Geothermal in United Arab Emirates, USA, China, Japan, Hungary, Iceland, Italy

This post brings you geothermal headlines from the United Arab Emirates, the USA, China, Japan, Hungary, Iceland, Italy.


Bandai, Fukushima, Japan

Image Credit: Flickr/Dana Spencer

Africa and the Middle East


United Arab Emirates – Dubai Considers Geothermal and Wave Technology

Dubai is considering the merits of using geothermal and wave energy for power generation.

The city is completing prefeasibility studies on these renewable power technologies as it looks to meet its target of producing 75% of its power by clean sources by 2050.

Until now the emirate had focused its renewable intent on solar power until Dubai Electricity & Water Authority undertook studies on the potential implementation of geothermal, tidal wave and ocean current schemes to produce renewable energy.

The authority has asked consultants to submit proposals for the contracts to carry out prefeasibility studies on the projects and consultants have until 17th July to submit bids for the deals.

The emirate has set a target for 25% of its electricity production to come from renewable energy sources by 2030, with 75% of its power set to come from clean energy sources by mid-century.

The emirate’s target for 25% of renewable energy by 2030 will come from the planned 5,000 MW capacity of its Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum (MBR) solar park.

The Americas

USA – Press Release: U.S. Geothermal Inc. Begins Drilling to Increase Raft River Project Generation

BOISE, IDAHO – U.S. Geothermal Inc. (NYSE MKT:HTM) (the “Company”) announced today that it has started drilling a second leg on existing production well RRG-2 at the Raft River project. This second production leg will be drilled out of the existing wellbore starting at approximately 3,500 feet below surface, to a planned final depth of approximately 5,600 feet. It is expected to intersect the primary production fracture zone between the original leg of Well RRG-2 and production well RRG-1. Once drilling is completed, the well will be tested and a new pump designed for the new production characteristics, will be manufactured and installed. The total project is anticipated to cost $3 million, and the well is expected to be placed back into production during the third quarter of this year.

The Raft River Geothermal Power Plant is located in Southeast Idaho and has a design capacity of 13 net annual average megawatts. The project is currently operating at annual average of approximately 9.4 megawatts. Power from the facility is sold under a firm price, 25 year contract with the Idaho Power Company and allows for the full 13 megawatt output. Reservoir modeling indicates that the geothermal reservoir can support the full 13 megawatt contract. Additional production from this drilling could potentially increase plant output to its full contract limit.

The Company acquired from its project partner, Goldman Sachs, the majority of their cash flow interest in and ownership of the Raft River geothermal project in December 2015. US Geothermal now receives 95% of the cash flow from the project, along with all increased cash flow from project improvements. If successful the increased production from well RRG-2 is anticipated to add between 1 and 3 MW’s of generation to the project, yielding between $500,000 and $1,500,000 of increased cash flow annually.

On May 23, 2016 the Company entered into a $20 million debt facility with a fixed interest rate of 5.8% per annum with Prudential Capital Group. Under terms of the financing agreement, the Company has the option, without obligation, to issue additional debt, up to $50 million in aggregate within the next two years. Funds from this financing are being used for the RRG-2 drilling program, to advance our development pipeline, and for any new merger or acquisition opportunities.

“Drilling of this well, which had been planned for many years, is expected to considerably improve the profitability and cash flow from our Raft River project” said Dennis Gilles, CEO of U.S. Geothermal Inc. “The acquisition from Goldman Sachs this past December unlocked the ability to consider capital upgrades like this one that should increase output from the facility and potentially reach its design capacity of 13 megawatts.”

Asia and the Pacific

China – China Speeds Up Clean Energy Development in Tibet

China will speed up the development of clean energy in Tibet Autonomous Region from 2016 to 2020, under the principle of “putting the environment first,” according to an energy official.

The initiative will boost the local economy and increase strategic reserves of clean energy, Nur Bekri, head of the National Energy Administration, said on Thursday at a conference on Tibet’s energy development held in the regional capital of Lhasa.

The government will construct new hydropower projects to meet local demand, the official said.

In addition, the government encouraged the utilization of solar power, including photovoltaic generation, and called on companies to explore the abundant geothermal sources in Tibet.

Research will be carried into the feasibility of a pipeline to transport petroleum and natural gas from Golmud City in Qinghai to Lhasa.

By the end of last year, installed power capacity and power generation in Tibet increased by 136% and 75%, respectively from the 2010 levels, and the number of people having access to the main electric grid rose by around 33% from the same period.


Indonesia – 110 MW Sarulla Geothermal-Based Plant to Operate by Year-End

Sarulla geothermal power plant unit I with a capacity of 110 MW is scheduled to reach its commercial operation date in December. “Sarulla unit 1 will operate on December 2016,” said the Director for Geothermal of Energy Ministry Yunus Saefulhak, Monday, June 20, 2016.

Whereas power plant unit two and three, which has the same capacity, each will operate in phases in 2017 and 2018. “A total of 330 MW is a large capacity and it can help [to overcome] electricity problem in Sumatra,” Yunus explained.

Sarulla plant is the largest geothermal power plant in the second phase of the Fast Track Program to develop 10,000 MW electricity generation, almost 50% of which are geothermal-based. Sarulla geothermal power plant is the world’s largest single-contract geothermal power plant and will accelerate the achievement of the electrification target in Indonesia.

The project requires roughly $1.5 billion of investment, financed by private sector participation-lead by Medco Energy in a consortium with Itochu, Kyushu, and Ormat- encompassing 20% equity and 80% loan financing from Japan Bank for International Corporation (JBIC), through an independent power producer (IPP) scheme.

Japan – Commencement of Drilling Survey (Phase 3) in Fukushima for Geothermal Development

Inpex Corporation announced recently that the Fukushima Geothermal Project Team (the Team) has completed a three-year surface survey of geothermal resources at the area around Mt. Bandai in the Bandai-Asahi National Park in Fukushima Prefecture Japan and plans to commence drilling survey at a promising area confirmed from the surface survey.

The Team has been conducting a surface survey since 2013 with the consent of local communities and the financial support from Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC), it will move onto the next phase; drilling survey in the area.

The Team consists of 11 companies: Idemitsu Kosan Co.,Ltd., INPEX CORPORATION, Sumitomo Corporation, Japan Petroleum Exploration Co., Ltd., Geothermal Energy Research & Development Co., Ltd., Japan Metals & Chemicals Co., Ltd., Mitsui Oil Exploration Co., Ltd., Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company, Inc., Mitsubishi Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation Power Ltd., and Mitsubishi Materials Corporation.



Hungary – Ministry Calls Tenders for Nine Mining Concessions

The National Development Ministry said on Friday it called tenders for nine mining and exploration concessions for fossil fuels and another one for exploring and developing a geothermal energy site near Győr, Hungarian news agency MTI reported.

The mining concessions, which would involve exploration for hydrocarbons like coal, natural gas and oil, cover nine areas around Bazakerettye, Bucsa, Heves, Jászárokszállás, Kőrősladány, Mezőtúr, the western part of Okány and the eastern and western part of Zala. The application deadlines are September 27 and 28 , depending on the area. The ministry will take a decision on the winners within 90 days.

Although the production is very limited, Hungary does have wells that produce oil and natural gas, and there is likely more to be found.

As for geothermal energy, the majority of the country is located above natural deposits of thermal water, and exploitation of this source of energy is considered one good way to wean the country off the use of hydrocarbons and other fossil fuels.

The hydrocarbon concessions are for 20 years. The geothermal concession is for 35 years.

Iceland – Country to Construct 90 MW Geothermal Plant

A new geothermal power station with a total capacity of 90MW will be built in Iceland.

Located in Theistareykir, northeastern Iceland, the facility is being financed by the European Investment Bank (EIB). It has signed a €125 million (£99m) loan agreement with Landsvirkjun, the National Power Company of Iceland to fund its design, development and operation.

Geothermal wells that could provide 50MW have also been drilled and tested.

EIB Vice President Cristian Popa said: “Iceland is in a very special position when it comes to renewable energy and it’s great to see how Landsvirkjun is making the most of it.

“The Icelandic expertise in this area is state of the art and serves as a blue print for geothermal projects around the globe.”

The loan is the first EIB project in Iceland since 2011, when it lent €70m (£55.4m) for the construction of the Budarhals hydropower plant.


Italy – GGP Selects GE Oil and Gas to Provide Geothermal Technologies

Italian renewable energy company Graziella Green Power (GGP) has selected GE Oil & Gas to provide technologies for a geothermal power station in the Tuscan geothermal district.

Under the contract, GE will supply ORegen system combined with a reciprocating compressor for reinjecting the gases. It will also supply digital solutions built on GE’s Predix technology.

The ORegen technology is designed to generate electricity using steam from below the ground without any dispersal or leakage into the environment.

GE said that the flow of steam, after use, can be reinjected underground in its entirety, with zero atmospheric impact.

The technology was earlier used for waste heat recovery in hydrocarbon-based plants.

GE Oil & Gas Turbomachinery Solutions business European manager Paolo Ruggeri said: “This exciting partnership with Graziella Green Power allows us to apply a technology initially developed for oil and gas in a completely new way in the geothermal sector, which has great potential for the future.”

Upon entering service in 2018, the geothermal plant will have an annual clean energy production capacity of 40,000MWh, required to power 14,000 families.

The Graziella Green Power’s geothermal plant will be executed as experiential project as part of the Italian Ministry of Economic Development’s initiative to invest in geothermal sector with complete reinjection.


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