This post brings you geothermal headlines from Kenya, Indonesia, the Philippines, the Netherlands, and the UK.
Cheshire leaders working together to promote geothermal.
Photo Credit: Crewe Guardian
Kenya – Olkaria V Ground-breaking Slated for August
“Bids have been sent to three applicants who were successful in the request for proposal stage. We expect construction works on the power plant to start in five months,” said Japan Deputy Ambassador Mikio Mori. The official, however, did not make public the three applicants. Three 14 MW wells have been sunk for testing before the winning bidder is given permission to proceed with construction.
“Just like Japan, Kenya’s dependence on hydro-power is not reliable due to climate change, which calls for the two countries to explore geothermal as the most dependable source,” noted Mori. Japan is thought to have the third greatest reserves of geothermal power globally. It currently produces over 270,000 MW.
Kenya aims to expand to 33,000 MW by 2030 from its 23 sites with a geothermal power potential of 10,000 MW located along the Great Rift Valley. “We expect the actual ground-breaking for the Olkaria V to be done before the upcoming Tokyo International Conference on African Development later in August, which will also give Kenya a chance to put forward its needs and aspirations in the energy sector for possible financing,” stated Mori.
On March 9, the Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) signed a $400 million agreement with the Treasury for Olkaria V. The agreement stipulates a 10-year grace period and a 30-year repayment period at an interest rate of 0.2%. “We decided to sign the agreement with the Treasury to avoid bottlenecks associated with Parliament approvals that would have delayed the project as witnessed in Olkaria I-IV,” remarked JICA’s consultant Evanson Njenga.
Njenga stated Kenya Electricity Generating Company (Kengen) and the National Treasury are still expected to sign a sub-agreement later to actualize the construction process. Additionally, the European Investment Bank has pledged $120 million to add to JICA’s investment for the construction of the 70 MW Olkaria one unit six. There are also plans to have JICA construct Olkaria VI, which will then be fully owned by private power producers.
Asia and the Pacific
Indonesia – Government Assigns Eleven Geothermal Work Areas to SOEs
The Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources will assign state-owned enterprises (SOEs) to manage 11 geothermal working areas in 2016. The government’s goal is to reach the 16% geothermal energy mix in the acceleration of the 35,000 MW power plan project until 2019.
“A number of SOEs have submitted their applications,” director of geothermal energy Saefulhak Yunus said. According to Yunus, Pertamina is proposing to cover five geothermal areas, PLN is applying for four work areas, while PT Geo Dipa Energi (Persero) requests two.
Tafif Azimudin, corporate secretary Pertamina Geothermal Energy (PGE), confirmed that the company has asked to manage five geothermal work areas.
Currently, the Energy Ministry has not revealed which 11 geothermal working will be assigned to the three SOEs. The Ministry is still reviewing the respective proposals and verifying them with the statuses of the 11 geothermal areas, which means the number of areas to be assigned is subject to change.
The government’s plan to assign SOEs to oversee the geothermal working areas is part of the Energy Ministry’s target to offer 27 geothermal areas with a total capacity of 1,535 MW until 2017. The paperwork for the management of the other 16 work areas is being prepped. Of the 27 work areas offered, five have been offered to the public.
Philippines – Basic Energy, Trans-Asia Will Drill Another Geothermal Well
Basic Energy Corp. and Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corp. recently initialed a contract with Diamond Drilling Corp. to drill the Mabini geothermal prospect in Batangas province. Basic Energy remarked in a statement that its joint venture with Trans-Asia approved a drilling program for an exploratory well in the geothermal prospect in Mabini, Batangas in the Philippines. The companies stated they submitted a notice of intent to drill to the Energy Department. Diamond Drilling will equip services for the drilling and coring of an exploratory hole with a minimum depth of 1,500 meters. The drilling is slated to be completed over 90 days.
“The decision to award the drilling contract to DDCP followed the consortium’s rigorous assessment of the technical capabilities of shortlisted contractors vis-à-vis its approved budget,” Basic Energy said. Located in the Calumpan Peninsula, the Mabini geothermal service contract no. 8 spans 3,841 hectares. The area in question, relying on the pre-feasibility study, is expected to yield a power capacity of between 20 MW and 60 MW.
Basic Energy possesses a 75% stake in the project and is the operator of the service contract. Trans-Asia has an equity participation of 25%. Under the terms of the farm in agreement, Trans-Asia will bear a 25% undivided participating interest in the rights, interests, privileges, duties and obligations under the geothermal service contract. Trans-Asia determined to share in the cost of the first exploration well committed under sub-phase 3 of the contract after undertaking due diligence on the project, including geophysical work.
Netherlands – Geothermal Energy Harnessed in Dutch Glasshouses
A consortium of nine glasshouse growers spanning 49 hectares outside Rotterdam in the Netherlands has begun employing shared use of geothermal energy.
Geothermal Vierpolders director Paul Grootscholten stated: “It remains to be seen how high the efficiency of the source actually is, but we are convinced that it is the best and most sustainable solution to the energy needs of the greenhouses.”
Grootscholten, who is also a partner at family-owned glasshouse salad plant supplier Globe Plant, one of the several growers harnessing the heat, elaborated: “Now we use geothermal energy we burn 90% less natural gas and emit 20% less CO2.”
The local area’s geology makes it well suited to geothermal heating. At 2,200 m belowground exists a porous sand layer with water of about 85 degrees Celsius that can be easily pumped up for heating then returned back to the soil when cooled.
Eight years under development, the project has been subsidized by the EU, national government and agencies. “Like many new technologies, geothermal energy is also at this early stage not quite competitive with traditional sources of energy,” the geothermal project’s website states. “But the prospects are promising and the social interest is large.”
United Kingdom – Partnership Promises Geothermal for Cheshire
A partnership was recently formed to help ‘secure a low-carbon future’ for east Cheshire. Cheshire East Council joined with ENGIE, an international player in the development of renewable energy generation like geothermal. The new company, which aims to promote eco-efficient district heating networks in east Cheshire, will be named Cheshire Energy Networks Ltd.
When fully implemented, the district heating networks in question will help residents and businesses to benefit from cleaner, more affordable and secure energy. District heating schemes deliver heat as hot water or steam to households via a network of pipes. They are a low-carbon method of providing heat to households, replacing individual boilers.
Cllr Rachel Bailey, the Cheshire East Council’s leader, said: “The establishment of Cheshire Energy Networks Ltd, in partnership with ENGIE, ensures that Cheshire East Council is in a strong position to secure a low-carbon future for the borough.”
“I applaud the previous work completed to get the project to this stage, which ensures Cheshire East is in the vanguard of district heating in the UK.”
District heating networks are especially successful in locations where there are large concentrations of people and buildings. Similar projects have created very positive results elsewhere in the UK and in Copenhagen, where 97% of homes and businesses are heated via similar networks. These geothermal heating networks will contribute to the UK government’s carbon reduction targets agreed at the recent global climate change conference in Paris.
Cllr Bailey stated: “Cheshire Energy Networks is a further addition to the council’s portfolio of energy-saving initiatives and we look forward to working with ENGIE to develop a low-cost district heating infrastructure, exploiting carbon neutral or low-carbon sources.”
District heating networks can tap energy sources such as geothermal, biomass or solar and have the potential to supply heat to between 14-43% of UK buildings by 2050.
Cheshire East is one of six areas in the UK which has a deep geothermal belt belowground, carrying the potential for approximately 4.6 million gigawatt hours of zero-carbon and low-cost energy, over six times the national heat demand for Britain.
Cllr Rod Menlove, chairman of Cheshire East Energy Ltd, remarked: “We all have to play our part in reducing our dependency on fossil fuels and here the council is demonstrating its commitment to a long-term strategy for exploring and developing alternative energy sources.”