International roundup: Geothermal in California, Kentucky, Indonesia, Taiwan and more

This post brings you geothermal news from California, Hawaii, Kentucky, Oregon, Canada, Indonesia, Taiwan and Iceland.

Geothermal photos via Twitter users @MissouriSandT and @jbcday
Geothermal photos via Twitter users @MissouriSandT and @jbcday

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Click below for our international geothermal roundup.

U.S. States

*California: 50%-Renewables-by-2030 Proposed in Assembly
A California lawmaker has taken up the Governor’s challenge and introduced a bill for a minimum 50% renewable energy resources by 2030. State Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella)’s AB 197 would apply to both investor-owned and publicly-owned utilities; consider cost-effectiveness and grid reliability benefits “associated with renewable energy resources that can quickly ramp up to offset the intermittency of solar and wind, as well as provide 24 hour base load electricity generation capacity, such as geothermal energy”; and Codify the Public Utility Commission’s Loading Order.

*Hawaii: Publicly-Owned Coop Idea Explored for Big Island
Florida-based NextEra Energy’s purchase of Hawaiian Electric Co. is expected to close this December. A group of Big Island residents who support geothermal development and lower electricity rates have raised whether Hawaii Electric Light Co., their island’s offshoot, could be converted into a publicly-owned cooperative. Wallace Ishibashi, a member of the co-op steering committee, told press: “We are just investigating right now to see what options are available.”

*Kentucky: Drilling Begins on Country’s “Largest Geothermal Residential Community”
A development in Kentucky, Norton Commons, told press it will begin drilling work on “the largest geothermal residential community in the country.” Norton Commons includes over 850 single-family homes and 50 businesses.

*Oregon: Geothermal Facility by 2017 Eyed for Olene-Poe Area
Klamath Basin Geopower’s work in the Olene and Poe Valley area has shown positive development toward commercial sales. Bill Honjas, president and CEO told press: “The project is ongoing. The last well was a good well. Now we’re down to the business of getting the power sold.” O-P2B has an estimated flow of 1,400 gallons per minute, he said. The company plans a minimum 20-MW facility by 2017.

The Americas

*Canada: CanNor Invests in Yukon Geothermal
The Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) of the Government of Canada will invest $247,310 in the second phase geothermal feasibility studies. The Dena Nezziddi Development Corporation will use the funds in studying two areas of Yukon in the Ross River area for commercial-scale electricity production potential. Ryan Leef, Member of Parliament for Yukon told press: “Our Government recognizes that access to reliable and affordable energy plays an integral role in fostering northern economic development. That’s why CanNor is continuing to work with its partners and stakeholders, including Aboriginal development corporations, to develop alternative sources of energy that will help meet future power needs in the North and support resource development.”

Asia and the Pacific

*Indonesia: Ciremai Mountain Project Returned to Gov’t
The Ciremai Mountain geothermal working area has been returned to the Indonesian government. A rep for Chevron Geothermal Indonesia told press: “Chevron did not continue the management of the Ciremai geothermal, and we returned it to the Indonesian government, so that they can consider conducting a re-tender.”

*Taiwan: National Energy Program Leader Supports Geothermal
Ahead of the National Energy Conference that opens in Taipei, National Energy Program leader Lee Shih-guang told press geothermal energy development from 2,500 m to 3,000 m below ground level could help boost Taiwan’s energy supply from renewable sources to about 7%. Currently the proportion of renewables in Taiwan is at about 4%.

Europe

*Iceland: President Grímsson Speaks About Global Geothermal Potential
President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson spoke to press about geothermal energy potential around the world at the Zayed Future Energy Prize event. He said: “It is unfortunately a misleading conception in many quarters that geothermal possibilities are only in a very few countries, where in fact the geothermal possibility can be found all around the world, because the heat which is inside the earth, that which is the basis of geothermal power, is in fact under every country, every continent. So it’s just a matter of access and technology that it can be used, and also for what purpose. Like here in the Emirates you can drill for geothermal power and use it for the air conditioning. You might have difficulty using it for electricity but you can use it for air conditioning, growing vegetables, many other purposes. We in Iceland are now engaged in such projects in China, in The Philippines, in East Africa, in Latin America, in all the European countries. And different from many other forms of renewable energy, geothermal doesn’t have to be subsidized. Geothermal is profitable enough in itself that it is actually a very good business proposal.” He adds, “It’s one of the reasons why, for example my country, which had a banking crisis like many others in 2008, recovered so quickly after the financial crisis — because of the geothermal investment in previous decades. So the energy was very cheap. Cheap for the companies and cheap for the homes.”

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