International roundup: Geothermal in California, Hawaii, India, New Zealand and more

Geothermal news updates from California, Hawaii, Nevada, New York, Oregon, India, New Zealand and The Philippines.

Geothermal photos from Twitter
Geothermal photos from Twitter

Click below for this week’s international geothermal roundup.

U.S. States

*California: State Managing Changes in Power Sector
California is leading the way in tackling climate change issues and is considering how to manage power-sector changes that will come from its goals to lower emissions. Energy storage is part of the discussion, notes an article on LAtimes.com. Geothermal energy is the leading renewable in California with potential for further growth, and its dispatchability benefits offer additional solutions.

*Hawaii: Land Board to Consider Geothermal Study Permit
This week the state Board of Land and Natural Resources will consider an application for a geothermal exploration permit for the west rift zone of Hualalai, north of Kailua-Kona on the Big Island. Nicole Lautze with the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, University of Hawaii plans to conduct a noninvasive geophysical study that is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. “The vast majority of developed geothermal systems in the world are located in regions where water can flow naturally through the heated rock formations,” Lautze said in her application. “Being able to identify the subsurface heat source and fractured zones allows us to begin to address some of the problems of geothermal exploration and development.”

*Nevada: Bureau Updates Geothermal Maps
Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology (NBMG) is adding new capabilities to geothermal maps. A note on its site says, “Located here is one single map service where all the geothermal data layers can be accessed, and can be downloaded as a .cvs file. The map application will allow the ArcGIS user to directly use any geothermal data layers at NBMG in their own projects after downloading each data set as needed.” (nbmg.unr.edu/Geothermal/InteractiveMaps)

*New York: Geothermal to Help Heat NYC
The New York City Committee on Environmental Protection is working on plans to implement a geothermal-based load-sharing system and reduce city CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050. The committee recently heard testimony on findings that geothermal “ground-sourced” heating and cooling systems are the most efficient heating and cooling systems available in the world today according to the U.S. Department of Energy and Energy Star.

*Oregon: Geothermal Guidelines Already Stricter Than Fracking Rules
Hydroshearing, the process used in Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS) methods at the Newberry Oregon site, is not included in new federal regulations on fracking since it is a different process. A spokesperson for AltaRock, which is working on the DOE-funded project, told local press the guidelines they already use are already stricter than those in the new fracking regulations: “Seismic monitoring, water quality, well integrity — we’re way above the thresholds that they’re requiring in the new regulations,” David Stowe was quoted.

Asia and the Pacific

*India: Maharashtra State has Geothermal Potential
Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra state, India, spoke this week in support of developing geothermal energy from the state’s coast as an aid to energy and tourism.

*New Zealand: Gas Plant to Close Due to Increased Geothermal
Mighty River Power told press that increased renewable energy production, including geothermal energy, is the reason the company is closing its gas-fired Southdown power station. The company has invested over $1.4 billion in geothermal and completed three major geothermal power plants since 2008. The Southdown station is expected to close in December 2015.

*The Philippines: Geothermal Coming to Mindoro Island
An audio piece on dw.de describes how geothermal energy at Mindoro island, The Philippines, will provide a solution to frequent blackouts using the same power locals used in the past to cook in hot springs, and could cut electricity prices in half. Emerging Power is involved in the project and is taking steps to be mindful of any local concerns.

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