Geothermal Energy Heating up Globally
The Geothermal Energy Association recently released a new report showing continued strong growth signals in the international market for geothermal power. The report, “2013 Geothermal Power: International Market Overview,” identifies 70 countries moving forward with nearly 700 geothermal power projects.
“The number of geothermal projects continues to grow as more and more countries recognize the potential economic and environmental benefits that geothermal power can bring,” said Karl Gawell, executive director of GEA.
“There are so many projects moving forward that just a year or two ago were ideas on paper. This demonstrates how quickly the geothermal industry is growing internationally,” said Ben Matek, the report's author.
Some of the report highlights:
· By the end of 2013 the global geothermal market is expected to operate 12,000 MW of geothermal capacity on-line.
· There are 11,766 MW of new capacity in early stages of development or under construction in 70 countries and territories around the world. Additionally, developers are actively engaged with and exploring 27 GW (gigawatts) of geothermal resource globally that could potentially develop into power plants over the next decade.
· This year some of the first demonstration Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS) projects provided electricity to grids in Australia and the United States.
· Counties such as Uganda, France, Tanzania, Chile, and Rwanda have geothermal projects under construction or in the latter stages of development and will have their first operational geothermal power plants within the next few years.
The report also provides profiles on 21 countries and five continents. Highlights include:
· Kenya: Kenya is one of the fastest growing geothermal markets in the world. Kenya’s government is moving a substantial amount of resources into building up its geothermal infrastructure and the support is paying dividends. Right now 296 MW of the over ~1,000 MW of geothermal under development in Kenya are physically under construction. If all projects are completed on time Kenya will lead the world with substantial additions to their geothermal infrastructure over the next decade and become a center of geothermal technology on the African continent.
· Indonesia: Despite the massive potential for geothermal power in Indonesia, local experts and the media report that the country still struggles with regulatory issues obstructing geothermal development. That said, Indonesia has almost 4,100 MW in the pipeline for development and 860 MW physically under construction. Indonesia ranks second for developing projects with 57 projects in some phase of development. While no more plants are expected to come online this year in Indonesia, if all the plants are finished by their publicly announced completion dates, Indonesia could reach almost 2 GW of installed capacity by 2018.
· Costa Rica: Most of Costa Rica’s geothermal resources rest in national parks, leaving substantial regulatory barriers to its development. Despite the location of Costa Rican’s geothermal resource the government plans to introduce legislation that would open the Rincon de la Vieja National Park in Guanacaste for geothermal project development, a controversial proposal to environmentalists. Even so, the country’s top political leaders acknowledge climate change as an issue that will diminish the capabilities of their hydroelectric power plants, which accounts for most of Costa Rica’s energy production.
· Japan: Since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2012 the Japanese people and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) are looking for clean and disaster-free alternatives to nuclear energy and are deregulating many previous burdensome barriers to geothermal development. Officials are looking to shorten lead time for development, a significant step to accelerated geothermal development.
“In many developing economies there is a growing middle class driving a demand for affordable electrical capacity. In regions such as East Africa and Central America a lack of carbon based fuel resources lead to reliance on high cost/high CO2 emission imported fuel oil,” said Mike Long, vice president, Galena Advisors. “Geothermal provides a preferred indigenous fuel source for a least cost baseload energy supply, providing the much needed increase in capacity.”
Members of the international geothermal community plan to discuss their successes and emerging market opportunities at the GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy EXPO in Las Vegas from Sept. 29-Oct. 2.
This is the premier gathering to learn about the latest developments in geothermal energy, and brings together geothermal companies, academics, financiers, policy leaders, students, and other individuals. The GEA EXPO floor features a unique opportunity for leaders in the business to showcase their projects, equipment, services and state of the art technology to the geothermal community.
“The international markets are continuing to see robust growth and expansion. Established and emerging international markets including Africa, Turkey, Latin America, Indonesia, and the Philippines present a tremendous opportunity for the United States to export renewable technology, professional expertise, capital finance, and geothermal support services to the needs of this global industry,” said Steve Hummel, director of Renewable Energy, TAS Energy.
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.