International roundup: Geothermal in Hawaii, Texas, Comoros, Kenya, Nevis, and the UK

This post includes updates on the geothermal markets in Hawaii, Texas, Comoros Island, Kenya, Nevis, and the UK.

Geothermal photos via Twitter users @NevGOE and @Mama_Llew
Geothermal photos via Twitter users @NevGOE and @Mama_Llew

Click below to read the international geothermal roundup.

U.S. States

*Hawaii: Geothermal Would Help Lower Big Island Electricity Prices
The Big Island Community Coalition (BICC) steering committee sent testimony to the Hawaii PUC supporting the implementation of 50 MW of geothermal energy “as soon as practicable.” In the testimony, BICC President Richard Ha writes: “The Big Island has the lowest median income of the counties. Our electricity rates have been 25% higher than Oahu’s for as long as we can remember. That high electricity rate acts like a giant regressive tax. We are able to turn that around by enabling more geothermal.” [hahaha.hamakuasprings.com]

*Hawaii: Geothermal a Hot Topic in Election Campaigns
Geothermal power is showing up as a campaign issue for the Hawaii state elections. Mufi Hannemann, Independent Party nominee for governer, is quoted that “realizing the full potential of geothermal energy in Hawaii is the biggest energy issue for the state” on bizjournals.com. See also an article by Mililani Trask, a candidate for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, on geothermal as “the only industry providing revenues for community benefits” on civilbeat.com.

*Texas: Geothermal Sites Could Produce Potable Water
The McAllen Public Utility Department has authorized up to $400,000 to tap into pressurized geothermal water and treat it for drinking water. The area has more than 500 unused natural gas wells that could be tapped with no associated energy costs; the pressurized water would pump itself out and be treated through reverse osmosis. Dario Guerra, an agricultural engineer estimates three geothermal well sites could produce about six million gallons of potable water per day. [themonitor.com]

Africa

*Comoros Island: Exploration to Begin at Mount Karthala
Comoros is looking to geothermal sources to help solve a lack of access to energy. They have signed an agreement to explore and eventually produce energy at Mount Karthala volcano, along with New Zealand and the United Nations Development Programme. Exploration will go through May 2015. [africa.undp.org]

*Kenya: AfDB Partial Risk Guarantee Covers Three Menengai Producers
The African Development Bank has released a Sh1.1 billion partial risk guarantee for 105 MW of geothermal energy at Menengai. Sosian Menengai Geothermal Power Limited, QPEA GT Menengai Limited and OR Power Twenty-Two Limited are the three power producers covered by the guarantee. The partial risk guarantee has three roles: “Attracting investors to the Menengai project, helping tap geothermal potential and helping to bridge the tremendous gap between supply and demand,” Alex Rugamba director of the AfDB’s energy, environment and climate change department said in the AfDB press release.

The Americas

*Nevis: Company Firm on Geothermal License Case
West Indies Power says comments by Deputy Prime Minister Mark Brantley and Nevis that there is a court order terminating WIP’s geothermal development licence are false. WIP’s stance is that NIA cannot legally negotiate a new geothermal development licence with a third party, as it has attempted to do. [caribbeannewsnew.com]

Europe

*UK: Bill Supports Deep Geothermal Use
Deep geothermal is included in an Infrastructure Bill debated by Grand Committee on October 14. The government hopes to simplify the process by granting the right to use deep land (below 300 m) for access to petroleum and geothermal resources. [lexology.com]

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