“Weekly news roundup for international geothermal markets”
This week’s international roundup brings you headlines from California, Illinois, Washington, Rwanda, Tanzania, Indonesia, The Philippines, and Iceland.
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*California: Filing Seeks More Info on Nuclear Plant Safety
A filing to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission indicates there is a lack of knowledge regarding the safety of Diablo Canyon, the last nuclear power plant in California, and suggests closing the plant until more is known. “At issue are whether the plant’s mechanical guts could survive a big jolt, and what yardsticks should be used to measure the ability of the equipment to withstand the potentially strong vibrations that could result,” explains an article on cbsnews.com.
*Illinois: Schools to Benefit from Geo Systems
The city of Oregon, Illinois has new geothermal heating and cooling systems installed at Oregon Elementary School and Oregon High School. [www.rrstar.com]
*Washington: PNNL Looks at Geothermal and Rare Earth Metal Extraction
A research project at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington State, led by Pete McGrail and Shane Addleman, looks into the possibilities of the extraction of rare earth metals from geothermal brine. [ijpr.org]
*2014 a Boom Year for Renewables in Africa
Bloomberg New Energy Finance has stated that more renewable energy projects will be commissioned this year in sub-Saharan Africa than in the previous 14 years (2000 through 2013). A total 1.8 GW of non-hydro renewable power is expected to be added in 2014.
*Rwanda: Student Shares Geothermal Experiences
Leo Peskett, a postgraduate student and winner of the Basu Civil Engineering Prize, discusses his experience working in geothermal fields in Rwanda in an article on imperial.ac.uk.
*Tanzania: Electrification Calls for $11 Billion Through 2017
Tanzania has found that its Power System Master Plan, a blueprint for the country’s power development for the years 2012 to 2017, will require short term financing of $11.4 billion. With market demand for electrification growing each year, the Plan includes added generation of nearly 4,000 MW from natural gas and 200 MW from geothermal energy. [allafrica.com]
Asia and the Pacific
*Indonesia: Law Supporting Geothermal Development Passes
On August 26, Indonesia’s House of Representatives (DPR) passed a law that supports geothermal energy development. The new law opens up exploration for geothermal by defining that it is no longer considered to be a mining activity. The law also stipulates higher prices for electricity produced by geothermal, in response to company cost issues. Additionally, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono plans to take part in the official launch of four geothermal power plants in September: the Ulumbu, Ropa, Ndunga and Mataloko plants. [rappler.com, thejakartapost.com, indonesia-investments.com]
*Indonesia: Drilling Planned for Sarulla Plant; Patuha Plant Nears Completion
An article on thejakartapost.com updates activities for two geothermal power projects in Indonesia. Drilling is scheduled for the Sarulla geothermal plant starting September 15. For Sarulla, located in North Sumatra, two wells will be drilled this year and the entire first phase of 110 MW is expected to be completed in 2016. The Patuha plant, located in West Java, is expected to start operations at 55 MW capacity in October.
*The Philippines: EDC Fixing Typhoon Damage in Bicol
Energy Development Corp.’s geothermal power plant in Bicol has been partially repaired, following damaged by typhoon Glenda (Rammasun) last month. A 55-MW unit is restored, and a second unit is expected to be operational in October, said EDC. [bworldonline.com]
*Iceland: Country Runs on Hydro and Geothermal Sources
Iceland continues to generate the bulk of its electricity through renewable sources. Last year, the International Energy Agency counted 70% hydroelectricity and 20% geothermal energy; while Iceland’s National Energy Authority counted 71% hydro and 24% geothermal in the same year. [worldbulletin.net]