Ormat Steams On

Ormat Technologies, Inc. (ORA:  NYSE) recently reported financial results for the three-month period ending September 2018  -  the first full quarter without the revenue and earnings of the company’s Puna geothermal electricity generation project.  In early May 2018, the Kilauea volcano erupted, giving the Hawaiian Islands a grand fire show.  For Ormat and its neighbors near its Puna Geothermal Power Project the volcano was more nightmare than entertainment.  Within a few days Ormat was forced to shut down the facility on Kilauea by removing surface equipment and plugging the geothermal well holes.  Nonetheless, three well sites, the electric substation, an adjacent warehouse and drilling equipment were overtaken...

Geothermal in South America: Major Prospects for Development

Meg Cichon Geothermal well photo via Bigstock With climate threats and increased energy demand, South American countries are set to develop their vast geothermal potential. Will developers be able to acquire investment and favorable policy? If any part of the world should be concerned about the effects of climate change, it is South America. Despite contributing some of the lowest emissions globally, many of the countries in the region are As South America’s population is expected to rise 72% by 2035, the impact of climate...

World Energy Solutions (XWES) and Ram Power (RPG.TO) Appear Promising

From Small Fries to Big Shots? Part 1 of 2 by Bill Paul Feel like rolling the dice on some small alternative energy stocks that appear to have big-time potential? Just remember: sometimes you roll snake eyes. First up: World Energy Solutions Inc. (Symbol: XWES), which currently trades on NASDAQ for $3 and change per share. Worcester, MA-based World Energy Solutions operates online exchanges for energy and green commodities, including the one administered by Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Inc. (RGGI), the regulatory scheme under which 10 Northeastern and Middle Atlantic states "cap" their power plants' emissions by requiring...

The Efficiency Tango: A Deeper Look at Geothermal Heat Pump Efficiency

Tom Konrad CFA Geothermal heat pump diagram via Bigstock A couple weeks ago, I compared the efficiency of the two most advanced geothermal heat pumps (GHPs) recently launched by Waterfurnace Renewable Energy (TSX:WFI, OTC:WFIFF) and Climatemaster, as division of LSB Industries (NYSE:LXU).  Like most things in life, it turns out that heat pump efficiency is a lot more complicated than just comparing a couple numbers. Since I concluded that Waterfurnace’s 7  Series heat pumps were slightly more efficient than Climatemaster’s Trilogy 40 pumps, one of Climatemaster’s district managers pointed me...

Book Review: Investment Opportunities for a Low Carbon World (Geothermal + Efficiency)

Charles Morand Last Thursday, I reviewed two chapters from the recently published book "Investment Opportunities for a Low Carbon World"*. This post reviews two more.  Geothermal Energy Alexander Richter, Glitnir Bank (now Íslandsbanki) Geothermal is one of the most interesting forms of clean power generation there is. As noted by the author, the most convincing argument for geothermal electricity is the fact that it operates at capacity factors in the upper 90s. This makes it the only renewable technology suitable for baseload power with the exception of dam-based (i.e. large-scale) hydro. However, as...
Puna Geothermal Venture

Geothermal Power: Business in a Tough Neighborhood

Geothermal power producers use Earth’s internal heat to power electrical generators.  It is the quintessential renewable energy source.  Most geothermal plants are located adjacent to underground pockets of super hot water.  Developers look for locations where these thermal reservoirs are near the earth’s surface, providing availability of the super hot water at a reasonable cost.  Unfortunately, those locations are often in tough neighborhoods. Ring of Fire The overwhelming majority (85%) of current geothermal power installations in the world are located along the Ring of Fire that circumvents the Pacific Ocean.  More a horseshoe than a circle, the Ring of Fire is a geographic anomaly that is...

Kerry’s High-Wattage Energy Plan

BusinessWeek.com discusses John Kerry's plan to increase alternative energy usage for the country. John Kerry's blueprint for energy independence doesn't suffer from lack of ambition. In early August, he'll unveil an energy plan that he says can break America's addiction to foreign oil, revitalize the U.S. auto industry, help farmers and coal miners, fight global warming, and create jobs all for just $2 billion per year. "We can live in an America that is energy independent," Kerry promises.

Can the Geothermal Industry Overcome Challenges to Raising Capital?

By Jane Pater Salmon, Navigant Consulting Geothermal energy presents baseload clean energy at a lower cost than many other renewable energy alternatives. Despite this compelling value proposition, long development horizons and the risks associated with exploration and drilling activities present hurdles to developing the country's rich geothermal potential. Financing projects that use conventional geothermal technology remains challenging in the uncertain economic environment. In the past year, geothermal project developers used alternative strategies to overcome three common challenges to geothermal project finance. While the challenges for raising capital at the project level are consistent with those faced in...

Holiday Shopping Deal On Ram Power Shares

Tom Konrad CFA Holders of Ram Power Corp. (TSX:RPG, OTC:RAMPF) on November 26 (the “record date”) will be receiving valuable coupons as the result of the company’s rights offering, announced November 18th. Just in time for the holidays, these coupons, or “rights” can be used to buy additional shares of Ram Power for 8¢ Canadian per share any time before  5pm on December 23rd. (Disclosure: I am long Ram Power stock.) Holiday shoppers looking for more traditional gifts will be able to raise a little cash by selling the rights on the Toronto Stock Exchange,...

FPL Group in Talks to Buy Constellation Energy Group

FPL Group Inc (FPL) is currently in the advanced stages of negotiations to acquire Constellation Energy Group (CEG). An FPL-Constellation merger would create a giant East Coast-based utility with a market capitalization, based on Tuesday's closing stock prices, of $26.97 billion - $16.93 billion for FPL and $10.04 billion for Constellation. Constellation Energy Group is based out of Baltimore Maryland and is the holding company for Baltimore Gas and Electric. They also have an extensive presence in the wholesale power supply and generation business. The Power Generation Division currently uses 4.6% alternative sources for power generation. ...

Dispatchable Geothermal Plant May Shape Future Deals

Meg Cichon A fully dispatchable geothermal plant in Hawaii may influence power contracts in states like California that have a significant amount of energy but dwindling capacity with intermittent renewables. The geothermal industry has been struggling with the same barriers to development for years. It's a frustrating situation: while geothermal is a reliable, steady baseload form of renewable energy, its development expenses overshadow its obvious long-term benefits. Meanwhile, other intermittent renewable sources such as wind and solar are able to take advantage – and control – of state renewable portfolio standard (RPS) policies...

Colorado Voters Approve Amendment 37

Colorado voters have approved an amendment requiring utilities to get part of their electricity from the sun, wind or plant and animal waste. The amendment requires the state's seven largest utilities to get a portion of their retail electricity sales from renewables, beginning with 3 percent in 2007 and climbing to 10 percent by 2015. Four percent of the renewables should be solar sources.

Geothermal Heat Pump Stock a Deep Bargain

Tom Konrad CFA Uncertainty surrounding the damage caused by a sulfur fire at LSB Industries‘ (NYSE:LXU) chemical facility Tuesday has brought the stock down $5 from Monday’s close, although the company was already well-valued and had just beaten analyst’s expectations for its first quarter results. This is extremely short-sighted of investors, who are no doubt spooked by the lack of information about the extent of the damage.  However, we have enough information to make a reasonable estimate as to the damage to LSB’s profits.  As I outlined Tuesday night, we know: The facility is insured for both damages and work stoppage....

Nevada Geothermal Power Inc. Acquires Third Nevada Geothermal Project In Prolific ‘Corridor Of Heat’

Nevada Geothermal Power Inc. (NGLPF) announced today that it has acquired 7 square miles of private land and has applied for a one section federal geothermal lease for a total land area of 8 square miles (22 square kilometers) south and east of Black Warrior Peak, Washoe County, Nevada. The leases are on private land and are subject to a 3.5% royalty on gross revenue from electricity sales, however, NGP can purchase the royalty for US$1,000,000. Leases include surface and water rights.

New York to rely more on renewable power

New York will dramatically boost its reliance on renewable energy sources like wind and water over the next nine years under a policy approved by state regulators Wednesday. Clean energy advocates and state officials said the action by the state Public Service Commission places New York among the leaders nationwide in the development of renewable energy. It comes 20 months after Gov. George Pataki first called for a statewide standard that would encourage the production of environmentally friendly energy.

Outlook for Geothermal Energy Stocks in 2011

Tom Konrad CFA My take-aways from the GEA Finance Forum After a long time lost in the proverbial desert of high capital costs and few financiers willing to step up, a number of geothermal companies made breakthroughs last fall.  The Department of Energy (DOE) loan guarantees for geothermal power development began to come through, and financiers were beginning to step up.  Nevada Geothermal Power (NGLPF.OB) announced a deal with Ormat (ORA) in which Ormat will earn a share of Nevada Geothermal's Crump Geyser property by paying for and financing most of the development costs,...