Leading news: Geothermal Opportunities Vary by Location

This post includes climate group analysis on geothermal finance, loan guarantee guidance for distributed energy projects, news from Japan, El Salvador and more.

CPIFinanceReportFigure4

The graph above is taken from the new Climate Policy Initiative / Climate Investment Funds analysis on “the Role of Public Finance in Deploying Geothermal Energy in Developing Countries” and shows countries where geothermal showed the greatest potential to increase energy supply at low cost while also achieving significant emissions reductions. “In Indonesia, the development of the geothermal sector is likely to have a moderate impact on the already low 8 USDc/kWh electricity bill, and the population already enjoys relatively high levels of access to electricity, however geothermal development has the potential to reduce emissions very significantly (54MtCO2e/year),” according to the report.

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

*Reminder: GEA Nominations, GEA Members Meeting and Geothermal Energy Expo
*Climate Groups Release Analysis on Geothermal in Developing Countries
*Loan Guarantee Guidance Issued for Distributed Energy Projects
*U.S. and Japan Discuss Climate, Environmental Impacts
*El Salvador Geothermal Market Grows with $500M Investment and Upcoming Tender

Reminder: GEA Nominations, GEA Members Meeting and Geothermal Energy Expo
Expo-Ad-Magazine-Optimized The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) invites nominations for its Board of Directors Election, coming up next month. If you are a GEA Member who is interested in nominating someone or being nominated, contact Karl Gawell, karl@geo-energy.org or (202) 454-5264 by September 1, 2015. The elections will be held at the Annual GEA Members’ Meeting. Join us Sunday, September 20 from Noon to 2pm at the Peppermill Hotel in Reno, Nevada to discuss what GEA has done in 2015, seek input on priorities for the coming year, and talk about opportunities to grow the geothermal industry.

The meeting is in Reno in conjunction with the GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo, September 20-23, but you do not need to attend either program to participate. For more information about the GEA Geothermal Energy Expo go to geo-energy.org/new_expo/. For information about the Geothermal Resources Council Annual Meeting-Technical Sessions (Early Bird Registration deadline this Sunday, August 30), go to www.geothermal.org. The deadline for discounted hotel rooms at the Peppermill is midnight on Friday, August 28.

Climate Groups Release Analysis on Geothermal in Developing Countries
Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) and Climate Investment Funds have released analysis on “the Role of Public Finance in Deploying Geothermal Energy in Developing Countries.” The research relied on stakeholder dialogue as well as three case studies on geothermal projects of different sizes and development models in Turkey, Kenya and Indonesia. Among the key findings, the researchers estimate public finance for geothermal “needs to increase 7-10 fold (from USD 7.4 billion currently to USD 56-73 billion) in order to drive enough private investment to meet developing countries’ deployment targets of 23GW out to 2030.” Policy recommendations include ambitious deployment targets, feed-in tariffs and centralized data-sharing.

“Geothermal has the potential to play a big role in a low-carbon energy transition,” CPI project manager Valerio Micale wrote in a briefing note, and added that deployment of geothermal has remained “steady but unspectacular” despite being the cheapest power source in some developing countries as well as economically competitive with other green sources.

Loan Guarantee Guidance Issued for Distributed Energy Projects
In a supplement to federal loan guarantee solicitation announcements, the Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office (LPO) has issued guidance for potential applicants who are looking for support on distributed energy projects. President Obama made the announcement on the occasion of the National Clean Energy Summit in Nevada. This supplement joins the existing Renewable Energy and Efficient Energy Projects and Advanced Fossil Energy Projects solicitations. Distributed thermal heating and/or cooling installations, including solar thermal and groundsourced geothermal, are included.

A blog post from LPO states, “LPO is supplementing its solicitations to make clear that it will accept and consider applications for Distributed Energy Projects and to show how such a transaction might be structured. We understand that other project structures may exist or be developed, and we will accept and consider applications for projects that use those structures.” See the Supplement to Loan Guarantee Solicitation for Renewable Energy and Efficient Energy Projects regarding Distributed Energy Projects: http://www.energy.gov/lpo/downloads/distributed-energy-projects-supplements-renewable-energy-and-efficiency-energy.

U.S. and Japan Discuss Climate, Environmental Impacts
On August 24th, the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Gina McCarthy, and the Minister of Ministry of the Environment of Japan (MOEJ), Yoshio Mochizuki, met in Tokyo, Japan to discuss common views and environmental collaboration related to mercury, climate change, regional air quality, environmental education, decontamination, children’s environmental health and environmental impact assessment. On climate change, “EPA and MOEJ will work towards a successful outcome at the 21st Conference of the Parties to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) and acknowledge the need to accelerate climate actions with ambitious targets and to design the effective implementation of the new framework,” according to a press release. For geothermal, Japan has one project operational, there is one under construction, 24 early-stage projects and 21 prospective ones.

El Salvador Geothermal Market Grows with $500M Investment and Upcoming Tender
Updates are coming in regarding geothermal development in El Salvador, a country with just over 200 MW geothermal connected to the grid, up to 2,210 MW estimated potential and a vision for 40% of energy to come from geothermal power by 2020. In investments, El Salvador’s Executive Hydroelectric Commission of the Lempa River (CEL) has announced nearly $500 million for geothermal projects. CEL President David Antonio López Villafuerte said this will support projects in San Vicente and Chinameca and will create hundreds of jobs. CEL also announced that Berlin geothermal field in Eastern El Salvador would get a more efficient replacement turbine.

Geothermal also has an opportunity for new project announcements this year. The National Energy Council of El Salvador announced a bidding process for 150 MW of renewable power projects. The tender is expected before the end of 2015 with projects targeted to enter operation in 2018.

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