Leading Stories, Releases, Solicitations
- GEA Notes
- California Senate Passes 100% Clean Energy and Environmental Protection Bills
- Welch, Lujan Introduce National Renewable Energy and Efficiency Standard Legislation
- Trump Administration Releases FY18 Budget Details
- Statement on Release of the FY18 DOE Budget by the Geothermal Energy Association
- GEA Supports California SB 600
- Geothermal Agreement Signed: SaskPower, DEEP Geothermal to explore project in southeast Saskatchewan
- KfW Development Bank and EU launch Latin America Geothermal Power Fund
- Alterra Power Announces Potential Sale of Blue Lagoon Interest
- ROTOTEC OY and ROBIT OYJ Deepen Their Geothermal Co-operation
- Mexican Ministry of Energy awards three geothermal exploration permits: a key step forward for ENGIE and Reykjavik Geothermal
- Raven Petroleum Plans “The Cleanest Refinery in the World”.
- DOE Seeks Feedback on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs
Leading Stories, Releases, Solicitations
GEA Notes: The GEA and GRC are busy gearing up for the 2017 GEA GeoExpo+ and GRC Annual Meeting October 1-4 in Salt Lake City, UT!
- For more information on the GEA GeoExpo+ go to: http://geothermalexpo.org/.
- For information about the GRC Annual Meeting go to: https://geothermal.org/meet-new.html.
And please remember, GEA is a membership organization. Your support through membership makes our work possible. For membership information, or to renew your company membership, contact Kathy Kent at email@example.com.
California Senate Passes 100% Clean Energy and Environmental Protection Bills
SACRAMENTO – The California State Senate voted today to pass SB 100, a bill that puts California on a path to 100 percent clean renewable energy by the year 2045. Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D – Los Angeles) and Senators will also address reports that President Trump plans to pull the United States out of the landmark Paris Climate Accord.
“We woke up this morning to extremely upsetting news – that the President intends to withdraw from the Paris agreement.” Senator de León said. “That’s why California’s leadership is critical. We’re showing the way forward, and we’re sending a clear message to the rest of the world that no president, no matter how desperately the try to ignore reality, can halt our progress.”
GEA was among the groups supporting the legislation. “This will be good for California and good for geothermal energy,” GEA stated.
Reps. Welch, Lujan Introduce National Renewable Energy and Efficiency Standard Legislation
WASHINGTON, May 25 — Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., issued the following news release:
Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) and Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) introduced legislation that creates a national renewable energy and energy efficiency standard that will reduce carbon emissions and drive the deployment of clean energy resources around the country.
“The United States is lagging behind on energy efficiency and renewable energy resources. We have barely scratched the surface of our potential,” Congressman Welch said. “This legislation charts a new energy future where energy efficiency and renewable technologies are put to work creating jobs, saving money and improving the environment.”
“Promoting the use of renewable energy and increased energy efficiency is not only good for our environment, but it’s also good for our economy and for consumers,” Congressman Lujan said. “A number of states, including my home state of New Mexico, have taken the lead on renewable energy standards. A national standard will further encourage the development of a clean energy economy that creates good jobs and enhances our economic competitiveness. This legislation will also help families who are living paycheck to paycheck by lowering energy bills and putting more money back in their pockets.”
The American Renewable Energy and Efficiency Act would require electric utilities, by 2032, to obtain at least 35 percent of their electricity supply from renewable sources and achieve a 20 percent reduction in electricity use and a 13 percent reduction in natural gas use.
“We strongly support Rep. Welch and Rep. Lujan’s introduction of the American Renewable Energy and Efficiency Act and applaud his leadership in promoting renewable energy nationwide. The establishment of a national renewable electricity standard will lower energy costs for consumers, drive new investment and job growth, and diversify our nation’s energy resources,” said the American Wind Energy Association.
Union of Concerned Scientists senior energy analyst Jeff Deyette shared that support. “State Renewable Electricity Standards and Energy Efficiency Resource Standards have delivered big benefits to consumers across the country while reducing harmful emissions that cause serious health problems and contribute to climate change,” he said. “These national targets can easily be met, helping to bring the entire country into line with the transition towards cleaner, cost effective sources of energy; providing economic benefits to consumers and industry in the process.”
Other supporters of the legislation include Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.
Reps. Welch and Lujan are members for the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Trump Administration Releases FY18 Budget Details
On May 23rd, The Trump Adminstration released the details behind its previously released “skinny budget.” Below are some quick highlights of the document
The Dept of Interior Budget assumes Congress will repeal county royalty payment provision, which were enacted in 2005 directing 25% of geothermal royalty and rental payments to the local county involved. OMB estimates this would save the Federal Treasury $3/$4 million annually.
The Department of Energy Budget assumes an 82% cut in geothermal funding, from $70 million in Fy 17 to $12.5 million in Fy 18.
Geothermal Technologies: The Budget provides $12,500,000 in FY 2018, supporting GTO’s Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) collaborative effort, bringing together National Laboratory-led teams, academia, and industry to conduct early-stage R&D that explores the fundamental relationships between seismicity, stress state, and permeability to validate and verify models, providing feedback to inform the next stage of EGS research. The Program will fund the final year of a three-year hydrothermal effort for three National Laboratory projects targeting innovative, early-stage research on approaches to geothermal exploration through microhole drilling applications, self-healing cements, and subsurface imaging, all of which present such a significant degree of scientific uncertainty that industry is unlikely to invest significant resources.. The Budget Request also supports early-stage R&D in waterless fracturing and stimulation fluids, investigating alternative hydraulic fracturing methods to reduce, or eliminate, the use of water. Combined efforts will strengthen the body of knowledge necessary to enable industry to achieve a cost target of $0.06/kWh by 2030 from newly developed geothermal systems.
Geothermal Technologies Explanation of Major Changes ($K)
Subprogram, FY16, FY18 Reduction
Geothermal Technologies Enhanced Geothermal Systems, 45,000, 5,368 -39,632
Hydrothermal, 13,800, 6,077 -7,723
Low Temperature and Coproduced Resources, 8,000 , 0 -8,000
Systems Analysis, 3,700, 1,055 -2,645
NREL Site-Wide Facility Support, 500, ― 0 -500
Total, Geothermal Technologies, 71,000 , 12,500 -58,500
Geothermal Technologies Explanation of Major Changes ($K)
FY 2018 vs FY 2016
Enhanced Geothermal Systems: Funding for FORGE Phase 3 field operations is fully funded through prior-year appropriations and no additional funding is requested FY 2018. Other reductions reflect the discontinuation of later-stage R&D in advanced stimulation, zonal isolation, and fracture propping tools. -39,632
Hydrothermal: Reduced funding reflects the completion of the Play Fairway Analysis effort as well as a reduction in later-stage research in the areas of Wellbore Integrity, Subsurface Stress and Induced Seismicity, and New Subsurface Signals. -7,723
Low Temperature and Coproduced Resources: Reflecting the shift in focus to early-stage research and development, no funding is requested for the Low-Temperature and Coproduced Resources subprogram in FY 2018. Some management activities related to the execution of prior year appropriations will continue until completion. -8,000
Systems Analysis: Reduced funding reflects the completion of the Vision Study in FY 2017. -2,645
NREL Site-Wide Facility Support: In FY 2018, EERE proposes to move funding for the NREL Site-Wide Facility Support subprogram from individual technology programs to the Facilities and Infrastructure Program. Locating this funding in the Facilities and Infrastructure Program will provide clarity and transparency in communicating EERE’s stewardship of NREL, and will simplify planning and execution of EERE’s annual budget. This consolidation into a single program allows for better integration and coordination of operations and investments. -500
Total, Geothermal Technologies -58,500
FY 18 Comparative Funding: (millions)
Technology FY17 Fy18
Solar 241 69.7
Wind 95.2 31.7
Water 69.8 20.4
Geothermal 70.8 12.5
For more information on the FY18 DOE Budget proposal, go to:
Official White House FY’18 Budget Proposal Documents are at:
Statement on Release of the FY18 DOE Budget by the Geothermal Energy Association
Washington, DC (May 25, 2017) – The information on DOE’s proposed FY18 budget for geothermal research paints a bleak picture: it cuts the DOE geothermal research program to the bone. The 82% funding reduction from $71 million to $12 million will have significant, negative impacts on technology development for the US geothermal industry, significantly reducing the ability to achieve the economic benefits of tapping the vast geothermal resource base of the United States.
The US Department of Energy’s Geothermal Technologies Program (DOE GTP) has a history of supporting the development of new technology that is critical for the geothermal industry. DOE GTP’s support has helped the industry expand beyond high-temperature resources in the US by producing power from moderate-temperature geothermal resources, more than doubling the number of states with geothermal power production. But much more can and needs to be done to enhance the value of and address the high risk of conventional resources, such as developing unique opportunities for extracting strategic minerals from geothermal fluids, improving exploration technology and reducing drilling risk, and ultimately allowing production of geothermal power nearly anywhere by engineering geothermal systems to enable the extraction of energy from deep, hot rocks.
With respect to the last, DOE GTP has had a strong focus on Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) by advancing the development of new technologies that will allow us to “mine” the vast amount of heat that is present deep beneath our feet. The flagship EGS R&D project is FORGE (Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy), which will be an experimental site to develop and test techniques to enhance rock permeability in just the right way to enable effective heat mining. The bare bones budget appears to continue the FORGE effort using prior year balances, which means the funding for the final center chosen will be left to future appropriations bills – a risky proposition. The minimal budget would reduce DOE GTP’s efforts to develop the tools needed for EGS (such as specialized drilling and completion methods, advanced stimulation techniques, zonal isolation, fracture management, maximizing energy extraction, etc.), undercutting the success of EGS development efforts.
With respect to conventional geothermal resources, support for developing new exploration tools and technology – which are needed to identify the one-half of all US geothermal resources that are as yet undiscovered – would end under the proposed budget, despite the fact that the pay-off from this investment would be substantial. New exploration technology is particularly important in states with no geothermal projects, where geological prospecting takes on higher risks. Similarly, support for co-production (of geothermal fluids that are produced together with oil or gas), low-temperature technologies (allowing power production from the more common lower-temperature geothermal resources) and secondary products (recovery of lithium, rare earth elements and other strategic minerals from geothermal fluids) is ending – despite their significant near-term benefits. Taken together, this means that valuable benefits for the US economy will be lost; for example, rather than developing domestic production of critical minerals for high tech applications, imports from China will continue.
DOE GTP has established a thoughtful and balanced R&D program that targets specific near-term and long-term opportunities for geothermal to contribute to our national energy security and economic growth. In contrast, the proposed budget would severely limit the ability to make meaningful geothermal energy advancements in the United States.
GEA Supports California SB 600
GEA Western States Representative Rhonda Mills wrote California Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Ricardo Lara expressing support for SB 600, a partial sales tax exemption bill. In her letter, she said:
“The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) applauds the introduction of Senate Bill 600, (SB 600, Galgiani), Sales and use taxes: exemption: manufacturing and research: useful life: electric power generation.
“By expanding eligibility to those engaged in electric power generation or distribution, SB 600 will help California increase inbound investments, while expanding our renewable energy sources and manufacturing powered by clean energy. In that way, SB 600 works to increase jobs and economic development, while reducing costs to California residential and business electricity and gas ratepayers.
“Renewable geothermal power uses the Earth’s heat to generate both thermal energy (heat/steam) and electric power. There are 44 operating geothermal plants in California with a capacity of over 2,700 Megawatts and a replacement value of $15 billion. Geothermal produced 6.11 percent of California’s total system power in 2015 and .04 percent of total U.S. electricity generation, an illustration of the efficiency and reliability of this clean power workhorse.
“Geothermal is more than renewable power, however. Geothermal “secondary uses” include, operating greenhouses and agricultural processing facilities, recovering precious minerals from geothermal brines (i.e., lithium, potash and zinc), reusing municipal wastewater (reducing costs to local governments), and using geothermal energy in HVAC and district heating systems (reducing point source emissions and reliance on natural gas). SB 600 would help California businesses build geothermal manufacturing/processing facilities and reduce ratepayer costs in our transition to more clean energy.
“For these reasons, the Geothermal Energy Association urges the Assembly Committee on Appropriations to support SB 600.”
Geothermal Agreement Signed: SaskPower, DEEP Geothermal to explore project in southeast Saskatchewan
SaskPower and DEEP Earth Energy Production Corp. (DEEP) have signed a power purchase agreement that will allow further research into the potential for Saskatchewan’s first geothermal power project.
“We’re proud to continue our work with DEEP to evaluate geothermal’s potential role in our power supply,” said SaskPower President and CEO Mike Marsh. “Cleaner electricity options are vital to Saskatchewan’s future, and geothermal power is another option to explore as we work to reach our goal of having 50 per cent of our capacity come from renewable power by 2030.”
Geothermal power generation passes hot water through an exchanger, creates steam and drives a turbine to produce electricity. The signed agreement allows DEEP to continue a proof of concept study to determine the feasibility of a five megawatt project near Estevan. The proposed plant would generate renewable, zero emission, baseload power from a hot aquifer three kilometres under the Earth’s surface.
“We’re pleased to complete this agreement with SaskPower as another step towards the commencement of Canada’s first geothermal power facility in southeast Saskatchewan,” said Kirsten Marcia, President and CEO of DEEP. “DEEP’s Saskatchewan power facility will launch a brand new clean energy sector for the country, and we anticipate significant job creation during the construction and operation of the facility. DEEP is honored to be in partnership with SaskPower and their commitment to significantly reduce provincial GHG emissions through new and innovative projects like geothermal power.”
The electricity provided by the proposed plant would generate roughly the power required by 5,000 homes and offset about 40,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide per year – equal to taking over 8,000 cars off the roads annually. #powertogrow
For more information see saskpower.com/our-power-future. #powertogrow
KfW Development Bank and EU launch Latin America Geothermal Power Fund
The German government’s KfW Development Bank in conjunction with the European Union has launched a €55 million geothermal power fund for Latin America to focus on early stage development managed by Washington, DC-based, IDA Fund Management, LLC. Known as the Geothermal Development Facility (GDF), the goal is to be a catalyst to 350 MW of installed geothermal power capacity in Latin America over the next ten years. GDF will achieve this by providing feasibility study funding of as much as €600,000 and exploratory drilling funding for up to €5.8 million per project to qualified applicants in Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala. GDF expects to close a second round of significant funding from KfW and other Development Finance Institutions later this year.
An Expression of Interest was sought in January 2017, to which 25 parties submitted information. In this two-step process, GDF is now announcing that it has now selected 13 applicants to complete Call for Proposals. Final grant approvals for the selected proposals should be finalized in the 4th quarter of this year. GDF has been pleased with the overwhelming interest in the marketplace for this important early stage funding. To that end, its managers hosted a Technical Assistance Forum at GEOLAC in Mexico City in April where they reviewed the early results of GDF and discussed the outlook for the rest of the year. It is anticipated that late this year a second Expression of Interest will be initiated where new applicants and some of those that weren’t selected in the first round will apply.
About IDA Fund Management
GDF is managed by IDA Fund Management a consortium of Interlink Capital Strategies (www.interlinkdc.com), a Washington, DC-based management consulting firm and financial advisor well known in the Export Credit Agency (ECA) and Development Finance Institution (DFI) space, and Dewhurst Group, LLC (www.dewhurstgroup.us), a Washington, DC-based geothermal exploration and development company with offices in Latin America.
For more information, firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: Alan Beard, 703-752-5880 Extension 115
Alterra Power Announces Potential Sale of Blue Lagoon Interest
Vancouver, May 16, 2017 /CNW/ – Alterra Power Corp. (TSX: AXY) announces that following several unsolicited expressions of interest, its subsidiary HS Orka hf will examine strategic alternatives for its 30% ownership interest in the Blue Lagoon tourist resort, up to and including a full sale.
Ross Beaty, Alterra’s Executive Chairman, said “The Blue Lagoon has grown substantially over the last several years, attracting significant investor attention from Iceland and elsewhere. Since the asset does not comprise a core part of our renewable power business, we think it’s time to look at our options.”
Stöplar Advisory in Iceland (www.stoplar.com) has been engaged to communicate with potential investors and administer the process.
ROTOTEC OY and ROBIT OYJ Deepen Their Geothermal Co-operation
Rototec Oy and Robit Oyj have signed a comprehensive co-operation and delivery agreement. The target of the collaboration is to advance the utilization of geothermal energy both in Finland and Scandinavia. The agreement contains also product development in co-operation to meet the industry’s development trends, such as increasingly deeper geothermal bore holes.
The agreement is a continuum for the companies’ existing co-operation being even more comprehensive.
Rototec Oy is the largest European provider of geothermal energy solutions as well as the innovative reformer of the industry. The company meets new possibilities on the field of increasing utilization of renewable energy. Rototec Oy has also started providing consultant services in China, where geothermal heating solutions are strongly becoming common.
Robit Oyj is a strongly internationalized growth company selling and servicing global customers in drilling consumables. Geothermal wells have formed an important and growing segment as a part of the company’s business. Geothermal energy solutions have expanded from private economies to apartment buildings, large business centers as well as warehouses. Technology enables also cooling at present.
Mexican Ministry of Energy awards three geothermal exploration permits: a key step forward for ENGIE and Reykjavik Geothermal
Mexico’s Ministry of Energy (SENER) has issued three exploration permits to ENGIE, a global energy company, and Reykjavik Geothermal, an Icelandic geothermal development company. These permits authorise their holders to spend three years exploring geothermal resources located in three zones, each measuring 150 km2, in Sangangüey (in the state of Nayarit) and in Cerro Pinto and Las Derrumbadas (in the state of Puebla).
This major step forward in the development of geothermal energy in Mexico follows the signature of a cooperation agreement on December 7, 2015 between ENGIE, through its wholly owned subsidiary Storengy, and Reykjavik Geothermal, geared towards obtaining and jointly developing Mexico’s concessions and geothermal exploration permits.
Both efficient and economical, geothermal energy is a renewable, non-intermittent and eco-friendly source of energy that uses heat from deep underground for heating, power generation and even air-conditioning systems. It is the main activity of Reykjavik Geothermal and one of the components of the energy transition in which ENGIE intends to become a world leader. ENGIE is a leading producer and supplier in Europe of geothermal energy for the heating and cooling of residential or commercial facilities, using various geothermal sources.
The Mexican Energy Reform has effectively opened up the electricity market and is encouraging private investors to participate in power generation. With the greening of the energy mix, this reform opens the door to the development of the country’s abundant geothermal resources.
Accordingly, the Mexican Ministry of Energy (SENER), the Mexican Development Bank Nacional Financiera (NAFIN) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) jointly backed the development of a programme designed to curb the risks of exploration. This has played a key role in attracting private developers and will be a key element in helping the various actors to overcome the barrier to exploration in the domain of geothermal development.
ENGIE, primarily through its subsidiary Storengy, and Reykjavik Geothermal are convinced that geothermal energy is destined to play a major role in Mexico’s energy mix. To make geothermal energy all the more competitive, these companies are working on a full reflection of the geothermal sustainable and baseload values in the pricing.
“We are very confident regarding the potential of those areas, in order to develop carbon-free projects, which are at the heart of our strategy” stated Cécile Prévieu, CEO of Storengy.
“With these three licenses granted, Reykjavik Geothermal reinforces its position in the Mexican geothermal market” underlined CEO of Reykjavik Geothermal Gudmundur Thoroddsson.
Efrain Villanueva Arcos, General Director of Clean Energies of SENER has stated: “Granting these exploration permits to a partnership between France and Iceland marks a major step in the implementation of the geothermal energy reform since they are the first 100% foreign capital companies to invest in the Mexican geothermal industry.”
Thanks to their complementary know-how, ENGIE, through its subsidiary Storengy, and Reykjavik Geothermal will jointly continue the exploration programme for each of the three awarded permits.
Raven Petroleum Plans “The Cleanest Refinery in the World”.
Raven Petroleum is moving forward with plans to build a refinery in deep South Texas after tapping a general contractor to build it and a a company to provide 100 percent green power it and send emissions deep underground. The Woodlands-based company has chosen Houston-based general contractor BASIC Equipment to handle the proposed refinery’s engineering procurement and construction needs, while Austin-based geothermal company Thermal Energy Partners will provide 100 percent renewable power, desalination and carbon sequestration capabilities.
Raven Petroleum Managing Director Christopher Moore was at the South Texas Energy & Economic Roundtable office in San Antonio on Wednesday afternoon to sign memorandums of understanding with representatives from both companies to move the proposed project forward. “We’re willing to go the extra mile, the extra effort and expense to create a model refinery with the latest technology available to accomplish our goal of being the cleanest refinery … period,” Moore said.
Last year, Raven Petroleum announced plans to build an $500 million refinery off State Highway 359 near Hebbronville, TX. Moore told the Business Journal that his company expects to file an application for a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality permit at the end of the first quarter. The company chose BASIC Equipment and Thermal Energy Partners (TEP) to address safety and environment “This not only addresses many of the local environmental concerns, but also our concerns,” Moore said.
BASIC Equipment President and CEO Thomas Balke said his company has helped to build multiple refineries and that the Raven Petroleum project will include a number of safety features. “We’ve got a lot of experience with containment in our designs,” Balke said. “The designs we’ll be working will have concrete and sealed containments. If there is a spill, it will be recovered and pumped back into a tank so it can be reprocessed. We won’t be excavating and cleaning dirt, we’ll have everything in the containers.
The proposed refinery’s site is in a “sweet spot” for geothermal energy and TEP will also build and operate a desalination plant to support the project. Early cycles of geothermal power will rely on high-temperature brackish water from deep underground while later cycles will rely on the refinery’s own carbon dioxide emissions for power. Cutright’s company has designed a system where the refinery’s emissions are captured and pumped deep underground where carbon dioxide will become “supercritical” from the pressure and heat. The supercritical carbon dioxide will then be used as fuel source for the geothermal power plant’s turbines.”We’re excited that this is going to be in Texas to show that the carbon dioxide can be reutilized in a unique way,” Cutright said.
“It’s going to revolutionize the production of geothermal energy.” South Texas Energy & Economic Roundtable President Omar Garcia said the refinery project is an example of balancing economic development with the environment. “This technology is further proof that whether you’re an operator, service company or a refinery, there is a premium put on safety and the environment,” Garcia said. “This is cutting-edge technology.”
DOE Seeks Feedback on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs
As part of its implementation of Executive Order 13771, “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs,” the Department of Energy (DOE) is seeking comments and information to assist DOE in identifying existing regulations, paperwork requirements and other regulatory obligations that can be modified or repealed, consistent with law, to achieve meaningful burden reduction while continuing to achieve the Department’s statutory obligations.
Interested parties are encouraged to submit comments, identified by “Regulatory Burden Reduction RFI,” by any of the following methods:
- Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
- E-mail: Regulatory.Review@hq.doe.gov. Include “Regulatory Burden RFI” in the subject line of the message.
- Mail: U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW, Room 6A245, Washington, DC 20585.
For more information, please see the official notice in the Federal Register at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/05/30/2017-10866/reducing-regulation-and-controlling-regulatory-costs
Commencement of Development of Geothermal Projects Establishment of Laboos and First Exploitation Wells
New regulation opens way for geothermal sector’s infrastructure financing
Ethiopia to launch geothermal project
Australian company to build largest geothermal plant in Imperial County
World Bank $1.8m grant to strengthen capacity in geothermal development in Chile
UNEP to set up Pan-African Geothermal Centre of Excellence in Kenya
Two Finnish firms for partnership on geothermal in Finland and Scandinavia
Geothermal heat for Westland greenhouse region near The Hague
EU releases Horizon 2020 call for funding of EUR 10m for EGS research project
Biliran geothermal plant could start operation in September 2018
Geothermal a game-changer as nuclear energy uptake lags