Summit Registration Window Closing, Clean Energy Jobs Growing, International Geothermal

In this post:
*5 Days Left to Register Online for the 2016 Baseload Renewable Energy Summit
*For the First Time in American History, Clean Energy Jobs Surpass Oil Drilling in US
*Sumitomo Forestry Sets Sights on Wind and Geothermal Plants
*Press Release: KfW Has Selected IDA Fund Management to Manage €50 Million Early Stage Geothermal Development Facility for 10 Countries In Latin America
*Thanks you to GEA Members New and Renewed!
*Toshiba Will Provide 72-MW Steam Turbine for Turkish Kizildere III Geothermal Plant
*Montserrat Premier Hopeful for Geothermal Development
*Carthage Commences Geothermal Heating/Cooling Project

Iceland plant

Check out the Guardian’s new series on geothermal power plants in Iceland!

Image Credit: Pedro Alvarez/The Observer

5 Days Left to Register Online for the 2016 Baseload Renewable Energy Summit

The Baseload Renewable Energy Summit (BRESx3) June 7-8 at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, NV will examine key issues faceing the geothermal, biomass and hydropower industries at the federal, state and local levels.

The program will begin on Tuesday, June 7th at 6pm with a networking reception leading to the award of GEA Honors to industry leaders at 7pm. Wednesday, the 8th will feature a full day program opening remarks by Rahm Orenstein, Vice President of Business Development, Ormat Technologies Inc. Following through the day panels of experts from power producers, utilities, government officials and others will examine key questions facing the future of the geothermal, biomass and hydropower industries.

You can still register for the Baseload Renewable Energy Summit here!

For the First Time in American History, Clean Energy Jobs Surpass Oil Drilling in US

The number of U.S. jobs in the solar industry surpassed those in oil and natural gas extraction for the first time last year in 2015, bolstering an international surge in employment in the clean-energy business as fossil-fuel companies faltered.

Employment in the U.S. solar business grew 12 times faster than overall job creation, the International Renewable Energy Agency said in a report on Wednesday. About 8.1 million people worldwide had jobs in the clean energy in 2015, up from 7.7 million in 2014, according to the industry group based in Abu Dhabi. In sum, the green workforce grew 5% worldwide in 2015 to 8.1 million, including geothermal in dynamic areas like the African Rift Valley and the Pacific Ring of Fire. IRENA estimates that geothermal jobs worldwide total 160,000. Its report also noted, “There is considerably less information available for other renewable energy technologies, such as biogas, biomass, geothermal and ocean energy, which can potentially lead to an underestimation of global employment.”

The growth in clean energy jobs was supported by state policy initiatives and innovative financing measures. Oil and gas producers, however, have cut 351,410 jobs worldwide since prices began to slide in the middle of 2014, according to Houston-based Graves & Co. As the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association recently highlighted in a new May report, the overlap between the oil and geothermal industries offers industry professionals the opportunity to transition their skills into renewables, thanks to technological, exploratory, and operational similarities. But the growth in geothermal work available for drilling, exploration and other areas of overlap was limited compared to global renewable trends.

“The continued job growth in the renewable energy sector is significant because it stands in contrast to trends across the energy sector,” said Adnan Amin, director-general of IRENA, based in Abu Dhabi. Deputy director-general Sakari Oksanen gave keynote remarks at GEA’s March 2016 International Geothermal Showcase. Director-general Amin supported Oksanen’s previous sentiments: “This increase is being driven by declining renewable energy technology costs and enabling policy frameworks. We expect this to continue as the case for renewables strengthens and countries move to achieve climate targets.”

The pace of overall energy jobs growth worldwide slowed last year from 18% in 2014 mainly because of lower investment in biofuels following the oil price slump, which made alternative fuels less economically attractive, IRENA said. Brent crude prices fell 35% in 2015, the third consecutive decline. Biofuels made from crops such as sugar and corn employed 1.7 million workers, second to solar with almost 2.8 million jobs.

The group projects the workforce in clean energy will grow to 24 million by 2030 if United Nations targets are met on climate change and development.

The 58% slide in oil prices since June 2014, triggered by Saudi Arabia’s move for market share, has prompted reductions in employment in the fossil-fuels industry. Many higher-cost producers in the U.S. shale industry, Canada’s oil sands and Brazil’s deepwater-drilling projects have become unprofitable. The transition to clean energy spurred by a landmark deal in Paris involving nearly 200 nations is reflected in the global labor market for renewables.

China installed the most new renewable capacity in the world in 2015 with 65 gigawatts. It employed 35% more people in its clean energy industry than in oil and gas.

China, Brazil and the U.S. headed the pack for renewable energy jobs. Asia is home to 60% of the world’s renewable energy employees, up from just over 50% in 2013. Japan saw jobs in its solar PV industry gain by 28% in 2014.

The majority of Brazil’s clean energy workers were in the liquid biofuels industry, which was the second-largest job market in renewables after solar PV. However, Latin America is beginning to tap into its geothermal potential, with nations like Chile and Costa Rica containing significant geothermal potential.


Sumitomo Forestry Sets Sights on Wind and Geothermal Plants

Sumitomo Forestry intends to add wind and geothermal power to its renewable energy portfolio and expand its biomass business over the course of the next three years, bringing around five new plants online in Japan and internationally.

The Tokyo-based forest manager and lumber producer has plans to put around 20 billion yen ($181 million) – over 10% of planned investment – into growing renewables operations in that time frame.

The company will buy a nearly 10% stake in Renova, a Japanese environmental technology startup with a track record in biomass and solar power plant development, for 1 billion yen when new shares are issued. Sumitomo Forestry will collaborate with Renova on wind and geothermal power operations, fields both are moving forward to break into.

Sumitomo Forestry already has one foot in the biomass power business, letting it put trees removed during forest thinning and waste from lumber and home construction operations to productive use. A plant in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, is already in operation. Two plants in Hokkaido are to go online within the year, while one in Aomori Prefecture will launch in 2017.

Over the next three years, Sumitomo Forestry plans to break ground on one or two wind power plants while bringing a geothermal plant into commercial operation. Sites under consideration for these facilities include portions of the roughly 46,000 hectares of forestland the company owns across Japan.

One new wind farm is expected to cost 10 billion yen or more and would be among the highest capacity of its kind in Japan at around 30,000kW to 60,000kW. The geothermal plant is seen with a capacity of around 2,000 kW and a cost of several billion yen. Power will be sold under Japan’s feed-in tariff system under which utilities buy electricity produced by alternative means at government-mandated prices.

Sumitomo Forestry also aims to put another biomass plant or two into operation in Japan in the near future and export this business overseas within two years. Indonesia will be the focus of those efforts, given its established renewable power purchase framework and the additional fact that the company owns forestland there.

The company’s biomass plants, including those under construction, have a total production capacity on the order of 100,000 kW. The planned projects are predicted to double Sumitomo Forestry’s total renewable energy capacity to 200,000 kW in three years.

Solar power has come to dominate Japan’s renewable energy sector. But a falling mandated purchase price for electricity from that source has led to a decline in applications to build such facilities, and a shift in focus to anticipated growth fields such as wind and geothermal power. National wind power capacity is seen rising to 10 million kilowatts, 3.7 times the fiscal 2013 level, by fiscal 2030, while geothermal capacity could as much as triple to 1.55 million kilowatts, according to Japan’s Agency for Natural Resources and Energy.

Several major Japanese companies are breaking into alternative energy fields or strengthening their presence there. Mitsubishi Corp. aims to begin wind power production in Akita Prefecture by fiscal 2019. Marubeni and general contractor Obayashi are preparing to build wind farms off the coast there. Companies including Mitsubishi and Kyushu Electric Power are exploring potential geothermal operations in Kumamoto Prefecture.

Press Release: KfW Has Selected IDA Fund Management to Manage €50 Million Early Stage Geothermal Development Facility for 10 Countries In Latin America

Contact: Jozsef Szamosfalvi, 703-752-5880 Extension 157,

WASHINGTON, DC-May 23, 2016, the German government’s KfW Development Bank in conjunction with the European Union has announced the launch of a €50 million geothermal development fund for Latin America to focus on early stage development of this important renewable energy resource. Using a similar approach to geothermal development in East Africa, KfW will provide feasibility study funding and exploratory drilling to qualified developers in Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, as well as a technical assistance forum for the various stakeholders. It is envisioned that the fund will leverage European Union and German government investment with other donor institutions to aggressively develop geothermal resources in Latin America as an important source of renewable power to enhance the energy mix in the region.

After a rigorous international tendering process, KfW has selected a consortium to manage the fund, which will provide both technical and financial expertise. The consortium consists of:

Interlink Capital Strategies, a Washington, DC-based management consulting firm and financial advisor well known in the Export Credit Agency (ECA) and Development Finance Institution (DFI) space.

Dewhurst Group, LLC, a Washington, DC-based geothermal exploration and development company with international experience and offices within Latin America.

Ambata Capital, an investment and advisory firm focused on sustainability and alternative energy. Chris McCormick, a partner with Ambata, will serve as the Senior Investment Officer in the consortium. He has championed Ambata’s investments and initiatives in the geothermal sector and various related projects.
The consortium formed IDA Fund Management, LLC to manage the Geothermal Development Facility and the Technical Assistance Forum with oversight from KfW. The fund expects to be up and fully running in the next six months and will be accepting immediate inquires from interested parties. A formal announcement was made at the Iceland Geothermal Conference in Reykjavik, April 25-27th.

Alan Beard, Managing Director of IDA Fund Management observed, “For more than twenty years Interlink has aggressively sought to assist our clientele in emerging markets. The current partnership with KfW, along with our colleagues from the Dewhurst Group and Ambata Capital will allow us together to successfully make geothermal power an important element in the growth and development of select markets in Latin America.”

Thanks you to GEA Members New and Renewed!

GEA works to put geothermal on the map in Washington, Sacramento, and elsewhere. We depend upon our members support to do so.   We work to make a difference so that the industry and your company can succeed.

This week we want to say thank you to following new/renewed GEA Members:

US Geothermal

Leon Ballew

Watch for more thank you’s in future editions of GEW! If you need information about membership go to: or contact

Toshiba Will Provide 72-MW Steam Turbine for Turkish Kizildere III Geothermal Plant

Japanese conglomerate Toshiba Corp recently announced it will provide a 72 MW flash steam turbine system and generator for Zorlu Enerji Elektrik Uretim AS’ Kizildere III geothermal project located in Turkey.

The independent power producer (IPP), a part of Turkey’s Zorlu Energy Group, will construct the 95 MW high-efficiency triple flash combined-cycle geothermal power plant in Kizildere, West Anatolia region’s province of Aydin. Upon establishment, it will become one of the largest facilities of its kind across Europe and the Middle East, based on the press statement.

The 72 MW Toshiba flash steam generation system is scheduled for delivery in December 2016. The geothermal plant will also integrate an approximately 23 MW binary cycle power generation system, supplied by US project partner Ormat Technologies Inc to utilize flash turbine exhaust steam to vaporize a working fluid with a lower boiling point in order to drive a turbine.

The Turkish government plans to boost Turkey’s installed geothermal power capacity to 2,500 MW by 2023 from the 620 MW it currently maintains. The majority of the plants will be constructed in the geothermal-rich Aegean Region.

Montserrat Premier Hopeful for Geothermal Development

Montserrat Premier Donaldson Romeo is pinning hopes on spin-offs from local geothermal energy production, he announced during a telephone interview from Miami with ZJB Radio recently. Donaldson explained the geothermal product would foster the environment necessary for investments on the island.

The Premier’s statements align with his recent attendance at an investment forum in the United States. Romeo opined that the extra electricity and byproducts of the geothermal production in Montserrat would attract industries and create much needed foreign exchange:

“In the very area are where the production would be located, there is a possibility for companies who use the scheme to exist side by side, take advantage of that extra scheme that is going to be wasted. But in addition to that I think what excites me most is that at present we are shipping out tons and tons of aggregate, the base for cement based products and I look forward to the day when we will be shipping out products where we add value to this massive tonnage of materials that come out of the volcano. For instance if we were to do cement boards-the boards we use in the bathrooms and wooden structure and wherever, sheet rock type material-imagine sending a badge out loaded with that material how much more value would have been added and how much employment would be created,” Romeo explained.

Funded by the UK, Montserrat is prepping for the drilling of a third well in its game plan to develop geothermal energy. According to statements made to the media last year by Martin Dawson, local representative of the UK Department for International Development, $ 6.5 million has been directed to the project, which is intended to develop the potential yield of geothermal energy available on island.

The current project covers the ongoing exploration and it is still within the government’s purview to find potential investors to manage the generation and sale of the energy. In 2013, two other wells were drilled and evaluations concluded that the maximum yield would be approximately 1.5 MW per well.

The plan given the green light since last October was delayed as the Government pressed to acquire the lands. The new well will be drilled to about 2,500 meters in depth with a final completion diameter of 8 ½ inches in the St Georges Hill area. It is hoped that along with the geothermal power plant, the three drilled wells will provide between 2-5 MW of electricity to Montserrat.

Carthage Commences Geothermal Heating/Cooling Project

Sidewalks are being torn up on the north side of the Carthage, MO square in preparation for the outfitting of the new geothermal heating and cooling system for the Jasper County Courthouse. Workers will commence drilling 30 wells each 500 feet deep.

Jasper County Presiding Commissioner John Bartosh, Commissioner Jim Honey and Commissioner Darieus Adams are responsible in main for the geothermal heating initiative.

The topography of Carthage square has changed over the past 140 years. Just south and west of the square was a large lake fed by several springs, constituting caves filled with water.

An article published in a 1935 edition of the Carthage Press reported that “the Carthage Square was on a bluff, rising to its highest point at the southwest corner, and there was a sharp drop to the lake level. Most of the area between Main, Fourth, Lyon and Fifth streets was covered by the lake which was quite deep.”

“It was fed by several springs. The water was clear and deep enough to swim in. It was full of growing cress and was a popular resort for boys of the neighborhood.”

Limestone and dolomite would be found in the bluff, where the square was built. They erode over time and form caves.

If the lake was south and west of the square, that would position it just north of the area where the “great cave” was reported to be.

Just one block behind the United Missouri Bank Building on the square, William Harrington, who owned a radiator repair shop, was convinced there was an underground passage parallel to the sewer line in the alleyway behind his shop that provided access to the cave. He dug out a 12-square-foot chamber 36 feet below the surface before he gave up.

Now, just a few hundred feet away from Harrington’s dig, the county will be drilling 30 wells 500 feet deep.


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