Senator Heller’s New Position at Senate Finance Energy Subcommittee Chair, GEA Submits Testimony to CPUC (Diablo Canyon Power Plant), EIA Issues Unusually Short “Short-Term Energy Outlook” for Electricity from Renewables, Intl Updates and MORE!

> Upcoming Events
GEA International Geothermal Forum
GEA Co-Organized Mexico Geothermal Opportunities Workshop (in conjunction with DOE, ITA, NREL and Institute of the Americas)
> Leading Stories, Releases, Solicitations
Senator Heller’s Focus on Infrastructure Leads to Senate Finance Energy Subcommittee Chairmanship
GEA Submits Testimony to CPUC on PG&E Proposal for Retirement of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant
Representative Reichert Joins Bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, Bringing Membership to 24
EIA Issues Unusually Short “Short-Term Energy Outlook” for Electricity from Renewables
RELEASE: BITZER Acquires ElectraTherm
Trump’s EPA Transition Head Says U.S. Withdrawal from Paris Climate Agreement Likely
Release: BBA publishes the Geothermal Transparency Guide
Senate Energy Committee Approves Nominees for Energy, Interior Secretary — Full Senate vote possible next week
TENDER NOTICE: Provision of Pre-feasibility study for Establishment of Industrial park near the Menengai Geothermal Fields.
GDDF Latin America EOI Deadline Reminder

Upcoming Events:
GEA International Geothermal Forum (Register Today! Only 24 Seats Remain)
7 March 2017 | 10AM-4 PM | USEA EAGP- Ronald Reagan and International Trade Center 
For one day, the International Geothermal Forum will gather roughly sixty (60) top energy, finance, policy, government, ministry, and engineering experts to provide in-depth discussion and insight into the future of the geothermal market in the US and abroad.
Topics to Discuss Include: addressing GHG emissions in geothermal power plants, GDF LAC updates, geothermal developments in the US and around the Globe (Regional Focus), IRENA and GGA, geothermal risk mitigation in Mexico, co-production from oil and gas Wells …And More!
$25 GEA Member
$75 Non-Member
(pre-registration required due to limited seating)
Occupancy is capped at 70 participants. Only 24 seats remain. No on-site registration will take place. Registration is now open at:
More info is available at:
Questions? Contact, +1 (202) 454-5261

Mexico Geothermal Opportunities Workshop
Organizers: GEA, DOE, ITA, NREL, Institute of the Americas 

4 April 2017 | Institute of the Americas in La Jolla, California
Sponsor the cocktail reception ($2,500, exclusive) at the Mexican Geothermal Opportunities Workshop and play a strategic role in advancing and shaping the policy and investment framework for the emerging geothermal sector in Mexico. Supporting the workshop and its delivery through this unique sponsorship opportunity will afford your company access to key decision makers, developers and investors in Mexico, as well as a range of US government officials. Sponsorship benefits include speaking and/or moderating opportunities, complimentary registrations for company representatives and social media promotion on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. The Institute of the Americas team will work with your company to deliver a sponsorship package that meets your needs, and to ensure maximum visibility in the lead up to the workshop and during the event.
Cost to Attend: $100
Contact for Sponsorship Opportunity:
Jeremy Martin
VP Energy & Sustainability
Institute of the Americas
+1 (858) 964 1715
Leading Stories:
Senator Heller’s Focus on Infrastructure Leads to Senate Finance Energy Subcommittee Chairmanship
(Washington, DC) – United States Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) issued the following statement after recently being named the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance’s Subcommittee on Energy, Natural Resources, and Infrastructure:
“Serving on the Senate Finance Committee affords me the opportunity to address issues and concerns critical to our nation’s economy and our environment. As the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Energy, Natural Resources, and Infrastructure, I will utilize this important role to advocate on behalf of Nevada and advance policies that promote infrastructure, like Interstate 11, bolster domestic energy and mineral development, and facilitate innovation in the high-tech job sector. Nevada’s continued growth must be matched with an infrastructure system capable to support it. I look forward to working with my colleagues and this Administration in this new position,” said United States Senator Dean Heller.
Senator Heller will also serve on the Senate Finance Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness as well as the Subcommittee on Health Care.
GEA Submits Testimony to CPUC on PG&E Proposal for Retirement of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant
GEA is a party in the proceeding to retire and replace the energy from California’s Diablo Canyon Nuclear Generating Station.  On January 27, GEA filed opening testimony in the case before the California Public Utilities Commission.  We argue that key objectives of the retirement proposal–a retirement and replacement energy procurement plan put forward by Pacific Gas & Electric and other parties, including Natural Resources Defense Council, Friends of the Earth, Environment California, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1245, and others–can be met with geothermal energy as an integral part of the replacement resources mix.  We argue including geothermal will help achieve the proposal’s goals earlier, at a lower cost, and with a high certainty for grid reliability. Additionally, our evidence showed that including meaningful amounts of geothermal in the replacement portfolio would provide more GHG reductions and the lowest cost per million tons of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) reduced compared to portfolios that do not have geothermal energy in the portfolio of replacement power. GEA’s testimony also provides recommendations to enhance the certainty of meeting the goals and the outcomes of the Joint Parties proposal, including, but not limited to, basing procurement decisions on the cost of tons of carbon reduced to the electric system by the replacement energy.  The Diablo Canyon retirement case is expected to continue throughout 2017, with a tentative timetable for decision in December.
“This case enables the geothermal industry to have a discussion with stakeholders and decision-makers on key issues facing our industry.  We will testify with evidence that geothermal enhances grid reliability, and has lower costs and GHG emissions than an intermittent renewables-only portfolio”, said Rhonda Mills, GEA’s Western Issues Representative.
Representative Reichert Joins Bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, Bringing Membership to 24
Feb 9, 2017 Issues: Economy and Jobs, Energy and Environment
Washington, DC –  This week, the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus welcomed Reps. Dave Reichert (R-WA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Don Bacon (R-NE), and Charlie Crist (D-FL) to the Caucus, bringing the total membership to 24 split evenly between Democrats and Republicans.
The mission of the Climate Solutions Caucus is to educate members on economically-viable options to reduce climate risk and to explore bipartisan policy options that address the impacts, causes, and challenges of our changing climate.
“Climate change is a serious issue that could prove to be devastating not only to our environment but also to our economy,” said Rep. Reichert. “This potential threat requires us, as a nation, to reimagine not only how we use energy, but also how we protect our environment and create jobs. This is not a partisan issue. We all have a responsibility to protect our environment, to maintain clean water and clean air, and to ensure future generations can enjoy the beauty of our natural heritage.”
“Climate change is a critical threat to our way of life in Oregon and to the health of our planet,” said Rep. Blumenauer. “I’m committed to working with my colleagues to find solutions to this problem. My home state is leading the way in responding to this challenge, and I’m eager to bring our ideas to the Climate Solutions Caucus.”
“I am proud to be joining the Climate Solutions Caucus to further expand my knowledge on the potential impacts of climate change and find bi-partisan solutions,” said Rep. Bacon. “This was a promise I made to constituents of my district and I keep my promises. As a commander of airbases in both Nebraska and Germany, I managed several important environmental programs to include resettlement of bird populations to reduce hazards to aircraft; incorporation of cleaner fuel technologies to minimize aircraft impacts on the environment; and proper disposal of hazardous chemicals used with our aircraft.”
“In Pinellas County, there is no denying climate change is happening. As a peninsula on the peninsula of Florida, we are threatened more and more each year by rising sea levels,” said  Rep. Crist. “I am proud to join the Climate Solutions Caucus, highlighting Congress’ growing bipartisan commitment to tackling this urgent challenge. Together, we can and must protect our environment and economy from climate change.”
Below is the full membership list of the Climate Solutions Caucus in the 115th Congress as of February 9, 2017:
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL)
Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL)
Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA)
Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA)
Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA)
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
Rep. John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep. Ryan Costello (R-PA)
Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep. Mark Amodei (R-NV)
Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT)
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY)
Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA)
Rep. Mia Love (R-UT)
Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR)
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY)
Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT)
Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA)
Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA)
Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL)
Rep. David Reichert (R-WA)
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)
Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE)
Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL)
EIA Issues Unusually Short “Short-Term Energy Outlook” for Electricity from Renewables:
U.S. Energy Information Administration, February 7, 2017
EIA has released its latest “Short-Term Energy Outlook” for electricity expected to be generated by renewables in 2017 and 2018. Inexplicably, this month’s report consists of just two sentences compared to the usual several paragraphs. EIA notes that wind energy capacity at the end of 2016 was 81 gigawatts. The agency also expects capacity additions in the next two years will bring total wind capacity to 94 GW by the end of 2018. In an accompanying chart, EIA also notes that renewable sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) in the electric sector accounted for 7.889 quadrillion Btus and were expected to rise to 8.220 quads in 2017 and then to 8.607 quads in 2018.
RELEASE: BITZER Acquires ElectraTherm
Enters Waste Heat to Power Market via BITZER US Subsidiary
Reno (Nevada), January 30, 2017. BITZER, the world’s largest independent manufacturer of refrigeration compressors, announces the acquisition of ElectraTherm, a leader in distributed, waste heat to power generation.
ElectraTherm’s Power+ Generator™ utilizes waste heat on applications such as internal combustion engines, biomass boilers, flare gas (at oil and gas wells, wastewater treatment plants and landfills), geothermal/co-produced fluids, and more. ElectraTherm’s Power+ fleet exceeds 50 machines in operation in 12 countries and has surpassed 75 years of runtime.
ElectraTherm’s Power+ Generator uses Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) technology to capture waste heat and convert it to clean electricity. Hot water is the only fuel consumed by the Power+. The waste heat is used to produce a high pressure vapor that expands through ElectraTherm’s twin screw power block, spinning an electric generator to produce fuel-free, emission-free power to be consumed on site or exported to the grid. After turning the expander, the vapor is condensed back into liquid through a liquid loop radiator. The Power+ produces power from an unutilized resource, increases site efficiency and can also reduce site cooling loads.
“Developing energy-efficient solutions is one of our main goals – and the waste heat to power market offers tremendous potential”, says Peter Narreau, President of BITZER North America. “ElectraTherm’s ORC technology enables us to make better use of the abundant, and untapped resource of waste heat. This builds on BITZER’s commitment of responsible climate protection. There are clear synergies in our markets and technologies, and we are eager to combine our efforts to further grow our respective markets.”
“With BITZER’s expertise in refrigeration and compressor technology, ElectraTherm is a natural fit,” says John Fox, ElectraTherm’s Managing Director. “We see a powerful opportunity to grow our position as the leader in waste heat to power with our best-in-class product and team by leveraging BITZER’s excellent reputation and global presence.”
ElectraTherm was established in 2005 and leads the industry in low temperature distributed waste heat recovery. A list of reference sites is currently available on the website.
The BITZER Group is the world’s largest independent manufacturer of refrigeration compressors. With its distributors and manufacturing sites for reciprocating, screw and scroll compressors as well as pressure vessels, BITZER is represented all over the globe. In 2015, 3,400 employees generated sales of €686 million. BITZER US, Inc. is a member of the BITZER Group of 45 companies since 1989. It is located in Flowery Branch, Georgia. More information:
ElectraTherm focuses on waste heat to power and is headquartered in the USA. The company generates fuel-free, emission-free power from low temperature waste heat using the Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) and patented technology. More information:
Trump’s EPA Transition Head Says U.S. Withdrawal from Paris Climate Agreement Likely
Myron Ebell, who led President Trump’s EPA transition process, said that he expects Trump to fulfill his campaign promise to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement. While speaking at a climate skeptic conference in London, Ebell asserted that President Trump believes climate change is “not a crisis and does not require drastic and immediate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.” This statement comes after Trump had slightly moderated his public position on climate science, as he said he now believes there is “some connectivity” between human activity and a changing climate. Despite this statement, many of Trump’s cabinet choices are climate skeptics. However, newly appointed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has acknowledged that “it’s important that the U.S. maintains its seat at the table about how to address the threat of climate change, which does require a global response.” When asked about Tillerson’s statement, Ebell responded, “If Rex Tillerson disagrees with the president, who’s going to win that debate? The president was elected and Rex Tillerson wasn’t.”
Release: BBA publishes the Geothermal Transparency Guide
The Icelandic law firm BBA has published a handbook called the Geothermal Transparency Guide. The publication is intended to provide an overview of the legal and regulatory framework governing exploration, exploitation and production of electricity from geothermal resources. Featured in the handbook are 16 countries where geothermal resources are being harnessed or are available for harnessing.
BBA partnered up with the following law firms for the purposes of describing the legal framework in each country: DLA Piper (Canada), Carey (Chile), Teshome Gabre-Mariam Bokan law office (Ethiopia), Allen & Overy (France), CMS Hasche Sigle (Germany), Hiswara Bunjamin & Tandung, in association with Herbert Smith Freehills (Indonesia), Bonelli Erede (Italy), Latham & Watkins (Japan), Anjarwalla & Khanna (Kenya), Hogan Lovells (Mexico), Russel McVeagh (New Zealand), SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan (Philippines), Bezen and Partners (Turkey), Van Ness Feldman (USA) and Baker & McKenzie (Vietnam).
The aim of the publication is to provide a useful insight into certain aspects of the applicable rules governing geothermal energy in these countries. Such insight can be of importance for the purposes of increasing transparency and awareness of some of the rights and obligations governing applications for licenses to explore, exploit or produce electricity from geothermal resources.
“We are of the opinion that the geothermal industry needs increased transparency and possibly certain standardization as concerns the regulatory framework for exploration, exploitation and production. The fact is that one of the main hindrances for progress in the sector and increase of installed capacity has proven to be the opacity of the regulatory framework resulting in the reluctance of both public and private parties to move forward with projects. We envisage that certain industry standards or guidelines could facilitate a movement in this regard. The Geothermal Transparency Guide is a necessary first step to be taken towards such goal,” says Baldvin Bjorn Haraldsson, Partner at BBA”
The Geothermal Transparency Guide was prepared during the course of the year 2016 and reflects the regulatory framework at the time. The handbook is free of charge and available on BBA´s website as well as in hard copy upon request. Any requests for further information on the publication can be directed to Harpa Petursdottir, editor of the publication, by email at
Senate Energy Committee Approves Nominees for Energy, Interior Secretary
Full Senate vote possible next week
Also Ratifies Subcommittee Rosters for the 115th Congress
Release: WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources today held a business meeting to approve President Trump’s nominees to be Secretary of the Interior, Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.), and Secretary of Energy, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
Rep. Zinke was reported favorably by a vote of 16 – 6, and Gov. Perry was reported favorably by a vote of 16 – 7. Chairman Murkowski supported both nominations, which now head to the Senate floor for confirmation.
“I look forward to partnering with Congressman Zinke and Gov. Perry, who will lead departments that contribute significantly to our nation’s economic prosperity and national security,” Murkowski said. “I am eager to work with Congressman Zinke to restore balance and trust to the management of our public lands, and with Gov. Perry to address high energy costs in rural Alaska, among other challenges. Given the bipartisan support that both nominees received today, I am hopeful that their nominations will be taken up and confirmed quickly by the full Senate.”
Informed sources in the Senate indicate that votes on the Zinke and Perry nominations could occur next week.
TENDER NOTICE: Provision of Pre-feasibility study for Establishment of Industrial park near the Menengai Geothermal Fields.
Type: Tender ( RFP ) Closing On: Fri, Feb 24, 2017 14:00
Ref No : GDC/RFP/DU/037/2016-2017 Category : Professional Services , Research and Study
The Geothermal Development Company Limited (GDC) invites sealed tenders from eligible candidates for the following:
TENDER NO.: GDC/RFP/DU/037/2016-2017
TENDER DESCRIPTION.: RFP for Provision of Pre-feasibility study for Establishment of Industrial park near the Menengai Geothermal Fields.
CLOSING DATE.: 24/2/17 at 2:00PM (1400HRS)
TENDER SECURITY.:  Kshs, 100,000
Interested eligible bidders may obtain further information and inspect the tender document from the office of Manager, Supply Chain at Kawi House, South C off Mombasa Road, Red Cross Road between 9.00am and 4.00pm during week days.
A complete set of the tender document may be obtained by interested firms upon payment of a non-refundable fee of Kshs.1000 payable to our accounts office in cash or by banker’s cheque. The documents can also be viewed and downloaded from the website or free of charge. Bidders who download the tender document from the website MUST forward their particulars immediately to for records and any further tender clarifications and addenda.
The completed tenders in plain sealed envelopes clearly marked with Tender No. and Tender reference name; shall be addressed to:
Managing Director & CEO,
Geothermal Development Company,
P.O Box 100746-00101
and deposited in the tender box at Ground Floor GDC office Kawi House, South C Off Mombasa Road, Red Cross Road on or before the dates specified above.
Tenders will be opened immediately thereafter in the presence of the tenderers’ or their representatives who choose to attend at Kawi House, South C GDC Board Room Ground Floor.
Late tenders will not be accepted.
GDDF Latin America EOI Deadline Reminder
A reminder from the GDF that Expressions of Interest (EOI) will be accepted until February 28th
The GDF reminds all interested applicants for geothermal development grants for projects located in:
 Central America
Costa Rica
El Salvador
South America
The EOI application stage will be open until February 28, 2017. If you have not yet registered, you can complete your Pre-EOI here:
Phone: +1(716) 566-2741 (EE.UU. VOIP – Office located in Colombia)
Both English and Spanish speakers are welcome!
Japanese lenders ink Indonesian geothermal deal
Switzerland has just announced the likely most attractive feed-in-tariffs for geothermal power produced of up to $0.479/ kWh.
President Carter: Renewable energy can help Trump create jobs
Published February 08, 2017
PLAINS, Ga. –  Former President Jimmy Carter said Wednesday millions of jobs could be created in the United States if President Donald Trump embraced renewable energy sources such as geothermal, solar and wind power.
Former GOP Cabinet Members Pitch Carbon Tax to White House
2/8/17 2:26 PM
A group of Republican former Cabinet members hope to persuade the Trump administration to act on climate change with a proposal to impose a carbon tax and dividend system.
Firm Believes It Can Tap the Potential of Geothermal Energy:
Minneapolis Star Tribune, by Mike Hughlett, February 5, 2017
OECS supports geothermal energy exploration [Eastern Caribbean]

World Bank to give Indonesia $55m to develop geothermal energy

Geothermal Is Good For America, GEA Tells President-elect Trump, DOI, DOE, Congress, White House Updates, and more!

In this post:

Leading Stories, Releases, Solicitations

  • Geothermal Is Good for America, GEA Tells President-elect Trump
  • Two-thirds of Americans give priority to developing alternative energy over fossil fuels
  • Department of Interior Nominee Breaks With Trump, Says Climate Change Is Not a “Hoax”
  • DOE Nominee Confirmation Hearing Goes Forward While Rumors of Major Budget Cuts Loom
  • Congress Tees Up Regulatory Reform
  • White House Posts Energy Policy Statement
  • References to Climate Change Scrubbed From White House Website Within Hours of Trump Taking Office
  • EPA Nominee Scott Pruitt Faces Intense Scrutiny Over His Climate and Environmental Record
  • Renewable Tax Credit Outlook
  • Consortium wins tender on 110 MW Simbolon Samosir geothermal project, North Sumatra
  • S. Geothermal Inc. Provides Year-End Operating Plants Update, Confirms 2016 Guidance and Provides 2017 Guidance
  • AboitizPower project bond deal bags international awards
  • 6th Wave Innovations Corp. and TriLateral Energy Form Geolithic Corp., a Geothermal Minerals Extraction Nanotechnology Joint Venture
  • Global Average Temperature Sets Record High for Third Consecutive Year
  • California issues proposed plan to achieve groundbreaking 2030 climate goals
  • More than 37 Million Plug-in Electric Vehicles Expected to Be in Use in 2025
  • Energy-Related U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions Forecast to Rise in 2017 and 2018
  • IRENA/GGA Issue Global Transparency Guide
  • GEA Co-Sponsored Workshop: Mexican Geothermal Opportunities, San Diego – April 4, 2017
  • Announcing Speakers: GEA International Geothermal Forum Washington, DC- March 7, 2017
  • 2017 GEA GeoExpo+ (in conjunction with the GRC Annual Meeting)

US Headlines

International Headlines


Leading Stories:

Geothermal Is Good for America, GEA Tells President-elect Trump

Washington, DC (January 18, 2017) – Leading companies in the U.S. geothermal industry have told President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team that “Geothermal is Good for America.”

In a brief paper outlining the state of the geothermal industry and technology, the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA), the industry’s trade group, said “Geothermal delivers a triple bottom line to our energy system: It is an abundant domestic energy source, it brings economic benefits in the form of taxes and long term high-paying jobs, and it has one of the lowest Levelized Costs of Energy (LCOE) of all power sources in the United States.”

“We hope the new Administration will recognize the benefits of geothermal energy,” said Karl Gawell, the Geothermal Energy Association’s Executive Director.   “Their leadership in addressing some of the daunting obstacles facing geothermal development could mean positive change for the industry.”

The industry group paper spells out other benefits of geothermal including support for a reliable, modern power grid.  “Known to be a baseload generation technology, advancements in geothermal production make it possible to provide ancillary and on-demand services, such as load-following or energy imbalance services, spinning reserves, non-spinning reserves, and replacement or supplemental reserves. This helps load serving entities avoid additional costs from purchasing and then balancing intermittent resources with storage or new transmission.”

GEA also points to producing strategic minerals from geothermal resources as another new advantage.  “Exciting opportunities in extracting minerals from geothermal brines could bring the U.S. new sources of lithium, zinc, manganese, potash and rare earth minerals, now dominated by China,” according to GEA.

The industry paper tells the President-elect that they are facing daunting impediments to development. “The US is the world leader in utility-scale geothermal production.  Unfortunately that lead has been slipping as asymmetrical market-subsidies undercut new US geothermal development, federal regulation created duplicative hurdles to development, and investment in new technology development by the US has lagged,” GEA reports.

“There are over 30 Gigawatts of geothermal capacity in the U.S. with 83 active projects (over 1,250 MW) stuck in development limbo,” GEA points out.  To move geothermal forward, the trade group calls for risk reduction in drilling and exploration, certainty and parity in tax incentives, and streamlined permitting on public lands.

A full copy of “Geothermal is Good for America” is available at:


Two-thirds of Americans give priority to developing alternative energy over fossil fuels

President Donald Trump is promising major changes on climate and energy policy, including efforts to increase production from fossil fuel energy sources such as coal. But a new Pew Research Center survey finds that 65% of Americans give priority to developing alternative energy sources, compared with 27% who would emphasize expanded production of fossil fuel sources.

Support for concentrating on alternative energy is up slightly since December 2014. At that time, 60% said developing alternative energy sources was the more important priority.

To read more, go to:


Department of Interior Nominee Breaks With Trump, Says Climate Change Is Not a “Hoax”

Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT), the nominee to lead the U.S. Department of Interior, states he does not find climate change to be a “hoax,” breaking with President Trump. During the January 17 hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Zinke said, “The climate is changing. Man is an influence. I think where there’s debate on it is what that influence is [and] what can we do about it.” Zinke also stated that U.S. Geological Survey has “great scientists,” adding, “I am not a climate scientist expert, but I can tell you I will become a lot more familiar with it and it will be based on objective science.” Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) rebuffed Zinke’s characterization, saying, “That to me is a cop-out – I’m not a doctor but I have to make healthcare decisions.” Environmentalists have widely disapproved of Zinke’s record on climate issues. However, he has received approval from sportsmen and conservationists for opposing a Republican plan that would hand over millions of acres of federal public lands to the states. The plan saw resistance in the western United States over concerns about public lands access. Zinke declared he is “absolutely against [the] transfer or sale of public land.”

Source: EESI,


DOE Nominee Confirmation Hearing Goes Forward While Rumors of Major Budget Cuts Loom


DOE Secretary Nominee Richard Perry began his confirmation hearing by apologizing for having once proposed eliminating DOE.  But rumors of a transition team budget being prepared that would propose major cuts to the agency, kept the issue alive at his hearing.  Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) asked Perry about whether he valued the geothermal innovation work being promoted by DOE, he said geothermal was part of his all of the above approach, though noted they might differ on what was adequate.  The Senator also raised the importance of the DOE FORGE program.

According to The Hill, transition team members at the White House were preparing big budget cuts. The changes they propose are dramatic. The departments of Commerce and Energy would see major programs under their jurisdiction either being eliminated or transferred to other agencies. The departments of Transportation, Justice and State would see significant cuts and program eliminations. At the Department of Energy, the draft budget would reportedly eliminate the Office of Electricity and eliminate the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (which includes geothermal research).

Meanwhile at Secretary Perry’s Senate Confirmation Hearing, he promised to defend DOE science programs from severe budget cuts, “I’m going to protect all of the science, whether it’s related to the climate or to the other aspects of what we’re going to be doing,” he testified.  He also praised some of DOE’s r&d efforts and the work of the national laboratories.

and EESI,


Congress Tees Up Regulatory Reform

In the first weeks of the 115th Congress, seeking to fulfill campaign promises made by both Congressional Leaders and President-Elect Trump, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a set of bills that would significantly alter the process by which regulations are reviewed by Congress and the courts. Two bills are likely to form the basis for any regulatory reform efforts in Congress this session: H.R. 26, the “Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act” and H.R. 5, the “Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017.”

For more information on H.R. 26, go to:

For more information on H.R. 5, go to:


White House Posts Energy Policy Statement

The White House posted a statement of its energy policy on their website. 

It begins:

“An America First Energy Plan

“Energy is an essential part of American life and a staple of the world economy. The Trump Administration is committed to energy policies that lower costs for hardworking Americans and maximize the use of American resources, freeing us from dependence on foreign oil.”

Read more at:


References to Climate Change Scrubbed From White House Website Within Hours of Trump Taking Office

Shortly after President Trump took the oath of office, the White House energy and climate change webpage went dark. The page (which now leads to a broken link) was replaced by the Trump administration’s energy platform titled, “An America First Energy Plan.” The plan states the administration will eliminate “harmful and unnecessary policies,” citing President Obama’s Climate Action Plan. The page also states that the Trump administration would pursue “clean coal technology,” “refocus the EPA,” and “[free the country] from dependence on foreign oil.” The new official White House page goes on to claim “revenues from energy production [would rebuild] roads, schools, bridges and public infrastructure.” The page makes no mention of renewable energy, climate change, or energy research.

Source: EESI,


EPA Nominee Scott Pruitt Faces Intense Scrutiny Over His Climate and Environmental Record

On January 18, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) nominee Scott Pruitt faced questioning before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Democratic members pressed Pruitt repeatedly over conflicts of interest with the fossil fuel industry arising during his term as Oklahoma attorney general. Pruitt would not commit to recuse himself from regulatory decisions pertaining to the many active lawsuits he has filed against EPA. When faced with incredulity from committee members, Pruitt responded he would simply follow the advice of the agency’s ethics counsel. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) requested Pruitt’s position on climate change, leading Pruitt to respond that his “personal opinion is immaterial.” After facing criticism from Sanders, Pruitt added, “I believe that the [EPA] administrator has a very important role to perform in regulating CO2.” Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) questioned Pruitt’s dedication to preserving public health, citing the contrast between Pruitt’s rigorous defense of the fossil fuel industry as attorney general, but a lack of action on behalf of children in Oklahoma vulnerable to air pollution.

Source: EESI,


Renewable Tax Credit Outlook

After President Obama was sworn into office, the renewable energy industry saw a boom in temporary tax incentives with the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009. Almost 8 years later, the fate of renewable energy tax incentives under the Trump administration is uncertain.  Trump’s transition team, his advisors, and President-Elect Trump have given mixed signals on their views on tax incentives for renewable energy. While some advisors have indicated that the credits will remain in place, others have called for a full repeal. Trump himself has reportedly called subsidies for renewable energy “a disaster,” while in other instances, he has included wind and solar in his “all-of-the-above” approach to energy production.  He even went as far as to say that he was “okay” with the production tax credit for wind, but that was at a campaign stop in Iowa and thus may or may not provide meaningful information as to the future of renewable energy tax policy.

During his Confirmation Hearing Treasury Secretary Nominee Steven Mnuchin expressed agreement with Senator Grassley that the multi-year phase out of the wind PTC was a done deal.   Whether other technologies, like geothermal, will become part of the phase out is unknown.

The Congress is expected to take up tax reform as a priority item.  Most anticipate that details of the proposal will be kept secret till the last moment, perhaps surfacing when House Ways and Means Committee Chair Brady releases a “Chairman’s Mark” shortly before votes would begin in Committee. [GEA additions].


Consortium wins tender on 110 MW Simbolon Samosir geothermal project, North Sumatra

A consortium of Optima Nusantara Energi and Ormat has passed the first phase of a tender to develop the 110 MW geothermal project at Simbolon Samosir in North Sumatra.


U.S. Geothermal Inc. Provides Year-End Operating Plants Update, Confirms 2016 Guidance and Provides 2017 Guidance

BOISE, IDAHO–(Marketwired – Jan 23, 2017) –

Strong Fourth Quarter Returns 2016 Generation to Planned Level

Year End Generation Provided and 2016 Guidance Confirmed

2017 Guidance Reflects Continued Solid Performance from Operating Plants

U.S. Geothermal Inc. (the “Company”) (NYSE MKT:HTM), a leading and profitable renewable energy company focused on the development, production and sale of electricity from geothermal energy, is pleased to confirm its previous guidance for 2016 and provide guidance for the full year 2017. Audited financial statements and Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016 are anticipated to be released in mid-March.

“We are very pleased with the exceptionally strong performance from all of our power plants during the fourth quarter and our overall operational execution in 2016, despite some setbacks earlier in the year”, said Dennis Gilles, Chief Executive Officer. “We continue to maintain the focus on our goal to add approximately 135 megawatts by 2021 through the continued development of our existing projects, advancements of our near-term development projects and growth through several acquisition opportunities.”

Read more at:


AboitizPower project bond deal bags international awards

The project bond issued for the Tiwi-MakBan (Makiling-Banahaw) Geothermal Energy Project of AboitizPower bagged the 2016 Bond Deal of the Year of the prestigious Project Finance International magazine of Thomson Reuters.
The awarding ceremony will be held on Feb. 1, 2017 at the Hilton, Park Lane in London.
The project bond has also been touted as one of the best in Asia, getting the Best Renewable Deal of the Year by Alpha Southeast Asia, to be awarded on Jan 25, 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The P12.5-billion local currency, multi-tranche bond issuance, backed by the Asian Development Bank, was the first green bond issuance in Asia and the Pacific.
AboitizPower through its subsidiary AP Renewables, Inc. (APRI), used the issuance to finance the rehabilitation of the Tiwi-MakBan geothermal power facilities, which it bought from the government in 2009 and to partially fund its operating expenditures and future capital investments.
The two power plants, located in Batangas and Laguna (MakBan) as well as in Tiwi, Albay combine for 390 MW of clean renewable power for the Luzon grid.
“This award proves we are on the right path, both in our efforts to find power generation technologies that support global commitments to address climate change and in our intention to find innovative and viable financing options to support our plans,” AboitizPower President and Chief Operating Officer Antonio R. Moraza said.
“It has always been our goal to provide ample, reliable and reasonably priced power through a balanced mix of generation assets so we can support the energy needs of the Philippines,” Moraza added.
The climate bond for Tiwi-MakBan was certified by the Climate Bonds Initiative and is considered the first in Asia and the Pacific.
AboitizPower has one of the widest portfolios of energy sources in the country. Thirty-nine percent of its 3,350 MW sellable capacity comes from its renewable power plants – geothermal, large hydro, run-of-river hydro and solar power plants.
The company also operates a number of coal power plants for baseload capacity and oil-fired power plants for reliable peaking supply.


6th Wave Innovations Corp. and TriLateral Energy Form Geolithic Corp., a Geothermal Minerals Extraction Nanotechnology Joint Venture

PR Newswire January 25, 2017

BOCA RATON, Fla. and SALT LAKE CITY, Jan. 25, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — 6th Wave Innovations Corp. (a nanotechnology company that develops proprietary molecularly imprinted polymers for minerals extraction in mining applications) has teamed up with TriLateral Energy, LLC, (an independent energy developer with extensive geothermal operations and construction experience) to form Geolithic Corp., a joint venture for the extraction of lithium and other minerals from geothermal brine.

6th Wave has already commenced laboratory testing of the proprietary lithium extraction technology, which could significantly reduce the cost of producing lithium and other minerals compared to traditional mining and other mineral extraction techniques. Such minerals are naturally present in the brine utilized by many existing geothermal power plants in the U.S. and worldwide.

Geolithic Corp. plans to construct a pilot project extraction plant at one or more U.S. geothermal energy facilities, with a design that will seamlessly integrate with the facility’s existing brine handling facilities to extract the lithium and other minerals prior to reinjection of the brine into the geothermal reservoir.

Under the Joint Venture agreement, 6th Wave will retain all rights to its proprietary molecularly imprinted polymer nanotechnology but will provide an exclusive license to Geolithic Corp. for geothermal minerals extraction.

Dr. Jonathan Gluckman, CEO of 6th Wave said, “We are pleased at the opportunity to work closely with Trilateral Energy, which has decades of geothermal power plant construction and operations experience and extensive contacts in the industry. I am confident this joint venture will establish proof of concept with a pilot lithium extraction plant in the United States.”

Don O’Shei, CEO of TriLateral Energy, stated, “I was an early investor in 6th Wave and believe that the application of this groundbreaking  extraction technology to geothermal brine has the potential to significantly lower lithium and other  mineral production costs. TriLateral will manage the commercial aspects of the joint venture and 6th Wave will manage the technical aspects as we move forward to combine our skill sets to construct the first pilot plant at an existing geothermal facility.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION, contact Dr. Jonathan Gluckman at, or Donald O’Shei at

For more information about 6th Wave Innovations Corp., visit and for more information about TriLateral Energy, LLC, visit

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:


Global Average Temperature Sets Record High for Third Consecutive Year

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) annual report confirms that 2016 was the warmest year on record for the planet. Global land and water surface temperatures were both well above their historical averages, marking the third consecutive year where global average temperatures increased. This global temperature record has been surpassed five times since the year 2000, in 2005, 2010, 2014, 2015, and 2016. Globally-averaged land surface temperatures were 2.57 degrees Fahrenheit (1.43 degrees Celsius) above the 20th century average, breaking the previous record high set in 2015. No land areas in any part of the world were found to be cooler than average in 2016. Globally-averaged sea surface temperatures were 1.35 degrees Fahrenheit (0.75 degrees Celsius) above the 20thcentury average, ranking as the highest ever since records began in 1880. In addition, annual snow cover extent for the Northern Hemisphere was 100,000 square miles less than the average spanning 1981-2010.

Source: EESI,


California issues proposed plan to achieve groundbreaking 2030 climate goals

Plan builds on existing programs, continues cap-and-trade, and introduces approach to cut GHG emissions at refineries

SACRAMENTO – California’s groundbreaking effort to fight climate change took another big step forward today as the California Air Resources Board released the proposed plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 – the most ambitious target in North America. The plan builds on the state’s successful efforts to reduce emissions and outlines the most effective ways to reach the 2030 goal, including continuing California’s Cap-and-Trade Program.  

Achieving the 2030 target under the proposed plan will continue to build on investments in clean energy and set the California economy on a trajectory to achieving an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This is consistent with the scientific consensus of the scale of emission reductions needed to stabilize atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations at 450 parts per million carbon dioxide equivalent, and reduce the likelihood of catastrophic climate change. 

“Climate change is impacting California now, and we need to continue to take bold and effective action to address it head on to protect and improve the quality of life in California,” said CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols. “The plan will help us meet both our climate and our clean air goals in the coming decades and provide billions of dollars in investments to cut greenhouse gases, smog and toxic pollution in disadvantaged communities throughout the state. It is also designed to continue to drive creative innovation, generating good new jobs in the growing clean technology sector.”For the past decade, California has been reducing emissions through a series of actions, innovative solutions and advances in technology. These include cleaner, more fuel-efficient cars and zero emission vehicles, low-carbon fuels, renewable energy, waste diversion from landfills, water conservation, improvements to energy efficiency in homes and businesses, and a Cap-and-Trade Program. The result is improved public health, a growing economy with more green jobs, and better clean energy choices for Californians.

Assembly Bill 32, signed in 2006, set California’s initial goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and directed CARB to develop a climate change scoping plan – to be updated every five years – detailing specific measures needed to reach the target. Today’s proposed plan, required by the Governor’s April 2015 Executive Order, updates the previous scoping plan to account for the new 2030 target codified in Senate Bill 32.

The proposed plan continues the Cap-and-Trade Program through 2030 and includes a new approach to reduce greenhouse gases from refineries by 20 percent. It incorporates approaches to cutting super pollutants from the Short Lived Climate Pollutants Strategy. And it acknowledges the need for reducing emissions in agriculture and highlights the work underway to ensure that California’s natural and working lands increasingly sequester carbon.

Achieving the 2030 goal will require contributions from all sectors of the economy and will include enhanced focus on zero- and near-zero emission vehicle technologies; continued investment in renewable energy, including solar and wind; greater use of low-carbon fuels; integrated land conservation and development strategies; coordinated efforts to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants, which include methane, black carbon and fluorinated gases; and an increased focus on integrated land-use planning to support livable, transit-connected communities. 

The proposed plan, which follows the release of a discussion draft in December, analyzes the potential economic impacts of different policy scenarios, including a carbon tax, and calculates the benefit to society of taking actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The plan also includes the estimated range of greenhouse gas, criteria pollutant and toxic pollutant emissions reductions of each measure.

The analysis in the plan finds that Cap-and-Trade is the lowest cost, most efficient policy approach and provides certainty that the state will meet the 2030 goals even if other measures fall short. The Cap-and-Trade Program funds the California Climate Investments program, which provides funds for community, local, regional and statewide projects aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions – with at least 35 percent of proceeds invested in disadvantaged and low-income communities.  To date, a total of $3.4 billion in cap-and-trade funds have been appropriated for the California Climate Investments program. 

The proposed plan was developed by CARB staff over the past 18 months working with multiple State agencies and departments. This effort was guided by legislation and reflects input from dozens of public workshops and community meetings, and input from CARB’s Environmental Justice Advisory Committee and many other stakeholders.

The first of three public hearings on the proposed plan will be held at the regularly scheduled Board meeting on January 27. The California Air Resources Board is slated to hold workshops in February and hear an update at the February 16 Board meeting.

The Final 2017 Scoping Plan Update will be released in late March and be considered for approval by the Board in late April.

The full text of “The 2017 Scoping Plan Update: The Proposed Plan for Achieving California’s 2030 Greenhouse Gas Target” is available at:

Stakeholders and the public are encouraged to submit comments by 5:00 PM PST on March 6, 2017.


More than 37 Million Plug-in Electric Vehicles Expected to Be in Use in 2025

According to a new report,” Market Data: Electric Vehicle Market Forecasts”, by 2025, more than 68 million light duty hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid EVs (PHEVs), and battery EVs (BEVs) are expected to be in use globally, with over half being plug-in vehicles. The market for light duty vehicles (LDV) is poised for change due to advances in battery energy density and cost, as well as coming innovations in connected and autonomous vehicle systems. Around 2025, fundamental technology and industry trends are expected to enable BEVs to be cost competitive against conventional vehicles without subsides, underlining the likelihood that LDVs will eventually be electric rather than any other alternative. According to the report, long-range BEVs appear positioned for success as prices become competitive with economy brands after subsidies.
Energy-Related U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions Forecast to Rise in 2017 and 2018

In its latest “Short-Term Energy Outlook,”the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that energy-related emissions of carbon dioxide decreased by 1.6% in 2016. However, emissions are forecast to increase by 1.6% in 2017 and by 0.8% in 2018. Specifically, while CO2 emissions from natural gas are projected to remain at the same level in 2016 and 2017 (1486 million metric tons (MMT)), they will rise to 1515 MMT in 2018. Those from oil use will rise steadily from 2313 MMT in 2016 to 2321 in 2017 and to 2349 in 2018.  Most significantly, coal will jump from 1362 MMT in 2016 to 1437 MMT and 1420 MMT respectively in 2017 and 2018. These forecasts are sensitive to assumptions about weather, economic growth, and fuel prices.


IRENA/GGA Issue Global Transparency Guide

IRENA and the Global Geothermal Alliance have published a Geothermal Transparency  Guide.  It is a handbook which is intended to provide an insight into the legal frameworks governing exploration, exploitation and production of electricity from geothermal resources, in countries where geothermal capacity is being harnessed or is available for harnessing.

You can download a copy at:


GEA Co-Sponsored Workshop: Mexican Geothermal Opportunities
April 4, 2017 (San Diego, CA)

The US Department of Energy will host a Mexican Geothermal Opportunities Workshop at the Institute of the Americas in La Jolla, California. Organized in partnership with the Geothermal Energy Association, US Department of Commerce, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and Institute of the Americas, the Workshop will convene representatives from the U.S. and Mexican governments with geothermal companies to better understand investment needs, barriers, and opportunities to help Mexico reach its ambitious goals for geothermal energy deployment. The workshop will focus on the outlook for the geothermal market in Mexico and recent changes in the regulatory and policy environment which have created an improved framework for US investment. All US companies interested in the geothermal sector are welcome to participate.
Event website:



Cost: $100


GEA International Geothermal Forum- Space Limited!
March 7, 2017 (Washington, DC)

In light of the latest developments, The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA)’s International Geothermal Forum is a recent spinoff from the traditional US & International Showcase. For one day, the Forum will gather roughly fifty (50) top energy, finance, policy, government, ministry, and engineering experts to provide in-depth discussion and insight into the future of the geothermal market in the US and abroad.

Topics to Discuss Include: Addressing GHG emissions in geothermal power plants; GDF LAC updates; Geothermal Developments in the US and Around the Globe (Regional Focus); IRENA and GGA; Geothermal Risk Mitigation in Mexico; Co-production from Oil and Gas Wells …And More!

Confirmed Speakers To-Date:
Ann Robertson-Tait
, Business Development Manager & Senior Geologist, GeothermEx
Mike Long, Senior Project Manager, POWER Engineers, Inc.
Josh Nordquist, Director of Business Development, Ormat Technologies, Inc.
Tim Williamson, Deputy Director- Alternative and Renewable Energy, US Department of State
Thrainn Fridriksson, Geothermal Energy Specialist, World Bank- ESMAP
Warren Dewhurst, Managing Member, Dewhurst Group LLC and GDF Fund Manager
Will Gosnold, Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor, Harold Hamm School of Geology and Geological Engineering
Maria Richards, SMU Geothermal Lab Coordinator, Roy M. Huffington Dept. Of Earth Sciences
Marc Murnaghan, CEO, Polaris Infrastructure
Magnus Gehringer, CEO, Consent Energy LLC
Enrique Nieto, Financial Markets Lead Specialist, Inter-American Development Bank
Karl Gawell, Executive Director, Geothermal Energy Association (GEA)
Andrew Palmateer, Program Director, United States Energy Association- East Africa Geothermal Partnership (USEA-EAGP)
Cora Dickson, Senior International Trade Specialist, US Department of Commerce
Jeffrey Humber, Senior Energy Advisor, USAID Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs (OAPA)
TBA, US Department of Energy- Geothermal Technologies Office
Event website:


Contact:, +1 (202) 454-5261

Cost: $25 for GEA Members/ $75 for Non-Members (pre-registration required; space is LIMITED)



2017 GEA GeoExpo+ (in conjunction with the GRC Annual Meeting)
October 1-4 (Salt Lake City, UT)

The 2017 GEA GeoExpo+ is shaping up to be another major international geothermal industry and community event.  Over 40 exhibitors have signed up to exhibit at this year’s 2017 GEA GeoExpo+ in just three weeks of opening up registration. Spots are first come first served so snag your top pick today!

Steps for Booth Space Registration
1). Review Contract
2). Email with top 3 booth choices (floor plan with available spots can be found at:
3). Receive a confirmation and invoice within 24hr of booth space

Event Contact:
+1 (202) 454-5261


US Headlines

Four West Coast Cities Unite to Seek ‘Record Breaking’ Electric Fleet

US firm hopes to be first utilizing CO2 as working fluid for geothermal power generation

U.S. reports decrease in employment in the geothermal power sector 2015-2016

The immediate threat to California’s climate-change fight isn’t Trump, it’s this [California Chamber of Commerce Lawsuit]

Valles Caldera could join ‘elite club’ of geothermal national parks

The Economic Benefits of a Typical 30-MW Geothermal Plant During Its 30-Year Lifecycle

California Utilities Want $1 Billion to Promote Electric Cars

Australian firm plans nation’s largest geothermal plant in Imperial Valley

Geothermal providing system flexibility for America’s Energy System and Economy


Reducing risk, easier permitting and tax parity – crucial for geothermal in U.S.


Golden Haven Spa [California] looks to purchase geothermal heat exchanger and reinjection well

Why Would A Geothermal Company Buy A Demand Response and Storage Company?


International Headlines

Pertamina to become Ciremai Block Operator

Geothermal cooling, cycle paths and jobs: what does it take to get six green stars?

Investors ask for further incentives for geothermal development in Turkey

Poland to invest up to $120m in geothermal in efforts to clean up air,939,nfosigw-wydaje-miliardy-na-walke-ze-smogiem.html

Now, oil-rich Saudi Arabia eyes geothermal energy too

ADB backing clean energy investments in Shaanxi, China with potential benefits to geothermal

New guide providing extensive overview on geothermal legislation worldwide

Deep Geothermal ETIP invites expressions of interest on Steering Committee membership

Expert highlights BD’s potential in geothermal energy [Bangladesh]

Iceland is drilling the world’s deepest geothermal well

Utilizing geothermal resources to the fullest potential – the Geothermal Resource Park, Iceland

International funding could help Bangladesh to explore geothermal potential’s-potential-in-geothermal-energy

Bordeaux, France, Plans $46M Geothermal Heating Facility

Hungarian geothermal heat and power plant expected to start operation in May 2017


Inside Trump’s Energy Plans

In this post:
Trump Insider: New Energy Picks
U.S. DOE Funding Opportunity: Deep Direct Use Feasibility Studies
They May Save Us Yet: Scientists Found a Way to Turn Our Carbon Emissions Into Rock
What Energy Storage Policy Could Look Like Under President Trump
Drilling Technology Key to Successful Drilling for Geothermal Heating Project in Northern Europe

Leading News

Thomas Pyle and the American Energy Alliance just made a splash in the Trump transition team: Pyle was appointed to the Energy Department transition operation as its head. Pyle’s, a leading anti-renewables leader, pick is balanced out by possible Energy Secretary Harold Hamm of Continental Resources, who is not renewables-averse and in fact, Continental Resources was awarded an award for geothermal excellence last year thanks to their ORC geothermal demo at Continental Resources oil sites in North Dakota. The energy community and world at large will have to wait and see how President-elect Trump approaches renewable technologies, which could easily fit into his vision of American energy independence and job creation.

President-elect Donald Trump’s energy and environmental transition staff has been drastically reshaped.

The transition team announced today that Thomas Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance, will be taking over as head of the Energy Department transition operation.
Doug Domenech, former Virginia secretary of natural resources and a George W. Bush administration Interior Department staffer, will lead Interior’s transition operation.

The Trump team said Myron Ebell, a well-known climate skeptic and the head of the U.S. EPA transition operation, continues to lead that agency’s team.

Several top transition team members have departed as others have taken their slots on teams overseeing energy policies and on the so-called landing teams expected to arrive this week in DOE, the Interior Department and other agencies. The shake-ups come after the Trump team announced a crackdown on registered lobbyists last week and amid a broader staffing overhaul made when Vice President-elect Mike Pence replaced New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as head of the transition team.

The landing teams are expected to interview current agency officials about ongoing policies and make recommendations for the incoming administration about how to reverse current policies and advance its own agenda following Trump’s inauguration.

Pyle is taking over for Mike McKenna, an energy lobbyist and president of MWR Strategies, who left his post last week as head of the DOE landing team (Greenwire, Nov. 18).

Pyle isn’t currently a registered lobbyist but has lobbied in the past for Koch Industries, the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association (now called American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers), and other groups. He worked on Capitol Hill for former House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Texas), as staff director for the House Western Caucus and as a legislative aide to former California Republican Rep. Richard Pombo.

Domenech has taken over the lead on the Interior team, which was previously headed by another former Bush Interior official, David Bernhardt.I

t’s unclear whether Bernhardt is still involved in the operation. He dropped a lobbying client Friday – a signal that he planned to continue working with the transition. Bernhardt did not respond to a request for comment (E&ENews PM, Nov. 18).

Domenech is director of the Fueling Freedom Project of the Texas Public Policy Foundation. The project’s stated mission is to “explain the forgotten moral case for fossil fuels.

“Domenech was previously secretary of natural resources in Virginia under then-Gov. Bob McDonnell (R). During the Bush administration, he served at Interior as deputy chief of staff and White House liaison.

At least one of Trump’s energy policy aides has left the transition team.

Mike Catanzaro, a lobbyist at CGCN who had been working on energy policy for the transition, stepped down late last week.

“Mike felt like his time on the Trump transition had run its course and came to the decision that it was time to focus on his work at CGCN Group. While he was honored to serve on the transition team, he never harbored any hope or intention of joining the Trump administration,” a source familiar with Catanzaro’s thinking said.

Rebecca Rosen, vice president of policy and government affairs at Oklahoma-based oil and gas company Devon Energy Corp., was said to be working on energy policy with Catanzaro. Devon reported Friday that Rosen would no longer be lobbying for the company, according to public disclosures, a possible signal that she intends to continue to work for the transition.

The names of additional members of Trump transition landing teams are expected to be announced this week.


U.S. DOE Funding Opportunity: Deep Direct Use Feasibility Studies

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office has published this funding opportunity for geothermal deep direct use feasbility studies.
This Funding Opportunity Announcement is soliciting applications that propose projects conducting feasibility studies of large-scale, low-temperature deep-well geothermal systems coupled with advanced direct-use applications and cascaded surface technologies whose applications will extend the reach of geothermal into geologically distinct parts of the country beyond the western U.S. These systems are referred to herein as deep direct-use or DDU.
The funding will be a total of up to $4 million, subject to congressional approval (see note here).

This FOA will solicit applications that propose projects supporting DDU feasibility studies in two Topic Areas:
Topic Area 1 “DDU Feasibility Studies” will focus on the initial site selection, resource assessment, and feasibility study of DDU technology(s).
Topic Area 2 “DDU Community of Practice Administration and Techno-Economic Validation of DDU Projects” seeks to convene and establish a DDU Community of Practice (COP).
Please note the “Submission Deadlines” below. The EERE Exchange system is designed to enforce hard deadlines for Concept Paper and Full Application submissions. The APPLY and SUBMIT buttons automatically disable at the defined submission deadlines. The intention of this design is to consistently enforce a standard deadline for all applicants.

The complete Funding Opportunity Announcement can be accessed under the “Documents” heading below.

FOA FAQs for this Funding Opportunity Announcement can be accessed under the “Documents” heading below.

An informational webinar will be held for this FOA on Tuesday, November 22, 2016 at 10:00 AM MST. Please register to attend this webinar at the following link:

Contact information – For the submission of questions related to the EERE Exchange website. – For the submission of questions related to this specific Funding Opportunity Announcement.
Submission deadlines
Concept Paper Submission Deadline: 12/15/2016 5:00 PM ET
Full Application Submission Deadline: 2/22/2017 5:00 PM ET

They May Save Us Yet: Scientists Found a Way to Turn Our Carbon Emissions Into Rock

Earlier this year, a project in Iceland reported an apparent breakthrough in the safe underground storage of the principal greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide – an option likely to be necessary if we’re to solve our global warming problem.

The Carbfix project, run by a leading Icelandic producer of geothermal power, Reykjavik Energy, announced that it had successfully injected 250 tons of carbon dioxide, dissolved in water, into an underground repository of volcanic rocks called basalts – and that the carbon dioxide hadn’t just stayed there. No – it was way better than that. Instead the carbon dioxide had apparently become one with the basalt, undergoing a fast chemical reaction and forming a type of rock called a carbonate in two years’ time.

That’s a big deal because it means the gas would not escape back to the atmosphere again even if the underground repository were somehow compromised. And now, a group of American researchers has taken the science even farther, once again suggesting that storing carbon dioxide stripped from industrial processes, or sucked from the atmosphere, in basalt rocks may be a key part of the solution to climate change.

Peter McGrail of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, a branch of the Department of Energy, and his colleagues were also working on storing carbon dioxide in basalts, based upon small scale laboratory experiments showing the gas does bind with the rock. And they, like the Carbfix project, were ready to scale up and perform an actual injection, in this case 1253 meters deep into basalts from the Columbia River region of Washington State.

In their results reported Friday in the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters, they go beyond the Carbfix project in several key ways, McGrail said. First, they injected carbon dioxide in its fluid, supercritical form, which is most likely to be how it is received and transported from industrial projects. And second, after two years had passed, they took core samples of the rocks, using a battery of tests to prove definitively that the CO2 had indeed turned into a carbonate rock called ankerite, comprised of calcium, carbon, oxygen, iron, magnesium, and manganese.

This was a key demonstration because there are some carbonates that occur naturally in basalts, and so it was important to distinguish the new rock from what had already been there.
“We’d seen these things in the lab, but the field is often a case where your best laid plans and ideas from lab experiments fall apart, and just don’t work out,” said McGrail. “And the fact now that we’ve seen this after just two years with the exact really same things that we’ve seen in the laboratory, it’s a really significant result for us.”

In effect, what the researchers in both Iceland and Washington State were accomplishing was a high speed version of the geological process known as “weathering,” in which carbon dioxide very slowly becomes locked away in rock layers.

Perhaps the most impressive part of the study was the researchers’ ability to analyze the very carbon itself inside the rock samples that they recovered two years after injection. Here, they looked at the ratio of two “isotopes,” or slight variants, of carbon to one another. This way, they were able to show that the rock contained a higher ratio of the slightly lighter carbon 12, as opposed to the somewhat heavier carbon 13, thus showing a signature that matched up with the fossil fuel-based carbon dioxide that had originally been pumped into the earth.
“There is no other possible explanation,” said McGrail. “The only way that those carbonates had formed, it had to come from the CO2 that we injected.”

McGrail says that after this successful field test, the next step for the research will now be to scale up and start injecting even larger quantities of carbon dioxide into basalts, in volumes more representative of an industrial scale operation.

The new study is impressive, said Klaus Lackner, a researcher at Arizona State University who directs its Center for Negative Carbon Emissions, where he is developing technologies to capture carbon dioxide from the ambient air all around us – a process that would have to be complemented by some form of long-term storage of the gas. Lackner knew the project was ongoing but was not involved in the work.

“Taking this study together with the Icelandic study, you see real progress toward making in situ mineralization a high quality affordable carbon storage technology,” Lackner said. “Sure, there are more questions to answer, but these papers represent immense progress. The two studies complement and reinforce each other.”

Lackner added that “basalts on land and below the ocean floor are so abundant that if they can be pulled in, we have indeed unlimited storage capacity.”

McGrail’s vision appears slightly different, though. He believes that much of the time, CO2 will be sequestered in geological repositories that contain it safely, but that do not react with it to form rock. However, he thinks that in key locations where basalts are available but other repositories are not, basalts will be used.

But Lackner stressed the advantage of having the carbon dioxide permanently become rock.
“There is a real value in being sure that storage is permanent on a geological time scale and that the carbon does not need any further monitoring,” he said. “Once you made carbonate there is no reason why it would revert again. You hit the thermodynamic ground state and it is very difficult to dislodge it from there.”

Either way, the new research appears to be another step along the way to a world in which, even if our industrial processes necessarily produce lots of carbon dioxide, we have other options than to just let it spill into the atmosphere.


What Energy Storage Policy Could Look Like Under President Trump

Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric showed no mercy for climate change policy, but there’s reason to believe energy storage will continue to flourish under his presidency.

It’s not clear that Trump himself thinks much about energy storage. There are few, if any, instances of him mentioning it specifically in public. The 2016 GOP party platform, though, promised that a Republican administration would “find new ways to store electricity, a breakthrough of extraordinary import.” That reference came in the context of grid modernization and resilience efforts.

It’s worth noting that, even under President Barack Obama’s diligent efforts to expand clean energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, federal energy storage policy is still virtually nonexistent. A bill to give storage an income tax credit like the one solar energy enjoys has been introduced in both houses of Congress, but hasn’t moved very far. When the White House hosted a storage summit this summer, it showcased a collection of ongoing efforts, but did not break much new ground.

The states that have largely driven the expansion of distributed energy resources through strong policy and regulatory action will continue to do so, and their ranks are growing.
“There are a lot of opportunities that will now shift from a federal focus to a more distributed focus, no pun intended, with cities and states in particular,” said Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM), one of the most vocal proponents of energy storage on Capitol Hill.

Any industry would be remiss, though, to not seek greater representation in the policy agenda of an incoming administration. For energy storage, this likely means a pivot from messaging around decarbonization and renewables integration to a greater emphasis on the role of storage as infrastructure for a safer, more resilient grid.

The ITC helped boost the fledgling solar industry and get it to scale. It now employs more people in the U.S. than oil and gas or coal extraction. Storage advocates were hoping that legislators would apply the same logic to storage.

There’s still a chance the storage ITC could pass, but it’s going to be tough. Heinrich said he is working on moving the ITC by the end of the year, along with the “orphan” renewable energy tax credit extenders for things like small wind and geothermal energy, which were negotiated in the budget compromise of 2015 but left out of the final wording. Energy storage tax credits wont pass as a standalone bill, but they could end up in a must-pass bill to keep the government funded.

The “continuing resolution” has become a curious annual ritual in D.C., a last resort to keep the government operational for a few more months in the absence of a real budget agreement. Due to the critical nature of appropriations bills, they provide opportunities to get smaller items included as part of the grand bargain. The solar ITC and wind production tax credit extensions were passed in last year’s compromise spending package.

The outcome of the election altered congressional Republicans’ incentives to compromise, though. “They don’t have any incentive to do anything in the lame duck [session], other than keeping the government going,” said Katherine Hamilton, a partner at 38 North Solutions in Washington, D.C.

Everything else can wait until a fellow Republican occupies the White House.
The Senate version of the energy bill, which is currently in conference with the House, also contains R&D funding for energy storage. It looks similarly doubtful that this will be finalized in the lame duck session.

Make the transmission of electrons great again

If the ITC falls through, it wouldn’t be the end of the world for storage.

“Storage has opportunities that potentially are nonpartisan and could be inserted into legislation that is more related to grid modernization than to any particular energy source,” Hamilton said.

The “storage for grid modernization” pitch jibes with the GOP platform and primes storage for inclusion in the major infrastructure bill that Trump has promised for his early days in office. It’s been years since there was a strong consensus on infrastructure spending in Congress, and such legislation offers a chance for many constituents to get something they want.

The industry group Energy Storage Association has already begun conversations along these lines, said Executive Director Matt Roberts.

“We would want to see a large investment in the grid infrastructure, and we believe storage can play a big role in it,” Roberts said.

Storage is uniquely suited to bolstering grid resiliency against severe weather and cybersecurity threats. It enables greater decentralization of the grid, which reduces the impact of failures at critical junctions.

This has already caught the attention of the General Services Administration, which is exploring storage for backup power in federal offices. Storage has a lot to offer the Federal Emergency Management Agency or the Department of Homeland Security, Roberts added. It could be used, for example, to keep city halls across the country operational in the event of a blackout.

Grid-scale storage allows utilities to defer expensive upgrades to substations and transmission lines, which might make it attractive to conservatives. Commissioner Bob Stump of the Arizona Corporation Commission, a Republican who penned a conservative critique of Trump’s energy policy in June, noted in an email that energy storage is a key technology for reducing peak load, which is a major driver of the cost of electricity. He said he hopes Trump looks to state-level experiments in energy policy for guidance in crafting a national policy.

Luckily for the industry, storage appeals to both utilities and to customers. It can avoid the types of clashes that arose between the residential solar industry and utilities, which in some places devolved into a zero-sum battle for customers. That might change if it becomes big enough to cut into the revenues of gas peaker plants or other incumbent generators, but that’s still a ways off.

Other options

Storage advocates have a few other avenues to pursue at the federal level.

Congress passes a defense authorization bill every year, and that could be an occasion to look at ways that energy storage serves the mission of the military, Heinrich said. The GOP platform characterizes clean energy requirements as a financial burden for the Defense Department, but early adopters in the Navy have said investments in solar and storage save money and enhance the branch’s ability to defend the country.

The most long-lasting policy implications for storage will emerge from proceedings at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which manages the interplay between state and federally regulated grids. Jeff St. John summed up the state of FERC post-election here. Key takeaways:

The wonky nature of FERC has kept it out of the political spotlight and makes it harder to predict what Trump will do with it.

Democrats on the commission will hold a majority until June.

If Trump appoints commissioners who side with big, centralized utilities, it could slow down development of markets for distributed energy resources.

FERC could accelerate the rise of storage by adjusting regulations on how storage competes in the markets. As ESA’s Roberts describes it, “Storage gains a lot of its value from its speed and response time. If the grid only measures things in hours, being able to deliver in 5 minutes doesn’t really map out.”

“The ITC is a mechanism that has done wonders for the solar and wind industries and absolutely can have an impact in driving storage forward,” Roberts added. “But really the key is having markets that recognize the value energy storage delivers and integrates energy storage into the planning and modeling of the system.”

The picture that emerges here is an industry that does not hinge on any particular federal action, but could grow much faster with well-crafted federal support. Storage has thus far avoided the partisan shadow that grew around solar power, and it fits neatly among the principles of both parties. If anything, the primary obstacle it faces is a lack of basic awareness.


China to Boost Geothermal Power Consumption

China will boost the development of geothermal power in the next five years to reduce coal consumption and improve air quality, an energy official said on Thursday.

In particular, China will promote the use of geothermal power in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region to replace coal for heating to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and improve air quality, Li Yangzhe, deputy director of the National Energy Administration, told an international forum on geothermal power.

Li said China will provide policy support to boost geothermal power exploitation and consumption during the 2016-2020 period.

China is expected to more than triple its geothermal power consumption by 2020 to 72.1 million tonnes of coal equivalent from the current level.

China consumed about 20 million tonnes of coal equivalent of geothermal resources for heating, power generation and other uses in 2015, official data showed.

By 2020, geothermal power will likely account for about 1.5 percent of the country’s total energy consumption, helping to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 177 million tonnes.


Drilling Technology Key to Successful Drilling for Geothermal Heating Project in Northern Europe

In a piece on LinkedIn, Strada Energy International Limited announces having “achieved a transformational breakthrough in the deep drilling viability of geothermal energy for hard-rock systems by surpassing 4,500 metres vertically in a large diameter well on its way to 7,000 metres. Of major significance between this well and “comparative” wells, is that this 4,500m has been granite from the start of the well (“spud”) and is planned to be in granite all the way to completion.

Strada Energy is a drilling contractor focused on the geothermal sector. Strada Energy has contracts to drill the wells for a district heating project in Northern Europe and for electricity projects in South East Asia. Strada Energy has an exclusive operating license to use patented fluid hammer technologies that are absolutely suited to hard-rock environments.

Using drilling technology and methods developed in Australia by founder and Chairman Warren Strange, and leveraging relationships with its trusted suppliers, Strada Energy has drilled past 4,500 metres in hard granite in just a couple of months which is up to 70% less than the time taken to drill other deep wells that generally only intersected hard-rock in sections. At times, drilling was able to be advanced more than 200 metres per day.

The well, required for a district heating project conversion to geothermal energy in Northern Europe, has been drilled in a few sections using internationally recognized standard drilling sizes. Geothermal energy use has very low emissions of greenhouse gases, including only about three percent of the carbon dioxide emissions of a fossil power station. Hard-rock geothermal energy has the goal to replace fossil fuels in industries like electricity generation, district heating and cooling systems, and desalination needs of the world, and to provide energy independence for countries now dependent on typically imported fossil fuels.

There are many factors that affect the cost of any geothermal well including the type of rock formation that is being drilled, hole diameter, the casing program, and the remoteness of the drilling site to name a few. Some of these factors are more important, since they can greatly influence other factors. For example, the hole depth largely determines the casing program that must be used to give the desired bottom hole diameter. The well-type generally determines the type of rock formation, and to some extent, the lithology, that will be encountered. The well-location can determine rig rental and material costs, especially if the wells being drilled are remotely located in the Andes compared to a coastal location in Europe.

Strada Energy is pleased to announce that its approach to drilling the first 4,500 metres has successfully answered the request from the geothermal industry for an innovative practical solution aimed at delivering a well according to the project owners’ exacting requirements.
Strada Energy has identified that the type of rig is crucial to further substantial improvements in the cost of a well. This is mainly due to minimizing the mobilization costs for the project developer, minimizing the site footprint and environmental impact of a drilling site, and reducing the non-productive time associated with changing a drill bit at depth.

Strada Energy is developing a 500 tonne highly-mobile, super-double drill rig in Germany that will set up to drill in less than one shift and transport in less than 25 loads. This exclusive Strada Energy design, called the ED500, is designed to drill up to 8,000 metre deep wells in the car parks of existing district heating systems in Northern Europe and on small drill pads on the sides of volcanoes in locations such as South East Asia, South America and Central America. The design intention the ED500 is to be able to drill where the ideal location is and minimise the pipeline and property purchase costs normally associated with geothermal projects. This means drilling at source where the energy is needed. It is planned to commission the first new rig in 2017 and leverage the advantages of the rig into further lowering the drilling cost.

Strada Energy plans to provide a fixed price per metre drilling solution for district heating, desalination, and electricity generation projects around the globe. The intention is to use its patented technology to drill geothermal wells and act to meet the growing demand for base-load green energy by providing a cost-effective fully integrated drilling service.


Geothermal Power Markets Showing Strong Growth, International News

In this post:
*Geothermal Power Market Showing Strong Growth, New Report Finds
*Obama Readies Clean Energy ‘End-Game’
*Kuwait, Saudi Investors Evince Interest in Geothermal Projects in Gorontalo
*Kenya: Thermal Energy Production Drops
*New Japanese Geothermal Power Generator Set for Trial Run
*KenGen Starts Geothermal Study to Produce More Untapped Power
*Leaders Urge Cuomo to Support Geothermal Energy
*Alberta Looks at Converting Disused Oil Wells for Geothermal Energy Production
*Researchers Starting Trials on Geothermal Pilot Project in Oita Prefecture, Japan
*Stoke-on-Trent Hires Swedish Experts for Planned Geothermal District Heating Scheme
*Indonesian Government to Develop Geothermal Energy in Flores Island
*Kenya Seeking Further Investment for Geothermal Energy Sector
*Industry Asking for Emerging Geothermal Technologies FIT in Philippines


Satellite map reveals international geothermal potential.  Areas in purple are where geothermalpotential is hottest – places to focus international and national geothermal development efforts on.
Image Credit: ESA/IRENA

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Geothermal on Mars, and Around the World

In this post:
*Why Geothermal Energy Will Be Key To Mars Colonization
*Sacramento Geothermal Events Gathering Steam!
*U.S. Renewables Now Outpace Nuclear Power in Energy Production and Electrical Capacity
*Paris Agreement Ratified by 70 Countries, Showing International Support for Clean Energy
*Examining the Technological Overlap Between Oil, Gas and Geothermal
*Alberta Government Eyes Geothermal Fix to Abandoned Well Crisis
*Reasons to Switch to a Geothermal Power
*Exergy Reports Start of 12 MW Saraykoy 2 Geothermal Plant in Turkey
*First 110 MW Unit of Sarulla Geothermal Project Reaching Completion
*Globally-applicable Geothermal Reporting Standard is Now Effective
*New High-Temperature Downhole Hammer Designed for Geothermal Drilling
*Kenya: Geothermal Development’s Turn to Profit Tilts Energy Mix
*Mayor to Hold Another Forum on 60 MW Geothermal Project
*Roundtable to Explore Potential of Geothermal Energy at Cornell
*Kenya: Why More Steam Power Will Not Drive Down Fuel Charges
*Geothermal Heating to Save Cobble Hill Hall Big Money
*City Utility Buys Two Operating Geothermal Power Plants in Munich
*Construction of New Zealand Geothermal Power Plant to Begin
*Geothermal to Cover 50% of Energy Supply on St. Vincent & the Grenadines
*Sawmill Fire Burning in The Geysers 90% Contained
*Governor Brown Signs Geothermal Bill in California
*Turboden to Install Large 16 MW Single Turbine at Croatian Project
*Oil and Gas Wells Prove Useful for Geothermal Energy Generation
*AboitizPower to Supply Energy Needs of 2 Cebu Companies
*Supreme Energy Moving Forward on Three Projects in Indonesia


Is this the final destination of geothermal energy – Mars?
Image Credit: Twentieth Century Fox

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Good Things Come in Threes: GEOEXPO+ Fast Approaching

In this post:
*Good Things Come in Threes
*IRENA/GGA Working Session at GEA’s Marketing Forum
*FREE Agency Match Making Session
*CA Roundtable Event
*GEA’s Salton Sea Request for Information Comments
*GEA Wants to Say a Special Thanks to its 2016 Members
*Obama’s Climate Legacy on Trial
*Indonesia Struggles to Tap Volcanoes for Geothermal Power
*Geothermal Drilling Project Preparations to Begin Soon in St. Kitts and Nevis
*Indonesia Offers $420m Geothermal Projects in Sumatra and Maluku
*Soil Survey Shows Strong Lithium Results at the Nevada Energy Metals Black Rock Desert Project
*KenGen Bets on Modular Power Plant Technology
*New Zealand Invests in Geothermal Energy Exploration in Dominica
*New Zealand Committed to Development of Indonesia’s Renewable Energy Sector
*BLM Moves Forward with Phase I of Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan
*The Geothermal Community Meets in Strasbourg for the European Geothermal Congress 2016 to Celebrate European Excellency Calls for Clear Structural Signals and Tailored Tools for Further Expansion
*Capitol Drafts Position Paper on Proposed EDC Geothermal Study
*Kenyan Geothermal Gets $60 Million From African Development Bank
*USTDA Supporting Akiira Geothermal Project in Kenya
*KenGen Wins Prestigious Engineering Awards for Geothermal Work in Kenya
*Maibarara Wins 2016 Asia Geothermal Project Award
*Indonesia to Auction 20 MW Gunung Hamiding Geothermal Project
*California Wildfire Forces Evacuation of 300 Homes

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