Geothermal Energy Gains More Support
In response to Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell’s keynote address yesterday at the National Clean Energy Summit, the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) has released the following statement from GEA Executive Director Karl Gawell:
“We applaud Secretary Jewell for the announcement [yesterday] reaffirming the Administration's commitment to approve 20,000 megawatts of renewable energy production on public lands by 2020. With roughly one-half of the geothermal power produced today located on federal public lands, it is important for the Department of Interior to maintain a priority for leasing and permitting new geothermal power projects.
Today's announcement will move forward two geothermal areas in Southern California, establishing a new area in the West Chocolate Mountains and approving a new 40 MW power plant in Mono County. It has been estimated that together these federal lands could add 190MW of new geothermal capacity, and for comparison purposes that would produce the equivalent power of over 1,000 MW of solar photovoltaics. If the full capacity expected at these sites is developed, it would mean over 1,200 construction and manufacturing jobs on an annual basis, and approximately 325 full-time permanent jobs in Southern California.
There is strong interest in geothermal development in this area, with several companies recently permitting or building new power plants. We expect as California moves forward to increase its commitment to a carbon-free power system, geothermal power will grow in importance because it can provide the firm or flexible power needed to maintain system reliability, achieve climate goals, and do so with low integration costs.”
GEA recently released an updated Air Emissions Comparison and Externality Analysis showing geothermal energy provides significant benefits to public health and the environment as one of the least-polluting and most environmentally friendly forms of energy.
The analysis found binary geothermal plants produce virtually no greenhouse gases (GHG) and dry steam and flash geothermal plants put out only trace amounts of emissions. GEA estimates geothermal provides approximately $88 million in externality benefits per year to California and $29 million to Nevadans by avoiding fossil fuel emissions.
GEA, together with the California Geothermal Energy Collaborative, have published a report "Energizing Southern California's Economy" that examines the geothermal power potential in Southern California and the economic benefits to the region of developing them. It is available at: http://www.geo-energy.org/reports/energizing_s.ca_final.pdf.
The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) is a trade association comprised of U.S. companies that support the expanded use of geothermal energy and are developing geothermal resources worldwide for electrical power generation and direct-heat uses.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.