Leading news: Cost-Competitive Geothermal Can Stimulate Economy

This post brings you an update on speakers for the 2015 National Geothermal Summit; an update on the dialogue around California’s energy legislation; a geothermal agricultural report and a tender announcement from Argentina.

Responding to Ebola:  A Critical Window on Global Development Po
Source: IRENA and World Bank; see also “Tackling climate change – for our kids” by Jim Yong Kim, President, World Bank Group

Above: Geothermal energy had one of the lowest average costs of power production compared to other energy sources in 2014. “About 1.2 billion people worldwide don’t have access to electricity,” Jim Yong Kim, President, writes on the World Bank blog. “Renewable energy development will be critical to close this energy-access gap sustainably. Fortunately, renewable energy is becoming increasingly affordable. In many countries, developing utility-scale renewable energy is now cheaper than or on par with fossil fuel plants.”

Click below to read this week’s leading geothermal news.

*Speakers Announced for National Geothermal Summit 2015

*Legislation for 50% RPS in California Moves Forward

*FAO Reports on Geothermal’s Agricultural Value

*Argentina Announces Tender for Domuyo Geothermal

Speakers Announced for National Geothermal Summit 2015

GEA Press Release (Reno, Nev.) April 7 – The 2015 Summit theme is “Geothermal Policies as Stimulus for Economic Growth and Environmental Quality.” The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) has announced new speakers on the agenda for its fifth annual National Geothermal Summit. Paul Thomsen, director, Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy; Commissioner David Hochschild; California Energy Commission; Karen Edson, vice president, Policy and Client Services, California ISO; and other western state energy leaders will address attendees at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, Nev. on June 3-4, 2015.

The National Geothermal Summit is the leading forum for western state policy discussions, bringing together the geothermal industry for a dialogue with state and federal policy makers and is widely attended by the geothermal community, state regulators, federal legislators and utilities. The event is made possible by co-host Ormat and with the support of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN), Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy, Western Area Power Administration, UC Davis California Geothermal Collaborative, and the Geothermal Resources Council.

“As one of the most reliable renewable technologies out there, geothermal has continued to gain traction in the ever changing political environment. At GEA’s National Geothermal Summit, we will address those policies in place and new ideas to garner more geothermal development for the U.S.,” said Karl Gawell, executive director of the GEA.

“This year marks our fifth consecutive summit held in Reno and we are eager to continue the conversation in the city considered to be the hub of geothermal.”

The following speakers have also been confirmed to date: Supervisor Anthony Farrington, chair, Lake County Board of Supervisors; V. John White, executive director, CEERT; Carl Stills, energy manager, Imperial Irrigation District; Barry Dong, manager geothermal/biomass, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power; Stacey Kusters, vice president of Renewable Energy & Origination, NV Energy; Elaine Sison-Lebrilla, senior project manager, Sacramento Municipal Utility District; Rachel Dahl, executive director, Churchill Economic Development Authority; Andy Horne, deputy county executive officer, Natural Resources Development, County of Imperial; Michael Moore, Cornell expert on direct use; William Glassley, executive director, California Geothermal Energy Collaborative; Jeff Deyette, asst. director, Energy Research and Analysis, Union of Concerned Scientists; Jay Nathwani, acting director, U.S. Department of Energy Geothermal Technologies Office; Randy Keller, director of development, Transmission and Land Assets, CalEnergy; Doug Glaspey, president, COO, and director, US Geothermal; Nick Goodman, CEO, Cyrq Energy; Ken Speer, assistant general manager, Northern California Power Agency; Colin Williams, science center director, USGS; Rahm Orenstein, vice president, business development, Ormat.

There will also be a Video Keynote Address by Senator Dean Heller, Senator of Nevada; and a Video Keynote Address by Senator Harry Reid, Senator of Nevada.

To register for the National Geothermal Summit, or for more information, please visit http://www.geo-energy.org/nationalgeothermalsummit/Main.aspx. Visit the Facebook event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/1571209836491431/. Join the conversation on Twitter with #GEASummit2015. For sponsorship opportunities or to request press credentials, please contact Yasmin Romitti, 202 454 5263, yasmin@geo-energy.org.

Legislation for 50% RPS in California Moves Forward

Karl Gawell and Ben Matek — Two major pieces of legislation that could affect the future of the geothermal power industry in California were discussed on April 7th in the state’s Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee.  Both measures seek to provide legislative language for the recent call by Governor Brown for achieving a 50% renewable power statewide by 2030.  Both were passed out of Committee favorably.

The first measure, S.B. 350, was introduced by Senator De Leon.  At the hearing many groups and companies came out in support of this bill including several GEA members, labor unions, independent power producers, renewable energy trade group, and a diversity of environmental groups. Parties neutral or opposed to expanded California’s RPS at this time were notably the Investor Owned Utilities and oil, gas, and manufacturing groups. The hearing showed a lot of momentum and support from Senators on the committee for the bill. Many expressed their backing for De Leon as he argued in favor of the bill as a means to combat the increasing threat of climate change, and billionaire investor Tom Steyer supported the bill and was a key witness. The bill passed to the Committee on Environmental Quality with an 8 in favor 3 against vote.

The second measure, S.B. 180, was introduced by Senator Jackson. It appeared to principally have the support of a few environmental groups, and would expand emission performance standards to all energy sources and not only base load resources in California. Jackson framed this bill as a supplement to the RPS bill. However, many Senators on the committee were concerned this bill would add unnecessary bureaucracy to an already complicated system in California.  While S.B. 180 also passed 8 to 3, several Senators on the committee expressed reservations about voting for this bill later if certain problems were not addressed.

Now, both measures move to the Committee on Environmental Quality. The next two hearings of this committee are on April 15th and April 29th. S.B. 350 is slated to be discussed on the 29th. You can find more information here http://senv.senate.ca.gov/agenda.

FAO Reports on Geothermal’s Agricultural Value

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has published a new report called “Uses of Geothermal Energy in Food and Agriculture: Opportunities for Developing Countries” (PDF). It discusses various uses and the role of the public sector as well as constraints and challenges. The report states, “Governments of developing countries have to take into consideration these constraints and challenges . . . Geothermal energy has both the technical and economic potential to facilitate the development of a range of added-value agricultural products.” Some of the uses that are discussed include greenhouses and aquaculture as well as processes like evaporation and distillation.

Argentina Announces Tender for Domuyo Geothermal

Argentina’s Ministry of Federal Planning Office announced an international tender for geothermal at Domuyo, Neuquén province. Work will include surface tests, conceptual modeling of the geothermal field and determining the commercial potential. The tender opening is announced for May 29 at 11 Adolfo Alsina 424, Piso 3 Department. B of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires.

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