International roundup: Geothermal in Ethiopia, Kenya, Mexico, Japan and New Zealand

This post brings you geothermal headlines from Ethiopia, Kenya, Mexico, Japan and New Zealand.

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Click below for the international roundup.

Africa

*Ethiopia: 5-Year Renewables Goals Announced
Ethiopia announced it will generate 14,561 MW power from renewable energy sources in the next five years, including 1,200 MW from geothermal energy.

*Kenya: Geothermal Increases Nation’s Energy Independence
The 280 MW of new geothermal power from Olkaria field contributed directly to the nation lowering its electricity exports by 51.7% in the first half of 2015.

The Americas

*Mexico: “Geothermal Round One” Opening
Mexico has been on the radar for geothermal companies as the Mexican Federal Electricity Commissions (CFE) moves toward “Round One” — the first private company bids for geothermal field selection, reported to be happening this month. Companies will now bid on 30-year concessions to the remaining geothermal fields in the country. Permits are for up to 150km2 for three years in the case of exploration. The Energy Ministry (SENER) first awarded five concessions to CFE in “Round Zero,” and the company Grupo Dragón is the first private company to partner, according to local news. CFE currently has approximately 874 MW geothermal currently installed across Baja California, Michoacan, Puebla and Baja California Sur. The nation is looking to double existing prospective resources in geothermal energy by 2018, and moving forward with private and foreign partners is part of that plan. CFE: http://www.cfe.gob.mx/paginas/home.aspx.

Asia and the Pacific

*Japan: Geothermal Survey Underway in Niigate Prefecture
SB Energy, the renewables branch of Japan-based SoftBank, is conducting a geothermal survey in Niigate Prefecture, central Japan, with a plan for a potential 300 kW of geothermal generation. This is SB Energy’s first foray into geothermal power, with estimated investment of JPY100-1,000 million (US$0.80-8.03 million) and target for operations in 2020.

*New Zealand: Contact Energy Comments on Te Mihi Performance
In year end reports, Contact Energy Chief Dennis Barnes said the commissioning of the Te Mihi geothermal power station has required much of the year’s focus and is now helping to reduce cost and increase flexibility. The generation from Te Mihi along with accompanying reduction in thermal generation resulted in Contact’s percentage of generation from renewable fuel increasing from 69% to 76%. “While competition has led to increased discounting we are now positioned to realise the benefits of our investment in the years ahead with early evidence of improving churn rates and credit performance,” Barnes is quoted on voxy.co.nz.

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