Women in Geothermal (WING) presented their inaugural awards in the 2018 GRC Annual Meeting and Expo, held in Reno, Nevada, 14-17 October 2018. The WING awards are for nominees committed to the promotion, development and education of geothermal energy; nominated by their peers for embodying WING’s core values, which are: Courageous, Empowering, Open and Caring.

Courageous Award was presented to Susan Petty, co-founder of AltaRock Energy, U.S. Susan has spent her career challenging accepted truths in EGS and working to develop breakthrough energy technologies.

Open Award was presented to Albert Genter of Electricité de Strasbourg (ES) in France, and member of the current IGA BoD. Albert is behind a lot of successful collaborations and always focuses on the strengths and skills of the men and women on his team to get projects accomplished.

Empowering Award was presented to David López, CEO of LaGeo in El Salvador. He has developed activities that encourage women empowerment in the electrical sector, and one of them is the unconditional support to the formation of WING El Salvador in June 2017.

Caring Award was presented to Nenny Saptadji of ITB in Bandung/ Indonesia. Nenny became the people’s godmother, because she not only helps her students in academia, but in many aspects, such as funding and relationships.

Women in Geothermal (WING) is a volunteer, not-for-profit organization whose aim is to promote the education, professional development, and advancement of women in the geothermal community. Founded in October 2013 at the Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, WING is now represented in over 48 countries worldwide, with 14 dedicated Country Teams.

Source: http://www.thinkgeoenergy.com/women-in-geothermal-honours-outstanding-individuals-in-inaugural-awards/

The IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency) held its ninth annual assembly in in Abu Dhabi, UAE on 10-13 January 2019. The Assembly is the Agency’s supreme decision-making body and brings together Heads of State, Ministers, government officials, and representatives from the private sector, civil society and other international organizations to reaffirm the global renewable energy agenda and make concrete steps to accelerate the global energy transition.

The IGA is one of the first members of the Global Geothermal Alliance (GGA), initiative coordinated by IRENA, to which Ethiopia and the Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) joined last October 2018, to be the 46th member, and the 33rd partner of the GGA, respectively.

In the IRENA’S ninth session, more than 1200 delegates gathered, including representatives of the countries members, to discuss key issues in the global energy transition and chart the way forward for the Agency against a backdrop of remarkable progress on deployment. During a Ministerial Roundtable, government officials examined new, disruptive innovations emerging that are changing the ways in which energy systems are configured and operate.

The last day of the assembly, the members selected Francesco La Camera to be the next Director-General of IRENA, for a term of four years. La Camera will take office on 4 April 2019, succeeding Adnan Z. Amin, who has been IRENA Director-General since 2011.

The IRENA Assembly decided also to pay tribute to the current Director General for his outstanding contribution to the establishment, development and work of IRENA, and accorded, at the conclusion of his tenure, the honorary title of Director-General Emeritus for Adnan Z. Amin. The decision recognizes the significant achievements of IRENA during Amin’s tenure, including reaching a near-universal membership of 160 Members in January 2019, when Canada joined the agency.

The IRENA Statute stipulates that membership in the agency is open to states members of the United Nations, and to regional intergovernmental economic-integration organizations. There are currently 160 states members, and other 23 states in accession.

Francesco La Camera currently serves as the Director General for Sustainable Development, Energy and Climate at the Italian Ministry of Environment, Land & Sea. He led the EU and Italian negotiation teams at the climate COP 20 in Lima and was the head of the Italian delegation to the three previous COPs. He has represented Italy in many international forums including at the EU, UNECE, UNCSD, UN Environment, and the OECD.

Source: https://irena.org/newsroom/pressreleases

Kasumi Yasukawa (AIST) and Yoonho Song (KIGAM)

The 12th Asian Geothermal Symposium (AGS12) was held at the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM), Daejeon, Korea on 10-12 November 2018, co-organized by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) and KIGAM, with the support of the Asia-Western Pacific Regional Branch (AWPRB) of IGA. AGS12 was attended by 85 participants, and had the theme “Technology for geothermal energy use in harmony with society.” This unique international symposium aims to encourage technical information exchange to promote geothermal energy use in the world, especially in Asian region.

Prior to this symposium, a geothermal workshop “Geothermal Direct Use for a Green Economy” was held by the International Energy Agency-Geothermal Technology Collaboration Program (IEA Geothermal) on 9 November at the KIGAM campus. The participants visited Sejong Special Autonomous City to see huge ground-source heat pump (GSHP) systems on 10 November. Then the AGS12 sessions followed on 11 and 12 November. Both AGS12 and IEA workshop were open to anyone who are interested in technology related to geothermal energy use.

In the opening session of the AGS12 on Day 1 (11 November), a welcome speech was given by Dr. Yoonho Song on behalf of Dr. Bok Chul Kim, President of KIGAM, stressing that AGS12 is held at special occasion of KIGAM’s 70th anniversary of its foundation, and 100th anniversary of the Korea Geological Survey. Dr. Kasumi Yasukawa, AIST, gave the opening notes, mentioning that it is the second time to hold AGS in KIGAM and that since the last time in 2004, AIST and KIGAM have been co-sponsoring AGS with a strong partnership. During the lunch time of Day 1, the Annual General Meeting of AWPRB-IGA was held at the venue led by Dr. Toshihiro Uchida, AIST.

Topical sessions in AGS12 are “Resource Assessment” session on Day 1 and “Social Aspect” session on Day 2. The former included eight presentations from eight countries, followed by discussion on geothermal play types, led by Dr. Inga Moeck, Germany. This is the first time to provide a discussion session in AGS symposia. The concept of “play type” has its origin in petroleum industry and was introduced to geothermal industry rather recently. The categorization of geothermal reservoirs in play types seems to be quite hard, especially for high enthalpy reservoirs, but it may be better to start discussion worldwide. The latter, “Social aspect” session consists of only three presentations, but each of them is quite unique and suitable for the theme of AGS12. The first presentation was given by Dr. Adele Manzella, Italy, an invited speaker by KIGAM, titled “Dissemination and social studies for geothermal market uptake in Italy.” The session of “Social aspect” was introduced to the AGS symposia for the first time. For the program of AGS12, please visit our website:

https://www.aist.go.jp/Portals/0/fukushima/images/event/AGS12/AGS12_Program_ver3.pdf

On 10 November, AGS12 participants visited Sejong Special Autonomous City to see gigantic GSHP systems in the City Hall and research institute buildings. It should be noted that most of the government buildings have been moved from Seoul to Sejong recently. The government building complex in Sejong is divided into three zones and total building area reaches 607,555 m2. Total installed capacity of GSHP exceeds 20 MWth and covers more than 38% of heating and cooling load of the buildings. 70% of geothermal energy extraction is from borehole heat exchangers through 1190 boreholes of 200 m deep; the total length of all the wells reaches 238 km. 30% of heat exchangers are using ground water wells of around 400 m deep. Zone 1 of the building complex started its operation in 2012, Zone 2 in 2013 and Zone 3 was completed in 2014. GSHP for other public buildings including the City Hall, research institute buildings, etc., in Sejong City have also been recently installed.

After visiting Sejong, AGS12 participants enjoyed a short trip to Gapsa Temple in Gongju, where autumn color and traditional Korean architecture welcomed them.

All technical papers presented in AGS12 are uploaded to the IGA Geothermal Paper Database. Organizers are very grateful to IEA Geothermal because holding AGS symposia in conjunction with the IEA geothermal workshop attracted many participants from Asia, Oceania, Europe and North America.

Luis C.A. Gutiérrez-Negrín (Editor) and Ángela Prieto (AGEOCOL Secretary)

Through 10-15 December 2018, the Colombian Geothermal Association (Asociación Geotérmica Colombiana, AGEOCOL), conducted the third annual meeting called Geothermal National Meeting (Reunión Nacional de Geotermia, RENAG) in Bogotá, Colombia. RENAG 18 was composed of three main activities: pre-congress workshops (10-11 December), presentation of papers (12-14 December) and a post-congress field trip on 15 December. These activities gathered around 100 people along the week, most of them young students and recent-graduate professionals in Earth Sciences, Engineering and some social sciences. The event was co-hosted by the Colombian Geological Service (Servicio Geológico Colombiano, SGC), with the purpose of strengthening the geothermal knowledge in the country.

Two short courses were conducted the first two days (10-11 December), one on fluid inclusions and the other on geochemistry of diffuse gases, both instructed by experts from the governmental company in charge of the geothermal fields in El Salvador, LaGeo –which was also a main supporter of RENAG 18. Approximately 20 persons attended the courses held in the SGC.

One special workshop on the geothermal roadmap for Colombia was developed on 11 December, in the conference room of the National Hydrocarbon Agency (Agencia Nacional de Hidrocarburos, ANH). It was conducted by Pablo Aguilera Bustos, the current President of AGEOCOL, and Luis C.A. Gutiérrez Negrín, from Mexico, whose participation was financed by the IGA through its Education Committee. Pablo Aguilera presented a general introduction and the expectations that the association had on the workshop, as well as the status of the current regulatory framework in Colombia. Luis Gutiérrez Negrín presented the main features of the two recent geothermal roadmaps for Mexico (one general and other specific for geothermal direct uses) and the process of their preparation, which was commissioned by the Mexican Ministry of Energy. He also presented the main components of the regulation related to geothermal energy in Mexico, particularly the Geothermal Energy Law, as well as the history and current status of the geothermal-electric development in the country and the main perspectives.

The workshop also included two presentations from New Zealand, one pre-recorded by Bart van Campen about the regulatory framework in this country and its comparative to a couple of other countries (Chile and Iceland), and the other was an online presentation, through a teleconference about the GeoHeat Strategy that has been developing in New Zealand. The latter was presented by Andy Blair, President of Women in Geothermal (WING), and one of the founders and responsible of this initiative related to direct uses, outreach and inter-relations with communities.

The final part of the workshop was an open discussion among all the participants, conducted by Pablo Aguilera and Luis Gutiérrez-Negrín. Some of the main outcomes and conclusions of the workshop can be summarized as follows: i) It is necessary to define the national geothermal potential in Colombia, based on the different studies and assessments performed up to now, activity that is part of the institutional responsibilities of the SGC. ii) The definition of an official geothermal roadmap corresponds to the Colombian government. It is recommendable that AGEOCOL continues its efforts to prepare a document defining the hurdles and challenges for the geothermal development in Colombia, which can be an important contribution to a further roadmap. iii) It’s important to take advantage of any opportunity to propose to the proper governmental authorities recommendations for the formulation of a geothermal roadmap, for which AGEOCOL can count with the collaboration and support of participants from the SGC, UPME (the planning department of the Ministry of Mines and Energy) and other governmental offices.

In the following three days (12-14 December) around 30 papers were orally presented in the main conferences room of the SGC. These presentations were grouped into four themes: i) Geothermal as base-energy at the national electric market. ii) Human talent. iii) Science and Technology. iv) Communities. Every theme had a panel discussion with all the speakers and the floor open for questions, answers, comments and proposals by the audience. The audience was encouraged to participate by moderators of each theme, producing wide and vivid discussions.

The field trip to the geothermal zone of Paipa, was conducted by Jesús Rueda, geologist from the SGC and active member of the AGEOCOL on 15 December.

Before the closure of the main event, on the evening of 14 December, the President of AGEOCOL read the Bogotá Declaration, an official statement of the association prepared with the recommendations gathered during the event and the results from the discussion panels, on the current status and possibilities of geothermal in Colombia. After that, participants were invited to join a closure reception hosted by LaGeo in the same SGC facilities.

In the Bogota Declaration, five main points of work are identified:

  1. Current knowledge of the geothermal potential
  2. Human talent available
  3. Communities involvement in geothermal projects
  4. Regulatory framework
  5. Political participation

Strategic actions proposed to work on these five points are:

  1. Establish an action group to work continuously and together in coordinated workshops towards completing the strategic actions.
  2. Quantify the geothermal resource and the capacity potential.
  3. Offer ongoing training for local people.
  4. Socialize geothermal in communities, schools, and universities from the social and academic perspectives.
  5. Give recommendations to strengthen the geothermal regulation.
  6. Find ways to participate in high levels of politics.

The current Board of Directors of AGEOCOL will work in the involvement of AGEOCOL members and the participants of RENAG 18 with these actions, for the promotion of geothermal energy in Colombia.   

AGEOCOL also ran its first general assembly during RENAG 18. It was held at the evening of 12 December, and was open for all members of the association to attend. Ten active-members of the association, with right to speak or vote as established in its bylaws, were present.  Among them, three of the Board members were physically present (the President Pablo Aguilera, the Vice-President Valeria García, and the Treasurer Carolina Coronado), and one participated remotely (the Secretary, Ángela Prieto). The Assembly was conducted by the President, and the agenda was composed of the reports by the President and the Treasurer and other business, among which was the decision to hold RENAG 19 on 25-29 November 2019 in Medellín, the second largest city in Colombia.