Leading news: Geothermal Part of Ex-Im Considerations and Clean Power Plan

In this post:

*Legislation to Reauthorize Ex-Im Advances in HOR
*Commerce Advisory Committee Asks Secretary to Consider Available Options for Financial Assistance
*Clean Power Plan Takes Next Steps
*U.S. Agencies Open Financing Program for Clean Energy in the Caribbean and Central America
*DOE Announces Loan Guarantee Funding and Deadlines
*NREL Announces New Director and New Geothermal Program Manager
*Geothermal Market in Pakistan has Potential
*Geothermal News Report Interviews GEA Staff Ben Matek

2015CaisoIntegration

The image above shows the areas of coordinating regional grid efforts through integrating PacifiCorp and California ISO, an idea currently being considered and detailed in a recent study (CAISO). The study presumes a major increase in geothermal resources of over 1,000 MW. The image is part of a presentation from Karen Edson, Vice President, Policy and Client Services, California ISO at the June 2015 GEA Geothermal National Summit.

Click below for leading geothermal news.


*Legislation to Reauthorize Ex-Im Advances in HOR
*Commerce Advisory Committee Asks Secretary to Consider Available Options for Financial Assistance
*Clean Power Plan Takes Next Steps
*U.S. Agencies Open Financing Program for Clean Energy in the Caribbean and Central America
*DOE Announces Loan Guarantee Funding and Deadlines
*NREL Announces New Director and New Geothermal Program Manager
*Geothermal Market in Pakistan has Potential
*Geothermal News Report Interviews GEA Staff Ben Matek

Legislation to Reauthorize Ex-Im Advances in HOR
A bipartisan group of congressional leaders have advanced legislation that would reauthorize the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im) through a bipartisan discharge petition, initiated by Denny Heck (D-WA). Leaders in the House of Representatives now expect the legislation to be brought to a vote by the end of the month.

Ex-Im has supported an estimated 1.3 million jobs over the last six years including many associated with geothermal projects that have fostered industry growth at home and abroad, including in Turkey, Kenya, and The Philippines. While functioning, Ex-Im was one of the few institutions supporting smaller transactions and 87% of Ex-Im Bank transactions supported U.S. small business exporters.

Congress allowed Ex-Im’s charter to expire on June 30, 2015, prior to which, in February its reauthorization was discharged from consideration unless 218 House Members signed a discharge petition for further action. Rep. Heck’s petition and the list of signatures can be viewed at: http://clerk.house.gov/114/lrc/pd/petitions/DisPet0001.xml.

Commerce Advisory Committee Asks Secretary to Consider Available Options for Financial Assistance
The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee (REEEAC) of the U.S. Department of Commerce, representing the U.S. private sector involved in international deals around the world, sent a letter to Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker asking the Secretary to explore available options to provide financial assistance. The request comes in light of the “continuing impasse” about the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank of the United States and GEA is a part of the Committee representing the geothermal industry.

The letter asks for consideration for forming a task force of staff from the agencies involved in the RE&EE Export Initiative to lead an effort and makes several suggestions on what any new model for export financing should look like, including: Reduce the minimum project size that can be backed and/or fast-track approval of smaller projects; Allow third-party due diligence reports; Diversify lending to allow a wider range of RE&EE companies to take advantage of programs; and Establish success metrics for initiatives such as Power Africa that link promoted policies to quantifiable economic data.

“Overall, improving support for export financing will require more collaboration between exporters and U.S. financial institutions, loan-terms and conditions that are competitive in the world market, and stable and expanded support for small and medium-sized enterprises to become a greater part of our export promotion programs,” REEEAC states. The letter is signed by Committee Chair Scott Sklar.

Clean Power Plan Takes Next Steps
The U.S. Clean Power Plan that requires states to cut their greenhouse gas emissions one-third by 2030 is expected to be published this week in the Federal Register, after being finalized at the beginning of August. However, several states and businesses have said they will begin lawsuits against the rules once they’re published. From critics in Congress, a congressional resolution has been drafted by Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, chairwoman of subcommittees in both the environment and appropriations committees, that would repeal it in its entirety.

U.S. Agencies Open Financing Program for Clean Energy in the Caribbean and Central America
This week several agencies — U.S. Trade and Development Agency, Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development and U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation — opened the Clean Energy Finance Facility for the Caribbean and Central America (CEFF-CCA). The program to increase investment in clean energy development in Central America and Caribbean regions was announced by President Obama in April. “We know that our neighbors in the Caribbean and Central America have abundant renewable energy resources, and yet they suffer from electricity shortages and high prices,” said Secretary Kerry in a statement. “In Jamaica, a kilowatt-hour costs nearly four times as much as in the U.S., and this program is going to provide early-stage funding, including $10 million in its first year alone to clean energy projects, to help catalyze greater public and private sector investment that will make all the difference.” See also http://www.ustda.gov/ceffcca/.

DOE Announces Loan Guarantee Funding and Deadlines
Via DOE — U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced this week that $1 billion of additional loan guarantee authority, which was announced by President Obama in August, is now available for applicants to the Title XVII program. This follows a 45-day congressional notification period which has now concluded. The new supplemental guidance for the Advanced Fossil Energy Projects solicitation adds $500 million, raising the total loan guarantee authority to $8.5 billion. The new supplemental guidance for the Renewable Energy and Efficient Energy (REEE) Projects solicitation also adds $500 million, raising the total loan guarantee authority to $3 billion, plus an additional amount that can be imputed based on the availability of an appropriation for the credit subsidy cost of such imputed loan guarantee authority. Deadlines for the Advanced Fossil and REEE solicitations extend into 2016.

NREL Announces New Director and New Geothermal Program Manager
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has announced changes in its leadership including a new Director and a new Geothermal Program Manager. Tom Williams, previous Program Manager who participated in many GEA events and activiites will continue to work at NREL in a new role on strategic initiatives.

Dr. Martin Keller has been named the new Director of NREL starting November 30. Prior to this he has been Associate Lab Director at Oak Ridge National Lab, where he worked with many EERE programs and launched a number of high-impact new programs and initiatives. Keller was recruited to ORNL from an industrial enzyme discovery and development company in 2006 and earned his doctorate in Microbiology from the University of Regensburg in Germany.

Henry (Bud) Johnston is NREL’s new Program Manager for Geothermal Technologies. Johnston’s bio states he was previously with Shell for 30 years, where he oversaw technical assurance for unconventional resource projects and had a number of roles in broad engineering, systems analysis, technology assessment and technology management. With an educational background in engineering, he recently also completed a certificate training program in energy innovation and emerging technologies and is pursuing a certificate in advanced project management, both from the Stanford Center for Professional Development.

Geothermal Market in Pakistan has Potential
Geothermal Energy Association has been contacted by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs (OAPA) regarding potential opportunity for partnerships expanding the geothermal energy market in Pakistan, where 800 MW of renewable projects reached financial closure last year. Its clean energy market has a positive outlook and the government is looking to diversify further away from oil. Almost 50% of installed projects are owned by private IPPs, with local Pakistan companies representing 8,000 MW, and this meeting is an opportunity for U.S. companies to meet some of those representatives. Furthermore, USAID will be funding a geothermal resource assessment as soon as this year. Like East Africa, the region has an active rift and the country has done some preliminary work. USAID and the Government of Pakistan will hold a two-day high-level clean energy business meeting this December 1-2, 2015 in Washington DC. GEA Member companies and others are invited with preference to representatives of project development, EPC, large equipment suppliers, debt or equity finance providers, or companies capable of bringing significant investment to Pakistan.

Geothermal News Report Interviews GEA Staff Ben Matek
Geothermal News Report, a new podcast introduced by employees of The Dewhurst Group (a GEA member company) interviewed GEA staff Ben Matek at the recent GEA Expo in Reno, Nevada. Jonathan Hernandez interviews Matek and at one point the two put part of the industry’s current policy struggle in California in simple terms: “The 50% RPS passed, the law that requires utilities to purchase 50% of their power from renewables by 2030, [and] right now California’s still trying to figure out how to value different renewables against each other in their grid system. . . I’d like to see better valuation of geothermal versus other technologies like solar and wind.” Hernandez says, “Being baseload doesn’t that give it a little more mmph?” Matek says, “Yes in most places but not the way California’s RPS calculator works.” For the interview and more episodes on geothermal energy visit http://www.geothermalnewsreport.com/interview-with-benjamin-matek/.

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