year’s End
Local authorities in northern, central and southwest China have been asked to draft plans for geothermal energy use by 2020. Plans are due by the end of the year, and an interim goal of 100 MW of geothermal power by 2015 is in place. [bloomberg.com]

*Indonesia: Bill Would Remove “Mining” from Geothermal Description
Next month, Indonesia’s national legislature will consider a bill that would remove the definition “mining activity” from geothermal development, a step that would allow for production in protected forests. The Jakarta Globe indicates that the bill is likely to pass. The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry has estimated 42% of the country’s geothermal resources, or a potential 12,000 MW in electricity production, are located in protected forests.

*Indonesia: Sarulla to Get Toshiba Turbines, Generators
In a press release, Toshiba Corporation announced it has been awarded a contract to supply three 60-MW geothermal steam turbines and generators for the Sarulla, North Sumatra geothermal power plant project, which is expected to be one of the world’s largest geothermal power plants. [businesswire.com]

*Indonesia: Bali Project at Standstill
Local news source Bali Bisnis reported that the future remains uncertain for a geothermal project in Bedugul Tabanan, Bali. The resource appears to be strong, and industry remains hopeful that the local public and the regulatory environment will support the project. [thinkgeoenergy.com]

*Japan: Geothermal Considered in $2Bil Investment
Shinsei Bank Ltd. plans to provide 200 billion yen ($2 billion) in loans for renewable developments. The bank is looking at geothermal energy as it seeks to diversify its portfolio. [businessweek.com]

Europe

*Geo District Heating Team Identifies Regulatory Challenges for European Countries
The GEODH project team that created the ThermoMap Project, a geothermal district heating interactive map showing the potential for the technology in Europe, is also working on recommendations for regulatory frameworks. An article on phys.org notes, “the potential of GeoDH differ from country to country. In Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, the challenge is to remove administrative and financial barriers while in Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Slovenia, there is both the need to convince decision makers and to adopt the right regulatory framework. Germany, France and Italy meanwhile need to simplify procedures and provide more financing in order to achieve the bold GeoDH targets that they have already set out. Finally, the ‘juvenile’ markets of Netherlands, UK, Ireland and Denmark are currently developing their first geothermal DH systems and there is a need to establish the correct market conditions.”

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