NewEnergyNews: TODAY’S STUDY: GEOTHERMAL IN THE WORLD

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Gleanings from the web and the world, condensed for convenience, illustrated for enlightenment, arranged for impact...

The challenge: To make every day Earth Day.

YESTERDAY

  • Weekend Video: John Oliver On Visiting Antarctica
  • Weekend Video: Warmest May And June Ever And Non-Stop Record Heat
  • Weekend Video: Meet The Microgrid
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE- STAR WARS PLANET TATOOINE’S CLIMATE CHANGE
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-BIG NEW THREAT TO CLIMATE FROM COAL-TO-GAS IN CHINA
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-INDIA VILLAGE OF 2,400 GOES 100% SOLAR WITH BATTERIES, MICROGRID
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-GERMANY IS WORLD’S MOST EFFICIENT MAJOR ECONOMY
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    THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, July 24:

  • TTTA Thursday-CLIMATE FACTS VERSUS CLIMATE CULTURE
  • TTTA Thursday-MONEY IN WIND UP FOR QUARTER, DOWN FROM 2013
  • TTTA Thursday-MIDWEST BIOFUELS CAN BE NEW ENERGY – UCS STUDY
  • TTTA Thursday-TESLA CHAMPIONS THE PLUG AND THE CAR
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • THE STUDY: EUROPE’S OFFSHORE WIND PROGRESS THIS YEAR
  • QUICK NEWS, July 23: NEW ENERGY WAS 55% OF 1H 2014 U.S. NEW BUILD; EV SALES LEAP; OCEAN ENERGY’S FINANCES UNDER SCRUTINY
  • AND THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • THE STUDY: WHY THE OIL & GAS INDUSTRY BACKS AN ALL-OF-THE-ABOVE ENERGY POLICY
  • QUICK NEWS, July 22: U.S. DOE FORESEES NEW ENERGY; THE BEST CITIES FOR NEW ENERGY; ENERGY STORAGE TO BE $50BIL MRKT
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • THE STUDY: THE COST OF ADDING SOLAR TO A UTILITY’S OPERATIONS
  • QUICK NEWS, 7-21: U.S. WIND, SOLAR TO GROW THROUGH 2020; NEW GEOTHERMAL RISING; CHINESE HAVE RIGHTS IN OREGON WIND BUY
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    Anne B. Butterfield of Daily Camera and Huffington Post, is a biweekly contributor to NewEnergyNews

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT)

    November 26, 2013 (Huffington Post via NewEnergyNews)

    Everywhere we turn, environmental news is filled with horrid developments and glimpses of irreversible tipping points.

    Just a handful of examples are breathtaking: Scientists have dared to pinpoint the years at which locations around the world may reach runaway heat, and in the northern hemisphere it's well in sight for our children: 2047. Survivors of Superstorm Sandy are packing up as costs of repair and insurance go out of reach, one threat that climate science has long predicted. Or we could simply talk about the plight of bees and the potential impact on food supplies. Surprising no one who explores the Pacific Ocean, sailor Ivan MacFadyen described long a journey dubbed The Ocean is Broken, in which he saw vast expanses of trash and almost no wildlife save for a whale struggling a with giant tumor on its head, evoking the tons of radioactive water coming daily from Fukushima's lamed nuclear power center. Rampaging fishing methods and ocean acidification are now reported as causing the overpopulation of jellyfish that have jammed the intakes of nuclear plants around the world. Yet the shutting down of nuclear plants is a trifling setback compared with the doom that can result in coming days at Fukushima in the delicate job to extract bent and spent fuel rods from a ruined storage tank, a project dubbed "radioactive pick up sticks."

    With all these horrors to ponder you wouldn't expect to hear that you should also worry about the United States running out of coal. But you would be wrong, says Leslie Glustrom, founder and research director for Clean Energy Action. Her contention is that we've passed the peak in our nation's legendary supply of coal that powers over one-third of our grid capacity. This grim news is faithfully spelled out in three reports, with the complete story told in Warning: Faulty Reporting of US Coal Reserves (pdf). (Disclosure: I serve on CEA's board and have known the author for years.)

    Glustrom's research presents a sea change in how we should understand our energy challenges, or experience grim consequences. It's not only about toxic and heat-trapping emissions anymore; it's also about having enough energy generation to run big cities and regions that now rely on coal. Glustrom worries openly about how commerce will go on in many regions in 2025 if they don't plan their energy futures right.

    2013-11-05-FigureES4_FULL.jpgclick to enlarge

    Scrutinizing data for prices on delivered coal nationwide, Glustrom's new report establishes that coal's price has risen nearly 8 percent annually for eight years, roughly doubling, due mostly to thinner, deeper coal seams plus costlier diesel transport expenses. Higher coal prices in a time of "cheap" natural gas and affordable renewables means coal companies are lamed by low or no profits, as they hold debt levels that dwarf their market value and carry very high interest rates.

    2013-11-05-Table_ES2_FULL.jpgclick to enlarge

    2013-11-05-Figure_ES2_FULL.jpg

    One leading coal company, Patriot, filed for bankruptcy last year; many others are also struggling under bankruptcy watch and not eager to upgrade equipment for the tougher mining ahead. Add to this the bizarre event this fall of a coal lease failing to sell in Wyoming's Powder River Basin, the "Fort Knox" of the nation's coal supply, with some pundits agreeing this portends a tightening of the nation's coal supply, not to mention the array of researchers cited in the report. Indeed, at the mid point of 2013, only 488 millions tons of coal were produced in the U.S.; unless a major catch up happens by year-end, 2013 may be as low in production as 1993.

    Coal may exist in large quantities geologically, but economically, it's getting out of reach, as confirmed by US Geological Survey in studies indicating that less than 20 percent of US coal formations are economically recoverable, as explored in the CEA report. To Glustrom, that number plus others translate to 10 to 20 years more of burning coal in the US. It takes capital, accessible coal with good heat content and favorable market conditions to assure that mining companies will stay in business. She has observed a classic disconnect between camps of professionals in which geologists tend to assume money is "infinite" and financial analysts tend to assume that available coal is "infinite." Both biases are faulty and together they court disaster, and "it is only by combining thoughtful estimates of available coal and available money that our country can come to a realistic estimate of the amount of US coal that can be mined at a profit." This brings us back to her main and rather simple point: "If the companies cannot make a profit by mining coal they won't be mining for long."

    No one is more emphatic than Glustrom herself that she cannot predict the future, but she presents trend lines that are robust and confirmed assertively by the editorial board at West Virginia Gazette:

    Although Clean Energy Action is a "green" nonprofit opposed to fossil fuels, this study contains many hard economic facts. As we've said before, West Virginia's leaders should lower their protests about pollution controls, and instead launch intelligent planning for the profound shift that is occurring in the Mountain State's economy.

    The report "Warning, Faulty Reporting of US Coal Reserves" and its companion reports belong in the hands of energy and climate policy makers, investors, bankers, and rate payer watchdog groups, so that states can plan for, rather than react to, a future with sea change risk factors.

    [Clean Energy Action is fundraising to support the dissemination of this report through December 11. Contribute here.]

    It bears mentioning that even China is enacting a "peak coal" mentality, with Shanghai declaring that it will completely ban coal burning in 2017 with intent to close down hundreds of coal burning boilers and industrial furnaces, or shifting them to clean energy by 2015. And Citi Research, in "The Unimaginable: Peak Coal in China," took a look at all forms of energy production in China and figured that demand for coal will flatten or peak by 2020 and those "coal exporting countries that have been counting on strong future coal demand could be most at risk." Include US coal producers in that group of exporters.

    Our world is undergoing many sorts of change and upheaval. We in the industrialized world have spent about a century dismissing ocean trash, overfishing, pesticides, nuclear hazard, and oil and coal burning with a shrug of, "Hey it's fine, nature can manage it." Now we're surrounded by impacts of industrial-grade consumption, including depletion of critical resources and tipping points of many kinds. It is not enough to think of only ourselves and plan for strictly our own survival or convenience. The threat to animals everywhere, indeed to whole systems of the living, is the grief-filled backdrop of our times. It's "all hands on deck" at this point of human voyaging, and in our nation's capital, we certainly don't have that. Towns, states and regions need to plan fiercely and follow through. And a fine example is Boulder Colorado's recent victory to keep on track for clean energy by separating from its electric utility that makes 59 percent of its power from coal.

    Clean Energy Action is disseminating "Warning: Faulty Reporting of US Coal Reserves" for free to all manner of relevant professionals who should be concerned about long range trends which now include the supply risks of coal, and is supporting that outreach through a fundraising campaign.

    [Clean Energy Action is fundraising to support the dissemination of this report through December 11. Contribute here.]

    Author's note: Want to support my work? Please "fan" me at Huffpost Denver, here (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/anne-butterfield). Thanks.

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    Anne's previous NewEnergyNews columns:

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT), November 26, 2013
  • SOLAR FOR ME BUT NOT FOR THEE ~ Xcel's Push to Undermine Rooftop Solar, September 20, 2013
  • NEW BILLS AND NEW BIRDS in Colorado's recent session, May 20, 2013
  • Lies, damned lies and politicians (October 8, 2012)
  • Colorado's Elegant Solution to Fracking (April 23, 2012)
  • Shale Gas: From Geologic Bubble to Economic Bubble (March 15, 2012)
  • Taken for granted no more (February 5, 2012)
  • The Republican clown car circus (January 6, 2012)
  • Twenty-Somethings of Colorado With Skin in the Game (November 22, 2011)
  • Occupy, Xcel, and the Mother of All Cliffs (October 31, 2011)
  • Boulder Can Own Its Power With Distributed Generation (June 7, 2011)
  • The Plunging Cost of Renewables and Boulder's Energy Future (April 19, 2011)
  • Paddling Down the River Denial (January 12, 2011)
  • The Fox (News) That Jumped the Shark (December 16, 2010)
  • Click here for an archive of Butterfield columns

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    Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart

    email: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

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    Your intrepid reporter

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      A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.

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  • Wednesday, May 30, 2012

    TODAY’S STUDY: GEOTHERMAL IN THE WORLD

    Geothermal; International Overview Report

    May 2012 (Geothermal Energy Association)

    Global Overview

    The global geothermal power market continued to grow substantially in 2011-12, outpacing the US geothermal market by a noticeable margin. As of May 2012, approximately 11,224 MW of installed geothermal power capacity was online globally. In 2010 geothermal energy generated twice the amount of electricity as solar energy did worldwide.

    Geothermal growth is currently fueled by a number of factors: economic growth, especially in developing markets; the electrification of low-income and rural communities; increasing concerns regarding energy security and its impact on economic security. Additionally, the majority of the growth in the development of global geothermal resources is occurring in countries with large, untapped, conventional resources. As more countries recognize and understand the economic value of their geothermal resources, their development and utilization becomes a higher priority.

    New technology appears to be underpinning geothermal expansion in some regions which have already seen significant development of their conventional resources. In the US and Europe, for example, the geothermal industry is increasingly using binary technology that can utilize more moderate and low temperature resources to generate electricity. Also, energy and economic security are compelling drivers for the adoption of policies supporting geothermal development in countries like Chile and Japan. In nearly every case, national policies are propelling growth in the strongest markets, while the current world leader – the US – appears to be growing more slowly due to policy uncertainties.

    This report highlights geothermal resource development in certain countries, as well as the policy and economic drivers behind that development. The market trends observed will be the object of more thorough analysis in future studies.

    Africa

    A number of factors are leading certain countries in Africa to explore the viability of developing the continents geothermal resources. First, Africa has the smallest amount of energy use of any populated continent in the world. Only approximately 25 percent of Africa’s population has access to electricity, more than half of which is traditional biomass which contributes to deforestation and health problems. Increasing demand for electricity also adds impetus to the need to increase access to electricity in Africa. At the same time, increasing demand for electricity exacerbates issues currently associated with Africa’s electricity sector. For example, reliance on imported petro-products for thermal power generation exposes African countries to the price volatility of fossil fuels. Additionally, due to climactic fluctuations, the reliability of hydropower as a primary source of electricity for many African countries has been called into question.

    Africa’s geothermal resources are concentrated in the East African Rift System (EARS comprises the Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia) and remain largely undeveloped. Currently, only approximately 217 MW of geothermal resources have been developed in Kenya and Ethiopia for electricity production. The estimated potential of geothermal resources in EARS is more than 15,000 MW…

    Asia and the Pacific

    Countries in Asia and the Pacific Islands are poised to make a significant contribution to the growth of the global geothermal industry. High-grade resources and friendly policy environments have resulted in an emergence of advanced-stage geothermal projects that are beginning to attract the expertise of geothermal developers as well as the interest of project financiers. The potential for the development of geothermal resources throughout the region is immense. Countries featuring in the growth of Asia’s geothermal sector are Indonesia, the Philippines, and Japan where state efforts to provide policies and regulatory environments that incentivize the development of geothermal resources are increasingly attracting the interest of geothermal companies throughout the world…

    Central America and the Caribbean

    Geothermal energy stands to play a key role in the economic growth of Central America and Caribbean countries. In Central America rapid economic growth, increasing dependence on imported fossil fuels, and a push to overcome regional fragmentation through the SIEPAC (Sistema de Interconexion Electrica para America Central) transmission interconnection38 have created the need for the development of the region’s renewable resources. The majority of countries in Central America have developed a portion of their geothermal resources for utility scale power production. El Salvador and Costa Rica derive 24 percent (204 MW) and 12 percent (163 MW) of their electricity production from geothermal energy respectively. Nicaragua (87 MW) and Guatemala (49.5 MW) also generate a portion of their electricity from geothermal energy. The potential for further development of Central America’s geothermal resources remains significant, and the geothermal potential of the region has been estimated between 3,000 MW and 13,000 MW at 50 identified geothermal sites.39 Additionally, geothermal energy in Central America is competitive with the region’s primary forms of electricity generation; hydropower and thermal generation from fossil fuels…

    South America

    In the past few decades South America has at times enjoyed economic growth due to the development and exportation of its oil and gas resources. However, economic and diplomatic issues surrounding the flow of energy across borders have had adverse impacts on the economies of South American countries. For example, Argentina abruptly cut off supply of natural gas to Chile in mid-2004; and a transmission line built a few years ago to connect Peru and Ecuador has rarely been used due to disagreement on electricity price. Reports of blackouts and worker strikes have become increasingly regular. At the same time, energy consumption and demand is growing in South America and is projected to increase by 72 percent through 2035(includes Central America), according to the EIA.

    Awareness of climate change issues is another factor leading many of these countries to seek development of renewable resources. The melting of Andean glaciers and changing rain patterns have negatively impacted local agriculture and residential patterns thanks to the dwindling water supply.

    The United Nations predicts that Latin American countries will be severely affected by climate change, despite the fact that the region’s greenhouse gas emissions represent a small proportion of total global emissions.

    To address the of issues energy security, increasing demand, and sustainability, some countries in South America have taken steps to increase domestic energy security by supporting the development of their renewable energy resources.

    Geothermal resources represent an opportunity to meet energy needs with a clean, baseload, sustainable form of energy in South America, particularly along the Andean Mountain Range and the Southern Cone of the continent. Experienced companies from Australia, Italy, the US, and other countries are taking an interest in the development of South America’s geothermal resources.

    Many are partnering with a resident company, bringing local understanding to the project as well as making development more feasible. Some local and international mining companies have undertaken smaller scale operations, working to develop geothermal resources to help meet the electricity needs of their operations.

    A key player in development financing for renewable energy throughout Latin America and the Caribbean is the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Already contributing to some geothermal projects, such as the Copahue project in Argentina, the bank’s recent efforts seem to redouble its commitment to climate-friendly solutions: thus far it has approved US$ 30 million for renewable energy projects for the Emerging Energy Latin America Fund II,56 had an additional US$ 70 billion capital injection, and began a five-year target to use 25 percent of its loans toward climate-related projects…

    North America

    The principal countries of North America – Canada, Mexico and the US – have some of the highest standards of living in the world, as well as high electricity demand and degrees of electrification. However, the continent is also relatively well supplied with fossil and other conventional energy resources. Moreover, neither Canada nor the United States has adopted national climate policies and neither is currently a signatory to the Kyoto protocol.

    While North American countries may not be as exposed to the same factors incentivizing emerging economies to develop their renewable resources, there is still a strong case for the increased implementation of geothermal energy into their economies as well. In the US, coal and natural gas respectively generated approximately 42 and 25 percent of total electricity generated in 2011, indicating that North American economies are also vulnerable to the adverse impacts of the price volatility of fossil fuels. Additionally, electricity demand is projected to grow by 0.8 percent per year in the US through 2035, indicating that additional generating capacity will be needed, although not at the scale of most emerging markets.76 In order to increase their energy security by meeting rising demand and mitigating the use of fossil fuels, North American countries are taking steps to increase their production of renewable energy resources, including geothermal.

    In the US, federal and state policies have been the drivers for renewable generation. At the federal level, since 2005 geothermal and all other renewable technologies have been afforded important tax incentives to attract investors. At the state level, most have adopted renewable production requirements for their electric utilities. Recently, uncertainty has grown about whether Congress will continue to extend federal renewable power incentives and the economic recession has dampened state renewable effort. Yet, growth continued…

    1 Comments:

    At 10:24 AM, Blogger Bailey nesbit said...

    In the recent days in the whole world geothermal energy will be used so much in many ways. It will be helpful to save energy and also it will saves energy of nuclear plant is well.

    Yoder Geothermal

     

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