“Weekly news roundup for international geothermal markets”
This week’s international roundup brings you headlines from Alaska, Colorado, Ethiopia, Mexico, Indonesia, New Zealand, and Iceland.
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*Alaska: Project May Forfeit Funds
The city council of Unalaska was scheduled to consider forfeiting a $1 million federal grant for geothermal development at Makushin Volcano and instead transfer the money to the city of Akutan, where another geothermal project has potential. Unalaska won the award in 2009 but has so far been unable to secure the private and local support needed for success. [kucb.org]
*Colorado: Pagosa Springs Moving Forward
This week an article on mountaintownnews.net features the town of Pagosa Springs and the potential geothermal energy project there. [mountainnewsnet.org]
*World Bank Supports Africa’s Green Growth
As policy leaders met in DC for the first US-Africa Summit, The World Bank shared an article about Africa’s green revolution. Makhtar Diop writes, “Expanding Africa’s access to electricity through grid, mini-grid, and off-grid solutions is a key element of our efforts to achieve the twin World Bank Group goals of ending extreme poverty and creating shared prosperity for all people of the continent. Furthermore, by meeting electricity demand with our plentiful renewable resources – hydro, geothermal, solar and wind – Africa can grow in an environmentally sustainable manner, with minimal additions to overall carbon emissions. Africa is poised to achieve green growth – a global public good — while meeting the energy needs and growth aspirations of its people.”
*Ethiopia: Collaboration Seeks to Assess Volcanic Activity
A five-year £3.7million project to assess East African Rift Valley volcanoes will begin in September, focusing on the Main Ethiopian Rift. RiftVolc is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council and aims to understand the history of the volcanic activity of the region and potential for any of the volcanoes to become active again. The collaboration includes the Universities of Edinburgh and Bristol, Cambridge, Leeds, Oxford and Southampton, the British Geological Survey, Addis Ababa University and the Geological Survey of Ethiopia, and Reykjavik Geothermal. [phys.org]
*Mexico: President Signs Energy Reform into Law
The Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto released a statement on this month’s signing of the country’s new energy reform, opening to private and foreign investment. He said, “thanks to unity of purpose, in months we have overcome decades of immobility; the barriers that prevented Mexico from growing in an accelerated and sustained manner have been knocked down.” Regarding renewable energy, the President said, “It will also allow the production of energy based on renewable sources like solar and wind power, and geothermal energy.” [scoop.co.nz; rt.com]
Asia and the Pacific
*Indonesia: Country to Reach 1,400 MW of Geothermal This Year
Three new geothermal power plants in Indonesia are expected to begin operations this year: Patuha and Cibuni, both in West Java; and Ulumbu in East Nusa Tenggara. The new projects would add a combined new capacity of 62 MW, bringing the country’s total geothermal capacity to 1,405 MW. [thejakartapost.com]
*Indonesia: Sumitomo to Construct Ulubelu 3 and 4
PT Pertamina Geothermal Energy has awarded Sumitomo Corporation an engineering, procurement and construction contract for Units 3 and 4, at 55 MW each, for 110 MW total at the Ulubelu Geothermal Area. “Ulubelu units 3 and 4 will be completed soon,” Pertamina upstream director Muhammad Husein said this week. [sumitomocorp.co.jp; thejakartapost.com]
*New Zealand: Te Mihi Opens, Gets U.S. Congressional Visit
This week Contact Energy opened its new Te Mihi geothermal power plant, which was also visited by a U.S. congressional delegation. Te Mihi is located at the Wairākei steam field and uses two 83-MW steam turbines. “Te Mihi is a testimony to Contact’s dedication to ensuring New Zealander’s energy needs are met in a safe, reliable and efficient manner. It also represents a step into the future, helping provide renewable lower-cost base load electricity to the market to power the homes and businesses in our communities,” Contact CEO Dennis Barnes said in a statement.
*New Zealand: Geothermal Led Renewables Growth
The New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has published statistics and worldwide market comparisons in Energy in New Zealand 2014. Geothermal has played a large role in the increase of electricity generated from renewables, from 72.8% in 2012 up to 75.1 percent. “The main factors driving this growth were an increase in geothermal electricity generation capacity (commissioning of Ngatamariki), and the retirement of a second 250 MW coal-fired generation unit at Huntly during the year,” says a government write-up. [mbie.govt.nz]
*Iceland: First Graduates Complete Startup Program
An article on articstartup.com mentions that Startup Energy Reykjavik (SER) had its first companies complete the program earlier this summer. SER is a cooperative project between Arion bank, Landsvirkjun, GEORG (geothermal research group) and Innovation Center Iceland.