Leading news: Geothermal Knowledge-Sharing Important for Renewables and Climate Goals

This post brings you news on international-level goals to increase renewables and reduce emissions; GEA efforts to help improve knowledge at EIA, NRC, and other organizations; and news from GEA member companies.

The graph above shows jobs created at actual geothermal power plants using information GEA collected over the last few years; companies are kept anonymous to protect proprietary information. View along with presentations to the Committee on Earth Sciences at dels.nas.edu.

Click below for this week’s leading geothermal news.

*U.S. Industries Ready to Do Their Part to Double Renewables Worldwide by 2030
*Presidents of U.S. and China Announce Emissions Reductions Targets
*Dewhurst Group: New Director of Latin American Operations Announced
*Ormat Technologies: Company to Acquire its Parent Through Share Exchange
*Industry Offers Geothermal Data Collection Improvements to EIA
*National Research Council Posts Presentations on Subsurface Issues
*Mexico to Host “New Vision on Geothermal” Workshop
*Risk Prevention, Data Sharing, and Development Models can Help Geothermal, Says CPI

U.S. Industries Ready to Do Their Part to Double Renewables Worldwide by 2030
Joint Press Statement–This week the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC, apec.org) released a goal for all 21 member countries (including the U.S.) of doubling renewable energy by 2030. GEA signed on to this supportive statement:

U.S. renewable power industries hailed the goal announced overnight at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing of doubling renewable energy in the 21 member economies by 2030, and said they are ready to do their part. This follows last year’s commitment to encourage technology transfer, and joint efforts to lower costs and attract investment.

“We appreciate the leadership that President Obama and the rest of these world leaders are showing on the critical task of rapidly scaling up low-carbon energy sources,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association. “Here in America, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Vision for the growth of our industry, we can quadruple wind power by 2030 and save consumers money doing it, if policymakers keep supporting state renewable standards and federal tax incentives to attract the necessary private investment.”

“Hydropower is poised for growth and ready to meet America’s renewable energy goals,” said Linda Church Ciocci, Executive Director, National Hydropower Association. “From powering the 97 percent of the nation’s dams that remain unpowered to upgrading our existing facilities, opportunities exist to double hydropower’s contribution to the electricity grid, while strengthening our economy and providing more Americans access to clean, low-cost electricity.”

“GEA applauds the APEC goal of doubling renewable power,” said Karl Gawell, Executive Director, Geothermal Energy Association. “New geothermal power development underway in the US and nearly all of the APEC countries will provide more than electricity, building thousands of megawatts of new geothermal power will spur economic growth, create new jobs and ensure environmental health for future generations.”

“The American biomass industry has experienced tremendous growth over the past couple of years and, with supportive policies, there is potential for much more,” said Bob Cleaves, President of the Biomass Power Association. “The 2014 National Climate Assessment indicated that biomass sources could offset up to 30 percent of U.S. petroleum consumption. Setting ambitious yet achievable goals is a good way to ensure that biomass potential is realized.”

“The Energy Recovery Council applauds today’s commitment to dramatically increasing renewable energy worldwide,” said Ted Michaels, President, Energy Recovery Council. “Waste-to-energy is a critical greenhouse gas mitigation tool with significant potential for further deployment in the U.S. Every ton of municipal solid waste processed at a waste-to-energy reduces lifecycle emissions by one ton of carbon dioxide equivalents, through offsetting fossil fuels, avoiding methane from landfills, and recovering metals for recycling.”

“Smart, effective public policies, such as the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), are paying huge dividends for America,” said Solar Energy Industry Association President and CEO Rhone Resch. “Solar installations this year will be 70 times higher than they were in 2006 when the ITC went into effect. The price to install a solar rooftop system has been cut in half, while utility systems have dropped by 70 percent. It took the U.S. solar industry 40 years to install the first 20 GW of solar, but we’re going to install the next 20 GW in the next two years. That’s remarkable growth.”

The 21 APEC member countries are: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong China, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, The Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, The United States, and Viet Nam.

Presidents of U.S. and China Announce Emissions Reductions Targets
From Beijing this week, President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping together announced targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions post 2020. The new U.S. target is to cut carbon pollution by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025, while the new China target boosts its share of non-fossil fuel energy to around 20% and to peak emissions before or by 2030. A White House fact sheet says the leaders will work together and with other countries to adopt a protocol or other legal agreement to include all Parties at the upcoming United Nations Climate Conference in Paris in 2015.

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute’s Executive Director, Carol Werner, said in a statement: “Opponents of ambitious greenhouse gas targets often cited Chinese inaction as an excuse for U.S. inaction, arguing that America could not address the problem on its own and should therefore not act unilaterally. This climate agreement represents what many Members of Congress said was an essential precondition for stronger U.S. commitment on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The onus is now on Congress to support climate change action.”

Dewhurst Group: New Director of Latin American Operations Announced
Via Dewhurst Group–Jonathan is a professional in the geothermal industry with a dual degree (engineering geology/ geology) from UCLA. Jonathan has experience as an on-site geologist, drilling supervisor, and consulting specialist in the closing and abandoning of geothermal wells. Jonathan is a member of the Geothermal Resources Council (GRC), Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) and Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE). In 2012, he graduated from the National Geothermal Academy, founded by the Department of Energy (USDOE).

The addition of an experienced drilling professional to the Dewhurst Group allows us to be further vertically integrated and better meet geothermal development needs. From early exploration pre-feasibility studies to wellsite planning and drilling supervision, the Dewhurst Group is poised to provide unparalleled products and expertise.

Ormat Technologies: Company to Acquire its Parent Through Share Exchange
Press Release, Ormat Industries’ Shareholders to Exchange Shares for Stake in Ormat Technologies. Deal Eliminates Majority Ownership and Control Structure (RENO, Nev.) November 10–Ormat Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: ORA) announced today that it is entering into a definitive share exchange and plan of merger agreement (the “Exchange Agreement”) with its parent entity, Ormat Industries Ltd. (“OIL”). Under this agreement, Ormat Technologies will acquire Ormat Industries through a share exchange that will eliminate OIL’s majority ownership interest in, and control of, Ormat Technologies. OIL currently holds approximately 60% of Ormat Technologies’ outstanding common stock.

Mr. Isaac Angel, Ormat Chief Executive Officer, stated: “Streamlining our corporate structure is a crucial step to unlocking the value inherent in our business. Ormat transitioning to a non-controlled single public listing will significantly increase the number of shares available to be publicly traded. We believe that enhancing liquidity and increasing shareholder base will translate to increasing shareholders value.”

Mr. Doron Blachar, Ormat Chief Financial Officer, added: “Transitioning to a single public listing will eliminate duplicate costs, dual accounting reporting standards and increase efficiencies. Streamlining the corporate structure will allow the company to focus on growing the business.”

Ormat Technologies anticipates that the transaction will benefit Ormat Technologies and its stockholders in several ways, including: Enhance Liquidity: Ormat Technologies’ float will increase from approximately 40% to approximately 76% of total shares outstanding once the transaction is complete, which should help elevate trading volume and may increase equity coverage.; Create Synergies: The acquisition will eliminate certain costs and inefficiencies resulting from maintaining two public entities.; Become a non controlled public company.

Industry Offers Geothermal Data Collection Improvements to EIA
The Geothermal Energy Association is working along with Ormat Technologies, U.S. Geothermal, and the National Labs on best data collection processes. The goal is to help the Energy Information Administration of the U.S. (EIA) to improve their data collection and to fix incorrect data for geothermal power projects. Some of the recommendations include: EIA’s definitions should account for parasitic load in geothermal projects; EIA should clarify a day of the year to pick as summer/winter generation; EIA should clarify what “minimum load” means; operators should be able to group similar type of plants, as is done in other sectors; suggestions for identifying “red flags” on an operator’s reporting; and additional terms that need further clarification by EIA.

National Research Council Posts Presentations on Subsurface Issues
On October 23, the Geothermal Energy Association participated in a National Research Council joint standing committee meeting for the Committee on Earth Resources and the Committee on Geological and Geotechnical Engineering. The meeting was called “Critical Issues in the Subsurface: Using Field Observatories and Data to Advance Understanding of Rock Behavior.” Presentations and meeting agenda are now available: http://dels.nas.edu/global/besr/CER-Events.

Mexico to Host “New Vision on Geothermal” Workshop
Mexico’s Ministry of Energy is hosting a New Vision on Geothermal Energy in Mexico Workshop on November 24, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm at CECAL´s Auditorium of the Ministry of Energy, México, Distrito Federal. The organizers said in event materials: The Workshop will introduce the geothermal potential of Mexico, not only from a geological perspective, but also from the new opportunities offered by the recently undertaken Energy Reform, specifically the new Geothermal Energy Law and its Regulation, as well as the financial mechanisms for mitigating risks in exploration. Confirmation and Registration to the address: rhernandez.perge@energia.gob.mx.

Risk Prevention, Data Sharing, and Development Models can Help Geothermal, Says CPI
Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) is looking to identify best ways public funds are able to mobilize the private sector in geothermal. CPI posted a blog about the recent meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark, in which three points are laid out: (1) Greater success in risk prevention management would familiarize private financiers with managing real or perceived risks; (2) Greater data sharing on geothermal resources as well as on costs of exploration and drilling would allow more accurate analysis of public finance; and (3), There are multiple development models for geothermal projects, so a better understanding for specific circumstances is needed. See climatepolicyinitiative.org.

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