International roundup: Geothermal in California, Hawaii, Kenya, El Salvador, China and more

This post brings you geothermal news from California, Hawaii, Kenya, El Salvador, Nicaragua, St. Vincent, China, Indonesia, Iceland, and Turkey.

Geothermal photos via Twitter users @JonnyHart93 and @DrKatyShaw
Geothermal photos via Twitter users @JonnyHart93 and @DrKatyShaw

Click below to see this week’s international geothermal roundup.

U.S. States

*California: 2018 the Target for Lithium Production
Simbol Materials told local press they will begin full-scale production of lithium from geothermal brine at their site in southern California in 2018. The 18-month construction period is expected to provide 400 jobs, and long term jobs are expected for between 120 and 150 Imperial Valley residents. The company says it could build up to 10 lithium plants.

*California: Geothermal Resources Council Welcomes New President
Paul Brophy has been elected by the GRC Board of Directors to be the next President of the Geothermal Resources Council. He replaces Louis E. Capuano, Jr., who remains on the Board. Paul is President of EGS Inc., with over 45 years worldwide experience in the field of energy and natural resources. Of that, 35 years has been in the geothermal industry. Brophy is based in Santa Rosa, California and has worked on projects in Australia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Russia, Peru, Chile, Indonesia, Montserrat and the Philippines.

*Hawaii: State to Look at Cultural Effects of Geo Development
A newly approved study will look at how geothermal energy development affects Native Hawaiian culture and religious practices. The $300,000 approval comes from the Hawaii County geothermal asset fund. The planning commission last year also approved $750,000 for a three-year geothermal health study.

*Hawaii: Action Needed to Meet State Renewables Goals
In an opinion piece, Mililani Trask, who has worked closely in the bidding process for Hawaii geothermal, lays out several items the state needs to work toward if it is to meet its renewable energy goals. This includes: Ending scrutiny of the NextEra/HECO deal; strengthening energy policy framework for all of Hawaii’s renewable energy resources; prohibiting expansion of fossil fuel consumption; a timeline for terminating HECO fossil fuel plants; and repealing current surcharges that allocate HECO costs on to ratepayers.


*Kenya: Geothermal Development Establishes Energy Self-Reliance
An article in Kenya’s Standard Digital News says geothermal energy in Kenya is about independence. “Kenya was sending a message to the world of her desires toward self-reliance in diplomatic parlance known as self-help. The President aptly captured it in the slogan, Powering Freedom,” according to the article.

The Americas

*El Salvador: Five Year Plan Includes Goal for 40% Geothermal
A newly announced plan in El Salvador includes a goal for geothermal to reach 40% of energy produced. The president of the republic, Salvador Sanchez Ceren, announced the “Five Year Plan” as a program toward sustained economic growth and better distribution of wealth. The president also said a 10.9% reduction in the price of electricity will be effective this month.

*Nicaragua: Geo Makes Up 22% of Total Energy Generation
Clean energy sources accounted for 83% of the electricity generated in Nicaragua on January 1, 2015–the highest in the country’s history. According to the report of the National Load Dispatch Center (Centro Nacional de Despacho de Carga), the breakdown of energy sources was: wind 34.1%; geothermal 21.8%; biomass 14.72%; and hydro 12.16%. The remaining 17% came from energy sources that are not considered clean.

*St. Vincent and the Grenadines: Geo Energy a “Game Changer” for Local Economy
The government is calling the geothermal energy project on St. Vincent a “game changer” for the local economy. Prime Minister Gonsalves was quoted in local press: “We are still on target. I have been advised by the Energy Unit. Barring some extraordinary challenge which may arise, we should be having a production of 10 megawatts by the end of 2017.” The Unity Labour Party government, the Icelandic Firm Reykjavik Geothermal Ltd., and Emera Inc. are involved in the project.

Asia and the Pacific

*China: Geothermal to be Utilized in Offsetting Climate Change
As part of increasing efforts to offset environmental pollution and climate change, China’s geothermal goals include reaching an annual output of up to 50 million tons of standard coal equivalent by 2020 and 100 million tons by 2030. China recently held its first Geothermal Forum with speakers from the National Energy Administration of China, China Academy of Engineering and others.

*Indonesia: July Date Set for Kamojang 5 Completion
Kamojang 5, a geothermal unit underway in West Java, is expected to be completed in July and will have a 35 MW capacity. Pertamina Geothermal Energy (a subsidiary of the state-owned utility) has allocated US$432 million for projects this year, with Kamojang 5 being the only new project to be completed this year.

Europe and Central Asia

*Iceland: Data Center Expansion will Benefit from Geo Energy
Iceland’s draw as a data center location is again growing thanks to geothermal energy: Verne Global has said it will expand its campus in Keflavik using a new $98 million of equity funding. Geothermal and hydro are the main sources of electricity and have contributed to a low cost of electricity and a reliable national electrical grid.

*Turkey: Up to $275 Million Announced for Geothermal Development
This year two investment funds from the European Reconstruction and Development Bank will go toward Turkey’s geothermal energy sector. One is a $150 million fund for the greenfield 123-MW Germencik, a project of Gurmat Electricity Generation Cooperation in the western province of Aydin. When complete, Germencik could be the second largest geothermal plant in the world. The second amounts to $125 million and is for supporting early-stage development. “Under this framework, loans will be provided to private sector investors to further develop geothermal power plants in Turkey,” Nandita Parshad, EBRD Director for Power and Energy told press.

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