Geothermal Energy A Leading Resource in Many COP-21 Countries

In this post:

*Geothermal Energy A Leading Resource in Many COP-21 Countries
*Fed Agencies Set 2025 Emissions Targets: 41.8% Reduction from 2008
*139 Countries Could Go 100% Renewables by 2050
*AltaRock Energy: Bottle Rock Acquired by Baseload Clean Energy Partners
*GEA Publishes Brief on Including Geothermal in Clean Energy Incentive Program

*Geothermal Visual: Geothermal Resources in France

geo-france

As the world prepares for COP-21 taking place in Paris, the image above (from geni.org) shows geothermal resources in France. France’s EGS power plant in Soultz-sous-Forêts went on line at the end of 2008 and currently produces 1.5 MW of geothermal power. A survey report by the Geothermal Energy Association earlier in 2015 counted two geothermal projects under development in France: one by Fonroche Geothermie SAS, in Western Pyrenees, at Early Stage of development; and a second by Electerre de France, in Massif Central, a Prospect development. For more on geothermal energy around the world view past GEA reports: geo-energy.org/reports.

Click below for the leading headlines for GEA and the geothermal industry.

Geothermal Energy A Leading Resource in Many COP-21 Countries
The annual Conference of Parties (COP-21) taking place this year on 7-8 December in Paris brings together countries interested in taking action on climate change. For geothermal energy, at least 24 countries around the world are utilizing the benefits of clean geothermal energy for power production. For projects under development, GEA had estimated over 630 projects dispersed throughout 80 countries as of early 2015.

While some renewables such as wind and solar dominate the renewable energy focus in the media, leaders in geothermal, hydropower and biomass recently urged Secretary of State John Kerry and other officials to include baseload renewables.

“We are asking for a U.S. approach that recognizes hydropower, biomass power and geothermal power are also important contributors to avoiding fossil fuel emissions today and will be important contributors to meeting future climate goals,” Karl Gawell, Executive Director of the Geothermal Energy Association was quoted in a joint press release with the National Hydropower and Biomass Power Associations.

At COP-21, the Global Geothermal Alliance (GGA) will hold “A technical/working-level event for GGA member countries and partner institution to present concrete actions towards the accelerated deployment of geothermal energy” on 1 December from 8:45 to 10:00 a.m. at Peruvian Pavilion. This will be part of the Renewable Energy Track on Re-energizing the Future.

Here are some regional articles that include geothermal energy in discussions regarding COP and global action on climate change:

  • “’There is no reason why countries from this region should be relying on dirty fuels supplied largely by one country when there is an abundance of sun, wind, geothermal and natural gas capability,’ [said Amos Hochstein, U.S. Energy Bureau]”; “Against the odds, Caribbean doubles down for 1.5-degree deal in Paris,” www.caribbean360.com.
  • “[Cardinal Rodriguez] called on the energy industry to abandon carbon-based fuels and embrace renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, biomass and geothermal”; “Living ‘Laudato Si’: Climate Change and the Catholic Perspective,” www.ncregister.com.
  • “‘Costa Rica has renewable resources—a sun that shines. The wind. It has hydro resources. And all of that, along with geothermal and biomass energy, allows us to have such a renewable energy network,’ [said Javier Orozco, ICE]”; “Costa Rica boasts clean energy—and bad car pollution,” phys.org.
  • “It is worrying that we have not been able to exploit the immense renewable energy potential, including solar, wind and geothermal, available in the country,” Tesfai Ghebreselassie, Minister of Land, Water & Environment, Eritrea; allafrica.com.
  • “[Ethiopia] is also engaged in the construction of numerous renewable energy projects, including wind, geothermal, and hydro, to boost its total power production capacity from the current 2300 MW to about 17,000 MW”; “Ethiopia to Receive $50 Million from Green Climate Fund (GCF),” www.geeskaafrika.com.

Fed Agencies Set 2025 Emissions Targets: 41.8% Reduction from 2008
Plans for federal agencies to reduce their emission are underway and are a key piece of President Obama’s Executive Order 13693, “Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade,” issued in February 2015. According to a White House press release : “To lead by example, the Administration is today announcing new greenhouse gas emissions targets for Federal Agencies to cut emissions by 41.8 percent from 2008 levels by 2025. These carbon reductions will save taxpayers up to $18 billion in avoided energy costs, as well as increase the share of electricity the Federal Government consumes from renewable sources to 30 percent.”

139 Countries Could Go 100% Renewables by 2050
Via Sustainable Energy Coalition and Scientific American–Researchers Mark Jacobson and Mark Delucchi have identified and drawn up plans for 139 countries that could source all of their energy needs from renewables by 2050. The plans detail specific numbers of turbines, solar farms and other renewables. Combined, the plans call for the use of 3.8 million turbines worldwide. The 139 national plans would create 24 million construction jobs and 26.5 million operational jobs, all spanning 35 years, offsetting 28.4 million jobs lost in the fossil fuel industries. That would leave a net gain of about 22 million jobs. Going 100 percent renewable would also prevent 3.3 to 4.6 million premature deaths a year through 2050 that would have happened because of air pollution from those fossil fuels.

AltaRock Energy: Bottle Rock Acquired by Baseload Clean Energy Partners
Press Release (SEATTLE) Nov. 20 — Baseload Clean Energy Partners (BCEP), a clean energy portfolio owned and operated by AltaRock Energy, today announced the acquisition of Bottle Rock Power LLC. The Bottle Rock Power Plant was originally constructed as a 55-MW dry-steam geothermal plant situated on a 350-acre site in Lake County, California. BCEP purchased the remaining equity in the plant and associated leases for an undisclosed sum from Riverstone Holdings and U.S. Renewables Group. The company plans to upgrade the existing facilities to include energy storage in an effort to better manage supply and demand on the power grid.

Baseload Clean Energy Partners continues to build the leading portfolio of clean energy assets by leveraging the unique advantages of next generation enhanced geothermal energy systems (called EGS), a technology developed by AltaRock Energy. Bottle Rock Power is part of a broader complex of geothermal plants located within the Geysers, the largest geothermal field in the world. The acquisition contributes to BCEP’s overall goal of aggregating assets that benefit substantially from improvements in advanced energy technology.

“The next step in our strategy is the integration of energy storage within existing plants,” said Aaron Mandell, chief executive officer of BCEP. “Bottle Rock is an extremely valuable asset given the project’s access to the Northern California energy markets and future expansion potential of the geothermal resource. In the near term, we will focus on safely maintaining the existing plant and well field, but are actively working towards adding performance enhancements to enable flexible generation using energy storage.”

As the cost of utility-scale solar continues to drop, it becomes an increasingly larger portion of the overall energy supply. Grid operators are already adapting to accommodate new load profiles and adding energy storage will provide a way to both curtail excess solar during the day and tailor baseload generation to better reflect real-time demand. Geothermal is a unique clean energy resource because it is always available and combining it with storage will pave the way for renewables to become the largest source of electric power, worldwide. Ultimately, flexible energy resources will be the key to delivering a carbon-free energy grid.

GEA Publishes Brief on Including Geothermal in Clean Energy Incentive Program
The newest issue brief from the Geothermal Energy Association describes how current geothermal projects under development could help states meet their Clean Power Plan goals if provided market incentives; and a boost from Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP) credits could make geothermal projects viable, lead to additional emissions reductions. The informative brief is titled, “Including Geothermal in the Clean Energy IncentiveProgram.”

“GEA estimates including geothermal power as a staple in state compliance plans and building out geothermal resources could support growth of an industry that would offset carbon by 235 million metric tons,” according to the brief. “This is the equivalent to eliminating emissions from 3-5 medium size states’ power sectors.” Read more: http://geo-energy.org/reports.aspx.

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