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In the city of Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, a geothermal beach has been a popular bathing spot for the local population and a tourist spot. Predominantly used in the summer, a small pool operated year round provides a possibility for swimmers to heat up after a swim in the ocean.
The Nauthólsvík beach is located near the local airport in the city, near the University of Reykjavik and below Perlan, a tourist spot built around hot water tanks supplying the city. On the beach, hot water is pumped into an artificial lagoon with warm water between 15-19°C (59-66°F). The facilities on site include changing facilities and showers, as well as steam room and a hot water pot.
Now the city of Reykjavik has announced to extend utilising geothermal energy beyond that one beach at Nautholsvík and has established a group to explore the possibility for two additional beaches as reported by local TV station RÚV.
With a decreased hot water use for heating during the summer, the public heating utility Veitur has been exposing excess water and plans now are considering it using for additional beach lagoons, similar to Nauthólsvík at Gufunes and Skarfakletter in the east of the city.
The City of Reykjavik hopes that these additional geothermal beaches could have a positive impact on health, community life and tourism.
In preparation to the upcoming IGC Invest Geothermal, the first global geothermal investment forum, the European Geothermal Energy Council (EGEC), ThinkGeoEnergy, and Enerchange, would like to invite you to the pre-event webinar Financing geothermal energy, taking place on 26 October 2017, from 14:30 to 15:15 CEST time.
Geothermal projects are defined by long project development times, by uncertainty on resource availability in the early phases of investment, and by the capital intensity. In a more open electricity market, innovative financing schemes and business models must be developed for geothermal: Grants convertible, Public-Private Insurances, Auctioning, Corporate PPAs…
In preparation to the upcoming IGC Invest Geothermal in Frankfurt, EGEC Geothermal, ThinkGeoEnergy, and Enerchange, would like to invite you to the pre-event webinar Financing geothermal energy to explore these issues.
Participation is free-of-charge but requiring registration. Due to limited availability, please register before Wednesday 25 October 2017.
14:30 | Welcome – Jochen Schneider, Enerchange
14:35 | The global picture for geothermal – Alexander Richter, ThinkGeoEnergy, IGA President
14:45 | Innovative financial measures for successful geothermal development in Europe – Philippe Dumas, EGEC Geothermal
14:55 | Q&A session – Moderated by Jochen Schneider, Enerchange
15:15 | End
The 9th European Geothermal PhD Days will be hosted in 2018 by the students from the Geothermal Energy and Geofluids (GEG) group at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH), Switzerland.
The event will take place 14-16 March 2016 on the premises of ETH in Zurich/ Switzerland.
Over the time since its inception, the annual EGPD event has come to be known among PhD students from all over Europe, as a place to present their research and in turn, understand the work being developed by their peers at other universities. The event is organized by PhD students, for PhD students, and is intended to take place in a relaxed and friendly environment. This gives attendees a chance to network with students and academics in order to create and strengthen professional relationships, as well as to practice their presentation skills in a constructive and supportive atmosphere.
The three-day event is usually split into oral presentations and poster sessions during the first two days and an off-campus excursion to a geothermal energy related site on the last day. Sessions in the past have included Resource Assessments, Exploration, Reservoir Engineering and Monitoring, Tool and Code Development, Process Engineering, Sustainability Aspects, Groundwater studies, Geology and Structure Studies, Storage, Supply and Demand Matching, Thermodynamics and many more. All participants must submit an abstract and present their projects (oral presentations or posters) during the conference.
The EGPD has a fan page on Facebook http://ift.tt/2zD3dN1, where they post the updates of the events, as well as photos and tips. You are welcome to like the page and join the team!
Source: release by email
During her first official visit in the Republic of Djibouti late last month, the African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, H.E. Dr Amani Abou-Zeid, signed a Grant Contract of about $1 million with L’Office Djiboutien de De?veloppement de l’Energie Ge?othermique (ODDEG) – the Office for Geothermal Development in Djibouti.
The African Union Commission (AUC) represented by H.E. Dr Amani Abou-Zeid, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy and L’Office Djiboutien de De?veloppement de l’Energie Ge?othermique (ODDEG) represented by H.E. Mr. Mohamed Hassan Abdillahi, Secretary General of the Government of Djibouti signed a grant contract totalling $959,687 on 27 September 2017. The grant represents 80% of the total cost estimated to $1.2 million to conduct surface study in Arta Geothermal Prospect located on a broad valley lying on the Gulf of Tadjoura approximately 30 km east of the Djibouti City. The signing ceremony was held at in Djibouti City, Republic of Djibouti, as part of the AUC efforts to mobilize financial and technical support to Member States through the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF), as well as the Regional Geothermal Programme, put in place in order to promote electrical energy generation from the abundant geothermal resources in East Africa Rift Valley estimated to more than 20,000 MWe.
The AUC Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, in her remarks, expressed her gratitude towards this achievement in geothermal energy development, which will in turn improve the quality of life of the people of Djibouti with access to cheap, clean and sustainable energy. Thanking all stakeholders for their on-going support, she urged the government of the Republic of Djibouti to maintain the momentum of the project and apply for GRMF grant for drilling programme in the upcoming application rounds to the GRMF.
The Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy also informed the Secretary General about the existing opportunities through the AUC to improving the energy sector in Member States
and the agreements with some partners to mobilize technical and financial support to explore geothermal energy, particularly in Eastern African countries including the Republic of Djibouti.
The Secretary General of the Government of Djibouti, H.E. Mr. Mohamed Hassan Abdillahi in his speech expressed his appreciation to the AUC for its’ efforts and financial support of about USD One Million to
the Republic of Djibouti, which will mark the turning point in achieving the realization of energy generation from indigenous geothermal resources in the country. The Secretary General emphasized that ODDEG will take all necessary action to fulfill its obligations as per the signed Grant Agreement and will make sure to take advantage of the opportunities made available by the GRMF and other technical and financial instruments available.
The GRMF has been established by the AUC, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund, with the technical support of the German Government owned Development Bank, KfW. The objective of GRMF is to encourage public and private investors to develop geothermal prospects for power generation in Eastern Africa by providing cost sharing grants for surface studies and drilling of reservoir confirmation wells. An initial fund totalling 50 million Euros has been made available for such grants. Further contributions and technical assistances were provided by other partners including DFID, UNEP, New Zealand, BGR and others.
The GRMF has achieved significant successes in supporting geothermal energy development in East Africa by awarding around USD 90 million as grants for 26 projects in Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania in four application rounds since 2012. The 5th application round will be launched in October 2017. For detailed information about the GRMF please visit the GRMF website: http://ift.tt/1YxB6Gs.
H.E Dr. Amani Abou-Zeid also paid visits to the ports of Djibouti and Djibouti Telecom, in addition to courtesy visits to His Excellency the Prime Minister, the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and the Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, to exchange views on the support of the African Union Commission to the Djiboutian Government in the energy, transport, ICT and tourism sectors.
Source: release by email
Fall in Oregon means spectacular leaf colors and cooler temperatures. However, fall also means there could be a decrease in indoor air quality in your home. The following information outlines some of these fall air quality concerns and what can be done about them.
Common Fall Air Quality Concerns
What to Do
Roth Heating and Cooling provides high-quality HVAC sales, service, and installation in Portland, Hillsboro, Canby, Lake Oswego and the surrounding Oregon communities. Contact us today for more information on fall air quality concerns and how to make sure your indoor air is fresh and clean throughout autumn.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland, Oregon area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
The post Breathe Easy: Know These Fall Air Quality Concerns appeared first on Roth Heating & Cooling Blog.
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At the recently held Arctic Circle event in Reykjavik/ Iceland, there were some interesting discussions about the energy future for the region of the Arctic. While energy discussions are increasingly focusing on renewable energy, they are even more so relevant in the Arctic. With increasing energy demand due to climate change and the opening of Arctic water ways, the issue of energy has been an important element of the discussions during the events. Today, energy supply often depends on fossil fuel, which is expensive, and the issue of climate change also plays an important role in a drive towards renewable energy deployment in the region.
While not every country along the Arctic Circle has the potential for geothermal energy development, Iceland and also the region of Northeastern Russia, Northern Japan and Alaska have possibilities, so Geir Hagalinsson, CEO of North Tech Energy during a session on offshore geothermal.
The session featured presentations by North Tech Energy, Iceland GeoSurvey and SINTEF from Norway.
The first presentation by Geir Hagalinsson, CEO of North Tech Energy described his company’s efforts to explore offshore geothermal potential in Iceland. The company has secured two geothermal exploration licenses off the cost of Iceland. One in the Northeastern part of the count, the other on the southwestern tip of the island. Both areas are offshore extensions of geothermal production areas. Krafla/ Theistareykir in the North and Reykjanes in the South.
North Tech Energy as the developer is conducting R&D activities, a desktop study, exploration and is targeting financing for the project. The company has contracted Iceland GeoSurvey (ÍSOR) as part of its development team and has started on its three year exploration plan.
The company aims to use a jack-up rig to drill, which limits work to water depths that can be handled by this rig. The company sees a potential of up to 1,000 MW of development, which would require an “offshore” electricity market, such as UK or mainland Europe. The production of Hydrogen could also be an option to export “power”.
The company first started to think about offshore development back in 2009, but started in 2016 with preparations and a grant application with the European Union. In April 2017, the company secured the exploration license from the National Energy Authority in Iceland.
If everything goes according to plan, drilling and construction work could start in 2020, with electricity production by 2026.
Looking at other potential areas for offshore geothermal development, North Tech Energy sees the Caribbean, Hawaii, the Azores, Indonesia, the Philippines, New Zealand, Italy and Japan as possible options.
The company is partnering with the following entities on the project: Efla, Geothermal Research Group (GEORG), ÍSOR, the National Energy Authority of Iceland, Navigo (all from Iceland), and SINTEF from Norway.
As technical partner to the project, Iceland GeoSurvey (ISOR) plays an important role in the project. In a presentation by Bjarni Richter, Director Geothermal Energy at ISOR, discussed the geothermal resources in Iceland and those off the coast.
He also provided a great overview on the challenges, but also the opportunities for offshore geothermal development.
While there are higher costs of exploration and drilling, as well as a more challenging technical environment, the issue of ownership and land issues is simpler. Offshore geothermal also provides advantages on the issue of visual effect, noise impact, less direct impact of H2S emissions and less impact on environmental incidents.
Otherwise the properties of the reservoir are essentially the same to onshore geothermal development. But questions remain on if injection wells needed, chemical challenges and the issues of financing.
The event was closed with a presentation by Odd-Geir Lademo, Research Manager at SINTEF, who talked about the connection of research and development from the oil and gas sector and the role of SINTEF an realizing synergies and innovation from the oil and gas sector.
During the event, there were several energy sessions. One was held at Reykjavik University, which featured presentations on energy development in the Canadian Arctic. We will report on this event in a separate post.
This piece is built on notes from the event and the presentations of Geir Hagalinsson and Bjarni Richter. Thanks to Ágústa Yr Thorbergsdóttir for organising this informative event.
The Upper Rhine Graben, the border region of Germany and France is a unique region with lots of cultural heritage and geothermal resources. The “fault of the Rhine”, and the Alsace region (France) has outstanding potential for hot water and a structure for deep geothermal energy . Basically, the Alsatians have under their feet, to 3,000 to 5,000 meters deep water at very high temperatures (over 150 degrees Celsius). Once extracted, it allows to create electricity but also to heat homes and offices. Renewable energy, local, totally decarbonated and which could ensure a certain autonomy in the energy in the decades to come.
Last week, the construction site of a new deep geothermal co-generation project was officially launched in Illkirch-Graffenstaden. The third power station, after that of Eckbolsheim and Vendenheim. And the expectations are great. In the long term, deep geothermal energy with these three power stations could produce electricity covering the demand of 50,000 homes (excluding heating) or 20,000 homes (with heating). These planned three power stations in Northern Alsace, would come in addition to the geothermal power plant of Soultz-sous-Forêts and the geothermal heat plant at Rittershoffen, both are already operational.
Geothermal potential in Alsace largely untapped
“This is an important step. From 14% renewable energy used in 2014, we now aim for 26% by 2020, says Alain Jund, the Vice President of the Eurométropole Strasbourg. This makes it one of the French cities where the share of renewable energies is the most important. And still, this resource is under exploited. “
Renewable, clean energy, which could have to play a key role in the future because “it is a low-cost energy that escapes the fluctuations of fossil energies,” said Robert Herrmann, President of the Eurométropole. Moreover, once the Illkirch power station is completed in 2020, there will certainly be others in Alsace because it is an ecological and energy opportunity. “
For the moment, the drilling of the power plant at the Illkirch-Graffenstaden innovation park set up by the Electricité de Strasbourg (ES) group is only about fifty meters deep. But will reach much deeper, similar to Reichstett, which drilled up to 3,500 meters deep, or even, as in Eckbolsheim, where it was drilled to a depth of 5,000 meters. For the Illkirch plant alone, the plant will avoid the equivalent of 11,000 tonnes per year of CO2 emissions. What can be actively involved in the energy transition,but also, as Robert Herrmann pointed out, “to contribute to the development of Eurométropole’s activity, employment and attractiveness. “
Details on the project can be found on the website of the municipality of Illkirch-Graffenstaden
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Reported from Kenya last week, the country’s Geothermal Development Company (GDC) and Kenya Power have entered into discussions with banks to bankroll the development of private sector development at the Menengai geothermal field that have been delayed for quite some time.
The development of a total of 105 MW, 35 MW for each developer, has been delayed first based on the lack of sufficient steam and other challenges.
Now GDC and Kenya Power seeking support to receive letters of credit which will be guaranteed by the African Development Bank, helping the IPPs to bankroll the projects and hopefully get the projects moving.
Source: Kenya CitizenTV
The Pacific Community (SPC) as the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, has been supporting development in the Pacific region since 1947. As an international development organisation, it is owned and governed by our 26 country and territory members.
Access to electrical power is one of the major impediments to development in the Pacific, let alone access to clean and affordable energy. While Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs) are making some progress in harnessing renewable energy resources, access to electrical power to support major development projects remains an issue. In Papua New Guinea (PNG) – the largest country in the region – only 12 per cent of the population has access to electricity (2016 Pacific Energy Country Profile). Unless power generation capacity is significantly increased in many PICTs, major development initiatives will be curtailed, which will adversely impact on employment, wellbeing of the population, and economic growth.
Among the renewable energy options that are available in the Pacific Islands region, geothermal energy has been identified as a promising option. Eight PICTs – PNG, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), and American Samoa – are geologically-located along active tectonic margins where shallow heat sources underlie geothermal reservoirs that can be assessed and utilised for electrical power generation. Developing these geothermal resources will enhance the diversity of the region’s energy mix and help build energy security in the most populated countries: Fiji, PNG, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu.
The region sees a great opportunity in utilising geothermal energy for power generation as a reliable baseload energy source with low operating cost, while also reducing or eliminating fossil emissions. It further sees the opportunities provided in the development of direct use projects, including tourism, crop drying, aquaculture, and food processing.
Geothermal activities in the Pacific region
Over the last ten years, surface scientific assessments of geothermal resources have been carried out in select PICTs – Fiji, PNG, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu – by both external experts and government entities. As a result, prospective sites have been identified for exploration drilling. SPC’s Geoscience, Energy and Maritime Division (GEM) – formerly the Geoscience Division (GSD) – coordinated and managed the 1993–1995 comprehensive regional geothermal resource assessment programme. In 2010, the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Science (GNS) of New Zealand also conducted an overall technical assessment based on publicly available data, and identified geothermal potential in a number of PICTs*. The six PICTs that have geothermal potential – PNG, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga – are referred to as the Pacific Geothermal countries (PacGeo 6).
SPC promotes geothermal energy development in the Pacific
In 2014 GSD hosted a subregional workshop on geothermal energy development with representation from three of the PacGeo 6 countries, which resulted in the establishment of the Pacific Geothermal Steering Group (PGSG). The PGSG has been established to facilitate geothermal development activities in the Pacific including sharing of relevant information and attracting funding and investment opportunities. SPC through the Geoscience Division is coordinating PGSG’s activities.
In the last three years SPC has been promoting geothermal energy development in the Pacific at regional and international meetings and has explored collaboration and funding opportunities with donors and partners.
These efforts have resulted in interest on the part of the Japanese Business Alliance for Smart Energy Worldwide (JASE-W) to discuss geothermal development activities with SPC and PacGeo 6 countries. A JASE-W team visited the PacGeo 6 countries on two separate occasions between 2015 and 2016, and held discussions with key stakeholders. They also visited select geothermal sites in Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, and PNG. Additionally, the World Bank is providing advisory and technical assistance in reviewing previous years’ reports to Fiji and Vanuatu and is keen to collaborate with SPC.
SPC continues to advocate for the value of harnessing geothermal heat to generate power in PICTs with a number of donors and development partner. Consequently, Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA) has agreed to fund two geothermal experts: one to be based in Suva and the other in PNG. Additionally, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have expressed interest in working with SPC to progress geothermal development activities in the region.
* McCoy-West et al. 2011. Geothermal Resources in the Pacific Islands: The Potential of Power Generation to benefit Indigenous Communities.
Hailey, Idaho based POWER Engineers Incorporated announces having now provided detailed design on more than 1,000 MW, or 1 GW, of installed geothermal capacity. This major milestone was reached after Zorlu Enerji in Turkey brought the 99.5 MW Kizildere 3-Unit 1 triple-flash geothermal power plant online earlier this year. We reported on this plant earlier.
“Reaching one GW is a huge milestone for us,” said Kevin Wallace, Director of Geothermal Projects for POWER Engineers. “Geothermal plants tend to average around 30-50 MW. So getting to 1,000 MW takes time and dedication.”
Kizildere 3-Unit 1 also ushers Turkey into the 1 GW Country Club, of which there are currently three other country members: the United States, the Philippines and Indonesia. Companies like Zorlu Enerji and Güris Holding have led the way in making Turkey a world leader in installed geothermal power generation and POWER has been pleased to provide engineering support and design to those companies.
“Our design team is the industry’s best,” said Tim Dunford, Project Engineer on geothermal projects for POWER Engineers. “Everyone works very well together and we have great field support.”
Combined, POWER’s geothermal team has worked on projects all over the world including Nicaragua, Mexico, Kenya, Costa Rica, Iceland, Indonesia, Turkey, the Philippines and the United States. For nearly three decades, POWER’s team of experts has provided feasibility assessments, design engineering and field engineering to some of the world’s leading geothermal project developers and operators.
POWER Engineers is a global consulting engineering firm specializing in the delivery of integrated solutions for energy, food and beverage, facilities, communications, environmental and federal markets. POWER Engineers offers complete multi-discipline engineering, architectural and program management services.
Founded in 1976, it is an employee-owned company with more than 2,300 employees and over 40 offices throughout the United States and abroad. More information: visit www.powereng.com.
Source: Company release
As reported by the drilling contractor, drilling of the third well for a geothermal heating project in Denmark has successfully been completed this month
The Thisted-5 geothermal well has just been successfully drilled and completed to a depth of 1,170 metres. Throughout the project, WellPerform had the leading role as project manager overseeing the engineering work and onsite supervision. Thisted-5 is the first well to be drilled and completed in Denmark after the release of the geothermal licenses by DONG in 2010. The organisation was set up with Thisted Varmeforsyning as sole operator and with WellPerform and Pro-Invest as Technical Advisors.
The well was drilled without problems through the Fjerritslev formation into the Gassum formation, in which the injection is going to take place. The top of the reservoir section (Gassum A1 and A2 sandstone formations) was reached at 1,121 metres and consists of 33 metres of interbedded sand, silt and shale with two prominent coal layers. The reservoir has been completed with pre-packed screens run on a liner hanger, which will be tied back to surface with composite casing.
Thisted Geothermal Plant has an existing doublet (producer and injector pair) that has delivered heat for the district heating since 1984. Thisted-5 will be used as an additional injector well, which will allow for increased water production from the producer.
Icelandic-Chinese geothermal developer KS Orka has been working on development of a geothermal project in Serbia, as we reported before.
Now the company announces that it aims to commission the first geothermal power plant of the country sometime next year.
Planned as a combined heat and power plant, the project location is in Vranskja Banja in the southern part of the country.
The power of the plant will be fed into the local electricity grid and the local hospital facility will buy off the heat from the plant.
Source: KS Orka
Infrastructure development fund, InfraCo Africa is joining the upcoming IGC Invest Geothermal as MW Sponsors. IGC Invest Geothermal is the first global geothermal investment forum focusing on important elements of investing in geothermal energy development, such as risk mitigation, early stage financing, market incentives, blended financing options, multi-player projects and exit strategies.
The event will take place at the Mövenpick Hotel Frankfurt City, 7 November 2017.
At the event InfraCo Africa, which is part of the multi-lateral Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), will present its activities and view on financing geothermal projects in Africa.
“We are pleased to join IGC Invest Geothermal to talk about our experience on financing geothermal projects with our specific focus on Africa and are looking forward to a lively exchange with industry and representatives from other financial institutions.”, said Tim Jackson, Business Development Manager at InfraCo Africa Limited.
Tim has over 25 years of experience developing power projects and, since 2009, has focused on geothermal projects in Europe and Africa. Tim currently manages early stage power project developments for InfraCo Africa where he has been responsible for the investment in Corbetti Geothermal power project in Ethiopia.
With an increasing interest in development in growth markets, such as Turkey, Indonesia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and others, development continues to face the challenge of attracting adequate funding for projects particularly in the early stages of development. While multilateral programs and development banks are helping development in early stages, there is still insufficient equity funding available to move geothermal projects forward.
The IGC Invest Geothermal event is creating an annual forum and platform for geothermal industry geothermal industry (GI) leaders and international investors, including private equity, infrastructure, debt, institutional investors and public equity funds, as well as public funding partners such as development banks, funds and institutions. It further is set up to help increase awareness among investors and the geothermal energy industry to educate about opportunities and challenges of investments in energy infrastructure development globally.
Partners of the event are: The World Bank, Rödl & Partner, and the European Geothermal Energy Council (EGEC)
For details on InfraCo Africa, visit http://ift.tt/2yzalfl
To register for the IGC Invest Geothermal conference, visit: http://ift.tt/2p5qRMC
About InfraCo Africa
InfraCo Africa is a private financial company, part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), established in 2004. The company is funded by the governments of Austria ADA), the Netherlands (DGIS), Switzerland and the UK (DFID). The projects of the company have mobilised over $2 billion of investment and provided new infrastrcture for approximately 13 million people, improving living standards and power economic growith in sub-Saharan Africa. The company is the financial partner to the Corbetti geothermal project in Ethiopia on the initial 70 MW development with an estimated total investment for the project at US$360 million.
About the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG)
PIDG encourages and mobilises private investment in infrastructure in the frontier markets of sub-Saharan Africa, south and south-east Asia, to help promote economic development and combat poverty. Since 2002, PIDG has supported 154 infrastructure projects to financial close and provided 222 million people with access to new or improved infrastructure. PIDG is funded by donors from seven countries (UK, Switzerland, Australia, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Germany) and the World Bank Group.
To find out more visit: www.pidg.org
About IGC Invest Geothermal
IGC Invest Geothermal is the first global geothermal investment forum. To be held in Frankfurt/ Main in Germany, the event will be focusing on important elements of investing in geothermal energy development, such as risk mitigation, early stage financing, market incentives, blended financing options, multi-player projects and exit strategies.
The event is set up to help increase awareness among investors and the geothermal energy industry to educate about opportunities and challenges of investments in energy infrastructure development globally.
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A new and interesting project on utilizing geothermal energy resources to dry grains in Kenya has started in Kenya. The project takes advantage of the experience of Iceland in using geothermal energy for drying. The project is headed by Icelandic Food and Biotech R&D Institute, Matís in partnership with Geothermal Development Company (GDC) in Kenya. The project receives funding from the Icelandic Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Nordic Development Fund (NDF).
Objective of the project
The project overall objective is to market by demonstration the substitution of carbon releasing fuels with geothermal energy in drying of major food product in Kenya, namely maize (over 3 million tons annually) where oil is currently the major energy source. This, if adopted at commercial scale will contribute to the global reduction of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions and better control of the drying process.
The project will implement engineering knowledge gathered through years of experience in geothermal drying in Iceland to develop cost effective maize drying unit, and install a fully functional pilot unit in Menengai, Kenya. The change from using fossil fuels in the drying process will not only contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases but will also reduce the cost of drying and enhance the quality of dried products.
Maize is the biggest single grain product in Kenya with annual production of over 3 million tons. More than 75% of the local production is provided by small family farms. The Rift Valley accounts for around 70-80% of the national production ( (Kang’ethe, 2011) and (LandO’Lakes, 2013). The major food safety issues in regard to maize in Kenya are contamination with pesticide residues used in maize production and storage and fungal toxins contamination during the pre- and post- harvest period due to insufficient drying (Dudi, 2014).
At industrial level grains are usually dried using mechanical dryers. The mechanical drying processes uses oil/diesel operated dryers, which are considerably expensive energy sources and with high carbon footprint (42 kg CO2/ton product). By using geothermal energy this can be reduced by 95%.
Utilization of the geothermal resources for drying grains (mainly maize) is quite viable and is an opportunity to increase the quality of the product, reduce the carbon foot print and post-harvest losses as well as lowering the cost of drying. Private sector interests at investing in the geothermal technology are presently limited as knowledge and profitability of such an operation is not well understood. To demonstrate to stakeholders that such an undertaking is profitable it is necessary to establish a pilot dryer at Menengai. The pilot project will be used to demonstrate the technology and as a marketing tool to potential investors. Seeing and doing is more effective than written reports.
In September, a group of representatives from Precision Drilling, AltaCorp Financial, Alberta Geothermal and the mayor of the city of Devon Stephen Lindop met with representatives of the legislature of the province of Alberta in Edmonton.
The group presented on a project by Alberta Geothermal that plans to repurpose abandoned oil wells and utilising them for geothermal. Applied widely across the province this could account 20% of the greenhouse gas reduction commitments under the Paris Accord.
“It’s a huge, huge opportunity,” commented Lindop. “Instead of searching for oil and gas they would just drill for heat, down to known heat zones all across the province of Alberta. And they would change the heat into electricity.”, as reported by Devon Dispatch.
The project is moving forward and receives support by key players across the province. There is an inter-ministry meeting planned that is to help the project move forward. With the drop in oil prices, the province has faced increasing unemployment due to the layoffs in the oil patch.
So it is not surprising seeing a Precision Drilling as part of the pitch, as it needs to put up to 400 rigs back to work. With each rig needing a support team of about 100 people, these are around 4,000 people looking for jobs.
Albera Geothermal is in discussions with the city of Devon to discuss the project and setting up operations.
With preliminary research and testing already done, now details such as necessary licensing and next steps need to be worked out.
Source: Devon Dispatch