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Alternative Energy / Geothermal Energy

  • Drilling Down To The Economic Realities Of Geothermal Power

    When someone who has just completed a series of mining asset sales totalling $1.6 billion chooses to share some frank thoughts on geothermal power, you have to respect the source.Geothermal bubbled up in the news in May as a lost opportunity for BC Hydro in the Joint Review Panel's thumbs-sideways assessment of the Site C dam project.Lumina Copper founder Ross Beaty knows something about copper – enough to complete the company's sale to First Quantum Minerals earlier this month for $470 million. Beaty is also passionate about renewable energy, which led him into a geothermal power investment in 2008, only…

  • Geothermal Gains Traction in Post-Fukushima Japan

    Japan’s Chuo Electric Power Co. is preparing to launch the country’s first new geothermal power project in 15 years at a time when Tokyo is grappling with energy alternatives to its deactivated nuclear reactors. The new geothermal plant on Japan’s southern island of Kyushu will take advantage of the area’s natural hot springs and volcanic activity and will be one of the first to go online since 1999, boosting the nation’s geothermal power-generation potential which currently represents only 2%. Chuo Electric has said it plans to open five more geothermal power-generation plants in the next five years. Related Article: Three…

  • Japan Looks at Dozens of New Geothermal Power Plants

    In the aftermath of the 11 March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear crisis, the then ruling Democratic Party of Japan took all of the country's 54 nuclear reactors offline before subsequently restarting two NPP reactors at the Oi nuclear power facility in Fukui Prefecture.Nevertheless, not unexpectedly, resistance to nuclear power generation nearly three years after the Fukushima Daiichi debacle, which shut down six reactors, remains quite substantial.  Accordingly, seeking alternative power sources has increased, with the result that construction plans for mid-sized geothermal plants is becoming a boom energy concern across Japan in the wake of the 2011 “Great East Japan…

  • Iceland Taps Magma for 24/7 Geothermal Energy Source

    Renewable energy has always faced a significant bottleneck for broader acceptance – the wind doesn’t blow 24 hours a day, the sun doesn’t always shine, and 24/7 renewable power sources such as hydroelectric dams require massive investment before coming operational. Given that consumers are solely concerned with bottom line, the cost of a kilowatt-hour, renewables have faced an uphill struggle to gain acceptance.One 24/7 potential source of renewable energy is geothermal, and now Iceland has apparently surmounted one of the industry’s bottlenecks...and it was inadvertent.Iceland’s first “magma-enhanced” geothermal Icelandic Deep Drilling Project IDDP-1 well at Krafla has been proclaimed successful,…

  • Hawaii Embraces Geothermal – Cautiously

    In the ongoing energy debate about fossil fuels versus renewables, solar and wind renewable sources have a shortcoming – the sun doesn’t always shine, the wind doesn’t always blow.Three renewable resources, in contrast, can provide electricity 24/7 – hydroelectric, wave and geothermal. A major plus side for all three is that, like nuclear power, they emit zero greenhouse gases.While geothermal use is still a fraction of wind and solar, it is drawing increasing interest in the year of its centenary, when the world’s first commercial geothermal power plant opened in 1913 in Larderello in the Tuscany region of northwestern Italy,…

  • Ethiopia to Build Africa’s Largest Geothermal Plant

    On 27 September Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Michael Debretsion announced the first independent power project in Ethiopia's history. The $4 billion 1,000 megawatt Corbetti geothermal plant will be built in two 500 megawatt stages over 8-10 years and when it comes online, will be Africa’s largest geothermal facility. Reykjavik Geothermal, a U.S.-Icelandic private developer, will build and operate the power plant, located at Corbetti Caldera, considered a top geothermal resource by the team of Icelandic and Ethiopian geoscientists that have investigated the region.The project dovetails nicely with Ethiopia's ambitious plans to become a carbon-neutral…

  • Geothermal Energy: More Exciting than Media Thinks

    Geothermal energy is hands down THE best renewable energy avenue out there: The Earth is always generating heat, and there won’t be any “peak heat”, nor could we ever extract this energy at the same pace with which the Earth generates it. The process has a carbon footprint that is negligible compared to other fossil fuel and renewable energy processes. Yet geothermal power gets decidedly little press.  The idea of geothermal power has been around for ages: Italy built the world’s first power plant that generated electricity from the Earth’s heat over a hundred years ago. In 1957, New Zealand…

  • France In Tight Spot over Geothermal ‘Fracking’

    France finds itself in an interesting conundrum that the oil industry is hoping to take advantage of: The country has banned fracking but is now planning to tap into geothermal energy which requires a process similar to fracking. In 2011, France banned shale fracking. In February, France’s Environment Ministry awarded two exploration licenses for geothermal energy, which involves drilling deep into the Earth’s crust. The media has described the oil industry as up in arms over France’s geothermal plans. It’s not fair. Fracking is, after all, fracking. But more to the point, the oil industry likely sees an opportunity here…

  • U.S. Game Changing Renewable - Geothermal Power

    The biggest weakness of renewable power advocates is the fact that the sun doesn’t always shine, nor the wind blow.Geothermal power, which does not suffer from down time, is slowly gaining ground in the United States.According to the U.S. government’s Energy Information Administration, “Geothermal is one of the main renewable energy sources used to generate U.S. electricity, even though its growth has not been as strong as wind and solar over the last three years during a big push to increase generation from renewables. Geothermal energy's greatest growth potential is in the western states.”According to the EIA, in the period…

  • Will Japan Embrace Geothermal Power to Move Away from Nuclear?

    Despite the recent victory of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party, which is pro-nuclear and won a nationwide parliamentary vote on 16 December, issues surrounding the country’s nuclear energy policies will not go away.In the aftermath of the 11 March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear crisis, the then ruling Japanese government Democratic Party of Japan took the country's 54 nuclear reactors offline and subsequently restarted two reactors at the Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture.An additional element for broadening the country’s energy options has now come from a country half a world away – Iceland.During a 5 December speech at the United…