This post brings you geothermal news from California, Oregon, East Africa, Canada, Saint Lucia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
Click below for this week’s international geothermal roundup.
*California: PUC will Consider a Higher Renewables Mandate
The California Public Utilities Commission has said early next year it will consider an increase in the state’s renewable energy mandate, currently 33% by 2020. A balanced portfolio approach “could promote greater amounts of geothermal power, which is not intermittent, and concentrated solar power, which can be stored more easily than power from traditional solar panels,” according to desertsun.com.
*Oregon: EGS Project Opens for Media Tour
A feature story in Renewable Energy World goes “to the top of the crater” at the Newberry enhanced geothermal project in Oregon. The author describes the process that company AltaRock Energy is using to demo enhanced geothermal systems, or EGS: “AltaRock is working on a multi-zone stimulation process. Water from the pools is injected into the well at a pressure of about 2,000 psi to stimulate tiny millimeter-sized openings, or slips, in the rock, which eventually spider out to create a zone, according to Trenton Cladouhos, senior vice president of research and development at AltaRock. This is a much different process than fossil fuel fracking, which injects a slurry of water, chemicals and sand at much higher pressures of up to 10,000 psi to create large damaging breaks in the rock.”
*Clean Energy Revolution Happening Now
Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) says that a cleaner energy revolution is already going on in the continent of Africa, especially geothermal energy in Kenya and Ethiopia. “The world is not noticing it,” Steiner said. “I think we will see renewable energy being the answer to Africa’s energy problems in the next fifteen years.” He added that renewable energy policies are key to attract the necessary private investments.
*Canada: BC Company Looks for Direct Use Potential
Geoscience BC representatives have told press that over the coming months they will gather data on areas of British Columbia that may have geothermal data, such as Valemount. They are looking for areas to eventually drill and test for geothermal direct-use applications. “We thought we’d start a project to look at the economic viability of geothermal energy throughout the province, not just for electrical generation, but for direct-use,” said Carlos Salas, professional geoscientist and Vice President of Oil and Gas for Geoscience BC. “That is really important, especially to small communities and First Nations.”
*Saint Lucia: Geothermal the Answer for Sustainability
Geothermal energy is playing a large role for Saint Lucia’s path toward sustainable economic development. This week the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology welcomed a delegation of geothermal technical experts coming from World Bank, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand to discuss the island’s geothermal project. Topics of discussion included land use, jobs and technical training, and public community engagement in the project. The World Bank and the New Zealand Government have given a combined total of US$2.8 million in grants to the project, and Saint Lucia`s Global Environment Facility has added another US$1 million.
Asia and the Pacific
*Indonesia: Sumitomo to Construct Lahendong Units
PT Pertamina Geothermal Energy of Indonesia has awarded a contract to Sumitomo Corporation of Japan for the construction of Units 5 and 6 at Lahendong Geothermal Area. Manufacturer Fuji Electric Co., Ltd. will provide the geothermal steam turbines and the power generators. Sumitomo has previously been involved in geothermal development in Indonesia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Iceland, and Turkey.
*The Philippines: Maibarara Plant Ready for Expansion
The 20-MW Maibarara geothermal plant opened in February 2014, and PetroEnergy Resources Corp. now plans to expand it by 10 MW. The site has shown such great potential that there could even be an additional 10-MW expansion after this one, company representatives told press.