This post brings you geothermal energy headlines from Maine, New York, Uganda, Canada, Chile, Guatemala, Nicaragua, St. Kitts and Nevis, New Zealand and Ireland.
Click below to read the international geothermal roundup.
*Maine: Geothermal Heating Popular for Businesses and Homeowners
More commercial buildings, public facilities and homeowners in Maine are opting for geothermal, local press reports. Gorham Facilities and Transportation director Norm Justice estimated costs with a geothermal system are 30% cheaper than with a conventional natural gas system. The average cost of a residential geothermal system is around $40,000.
*New York: Cornell and Iceland Collaborate for Geothermal Research
An article on Cornell’s Web site tells about trip to Iceland taken by Cornell staff, graduate students and faculty members for meetings and tours on the topic of geothermal energy. Last year Iceland’s President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson visited the campus to give a lecture on geothermal research. Lanny Joyce, director of utilities and energy management, is quoted in the article: “The visits to the geothermal plants and district heating systems were truly inspirational. Collaboration between Iceland and Cornell represents a unique opportunity to advance science and application of geothermal energy and its use for direct heating in the United States to dramatically reduce our use of fossil fuels and their resultant climate impacts.”
*Uganda: Renewables Plan Approved; Includes 130 MW Geothermal
The Climate Investment Funds (CIF) has endorsed Uganda’s Investment Plan for renewable energy. The plan includes geothermal energy in an initial set of three projects to be developed over the coming months. The three projects are: Decentralized Renewables Development Program, Wind Resource Map and Pilot-Wind Power Development Project and 130 MW Geothermal Development Program. The plan will be implemented under CIF’s Program for Scaling Up Renewable Energy in Low Income Countries (SREP) with partners including the International Finance Corporation as advisor for geothermal.
*Canada: $150,000 Announced for Geo Heating for Manitoba First Nations
Premier of Manitoba Greg Selinger has announced $150,000 that will go toward geothermal energy for two yet-to-be-determined First Nations. The funding goes to support Aki Energy, and will bring the number of First Nations in Manitoba using geothermal heating and cooling system to six. Currently 350 houses in the First Nations of Peguis, Fisher River, Long Plain and Sagkeeng have already been retrofitted with geothermal systems for a heating costs savings of 40%.
*Chile and The Philippines: Trade Agreement Includes Geothermal Energy
Chile and The Philippines plan to expand on a trade agreement including geothermal energy. The Philippines’ Energy Development Corp. and Canadian-based Alterra Power Corp. are currently working to develop geothermal energy sources in Chile. The new trade agreement was signed this week by Chile President Michelle Bachelet and Philippines President Benigno Aquino III. “We are hopeful that this will only encourage more and further business activities between our countries,” Aquino is quoted in press.
*Guatemala: Geothermal RFP Expected in 2016
Guatemala may issue a 200-MW geothermal request for proposals sometime in 2016. See US Geothermal’s 3Q15 earnings call and Renewableenergyworld.com; U.S. Geothermal is planning construction of three binary geothermal power plants for a total 35 MW.
*Nicaragua: Partners Announce Geothermal Risk Insurance for Latin America
Munich RE and partners announced geothermal exploration risk insurance for Latin America at a recent event in Nicaragua of the Geothermal Congress for Latin America and the Caribbean. From Twitter account @MunichRe_In: “Joint launch of #Geothermal bridge & investment financing program by @BCIE_Org, @AgendaCAF, @KfW and #MunichRe, today at #geolac2015”; “#MunichRe will cover exploration risks of #Geothermal Development Facility in #LatAm”; “#Geothermal risk insurance can substantially ↓ investment risks”.
*Saint Kitts and Nevis: St. Kitts Geothermal Exploration Begins
The French company Teranov based in Guadeloupe has begun geothermal exploration on the island of St. Kitts. “The initial results look pretty good but of course it’s too early to say what will be valuable . . . It’s a long process. We have decided to invest a lot of manpower in this project in order to speed up the process so that as quickly as possible the St. Kitts population will be able to know exactly if there are geothermal resources available or not,” President of Teranov, Jacques Chouraki, is quoted in local press.
Asia and the Pacific
*New Zealand and Japan: Geothermal Cooperation Can Increase
New Zealand’s geothermal market is a topic of interest for further cooperation between the nation and Japan. Rotorua MP Todd McClay welcomed a visiting delegation from Japan, and was quoted in local press: “We are keen to increase the use of renewable energy as a way to deal with climate change and while there is already considerable cooperation between New Zealand and Japan in geothermal energy, we see the scope to do more together as Japan develops its geothermal resource.”
*Ireland: Geothermal Framework Bill Expected
The Republic of Ireland has recently published a list of bills expected to be published in 2016 as part of economy recovery efforts. This includes a Geothermal Energy Development Bill which provides a legislative framework for the vesting, licensing and regulation of the development of geothermal energy. This is expected to be published in the coming months.