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News Article | May 5, 2017
Site: phys.org

If successful, the experimental project could produce up to 10 times more energy than an existing conventional gas or oil well, by generating electricity from the heat stored inside the earth: in this case, volcanic areas. Launched in August last year, the drilling was completed on January 25, reaching a record-breaking depth of 4,659 metres (nearly 3 miles). At this depth, engineers hope to access hot liquids under extreme pressure and at temperatures of 427 degrees C (800 F), creating steam that turns a turbine to generate clean electricity. Iceland's decision to harness the heat inside the earth in a process known as geothermal energy dates back to the 1970s and the oil crisis. But the new geothermal well is expected to generate far more energy, as the extreme heat and pressure at that depth makes the water take the form of a "supercritical" fluid, which is neither gas nor liquid. "We expect to get five to 10 times more power from the well than a conventional well today," said Albert Albertsson, an engineer at the Icelandic energy company HS Orka, involved in the drilling project. To supply electricity and hot water to a city like Reykjavik with 212,000 inhabitants, "we would need 30-35 conventional high temperature wells" compared to only three or five supercritical wells, says Albertsson. The cost would be much less. Scientists and the team working on the "Thor" drill project have two years to determine its success and the economic feasibility of the experiment, which is called the Iceland Deep Drilling Project (IDDP). Situated not far from the Blue Lagoon, whose steaming blue waters attracted more than one million tourists last year, the IDDP overlooks craters formed by the last volcanic eruption 700 years ago that covered this part of the Reykjanes peninsula with a sea of lava. The peninsula's moon-like landscape also attracted NASA training missions in 1965 and 1967, aiming to prepare astronauts for unknown landscapes they might encounter on the moon. A Nordic island nation, rich in geysers with fountainlike jets of water and steam, hot springs and breathtaking volcanoes, Iceland is currently the only country in the world with 100 percent renewable electricity. Geothermal accounts for 25 percent, while the rest comes from hydroelectric dams. But is Iceland a model for clean energy? The answer is complex, according to Martin Norman, a Norwegian sustainable finance specialist at Greenpeace. Although geothermal energy is still preferable to gas, coal and oil, it's not "completely renewable and without problems," he said. "As soon as you start drilling you have issues to it, such as sulphur pollution and CO2 emission and they need to find solutions to deal with it," he added. Albertsson agreed but said geothermal emissions were only "a fraction" compared to those produced by oil and natural gas. He added that recycling methods are progressing rapidly. Iceland prides itself on being at the forefront of renewable energy, yet "it is far from meeting the international objectives in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions," Norman said. The Institute of Economic Studies at the University of Iceland said in a February report that the country will not be able to abide by the COP21 climate change agreement signed in Paris in 2015. Greenhouse gas emissions are rising in all sectors of the economy, except in fisheries and agriculture, it said. And they are predicted to rise by between 53 and 99 percent by 2030 from 1999 levels, a far cry from the island nation's COP21 summit pledge to slash carbon pollution by 40 percent compared to the same benchmark. Iceland's heavy and energy-intensive—aluminium, silicon—industries and booming tourism are some of the causes. The land of ice and fire, with a population of 338,000, expects to welcome more than two million foreign visitors this year. With the frequent landing of charter planes, coaches weaving through the interior of the country, quads and powerful 4x4 driving over the black lava landscape and hotels sprouting up in the capital, the growing volume of holidaymakers is taking a toll on Iceland's environment. Norman, of Greenpeace, fears the capital will turn into "a Costa del Reykjavik" due to the lure of the profits to be made and result in Icelanders giving up the country's unique nature. In an interview with AFP, Icelandic Environment Minister Bjort Olafsdottir said she hopes her nation will find the political will to reach its COP21 goals. "If we do nothing, if we don't take strong actions, we won't reach the Paris agreement goals. But that's not the plan," she said. The current government has doubled taxes on CO2 emissions and financial incentives for polluting industries have been removed, she argued. "It is the first step, probably it is not enough. We have to do it with the help of the industry," she said. Iceland's long-term goal is to reduce the country's dependence on hydrocarbons by having all cars run on electric power. Explore further: Geothermal power potential seen in Iceland drilling project


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENERGY.2013.2.4.1 | Award Amount: 13.30M | Year: 2013

The IMAGE project will develop a reliable science based exploration and assessment method to IMAGE geothermal reservoirs using an interdisciplinary approach based on three general pillars: 1 Understanding the processes and properties that control the spatial distribution of critical exploration parameters at European to local scales. The focus will be on prediction of temperatures, in-situ stresses, fracture permeability and hazards which can be deduced from field analogues, public datasets, predictive models and remote constraints. It provides rock property catalogues for 2 and 3. 2 Improving well-established exploration techniques for imaging and detection beyond the current state of the art and testing of novel geological, geophysical and geochemical methods to provide reliable information on critical subsurface exploration parameters. Methods include a) geophysical techniques such as ambient seismic noise correlation and magnetotellurics with improved noise filtering, b) fibre-optic down-hole logging tools to assess subsurface structure, temperature and physical rock properties, and c) the development of new tracers and geothermometers. 3 Demonstration of the added value of an integrated and multidisciplinary approach for site characterization and well-siting, based on conceptual advances, improved models/parameters and exploration techniques developed in 1 and 2. Further, it provides recommendations for a standardized European protocol for resource assessment and supporting models. The IMAGE consortium comprises the leading European geothermal research institutes and industry partners who will perform testing and validation of the new methods at existing geothermal sites owned by the industry partners, both in high temperature magmatic, including supercritical, and in basement/deep sedimentary systems. Application of the methods as part of exploration in newly developed fields will provide direct transfer from the research to the demonstration stage.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: LCE-03-2015 | Award Amount: 44.06M | Year: 2015

Our goal with the DEEPEGS project is to demonstrate the feasibility of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) for delivering energy from renewable resources in Europe. Testing of stimulating technologies for EGS in deep wells in different geologies, will deliver new innovative solutions and models for wider deployments of EGS reservoirs with sufficient permeability for delivering significant amounts of geothermal power across Europe. DEEPEGS will demonstrate advanced technologies in three geothermal reservoir types that provide all unique condition for demonstrating the applicability of this tool bag on different geological conditions. We will demonstrate EGS for widespread exploitation of high enthalpy heat (i) beneath existing hydrothermal field at Reykjanes (volcanic environment) with temperature up to 550C and (ii) very deep hydrothermal reservoirs at Valence (crystalline and sandstone) and Vistrenque (limestone) with temperatures up to 220C. Our consortium is industry driven with five energy companies that are capable of implementing the project goal through cross-fertilisation and sharing of knowledge. The companies are all highly experienced in energy production, and three of them are already delivering power to national grids from geothermal resources. The focus on business cases will demonstrate significant advances in bringing EGS derived energy (TRL6-7) routinely to market exploitation, and has potential to mobilise project outcomes to full market scales following the end of DEEPEGS project. We seek to understand social concerns about EGS deployments, and will address those concerns in a proactive manner, where the environment, health and safety issues are prioritised and awareness raised for social acceptance. We will through risk analysis and hazard mitigation plans ensure that relevant understanding of the risks and how they can be minimised and will be implemented as part of the RTD approaches, and as a core part of the business case development.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: LCE-02-2015 | Award Amount: 4.70M | Year: 2016

New concepts for high-temperature geothermal well technologies are strongly needed to accelerate the development of geothermal resources for power generation in Europe and worldwide in a cost effective and environmentally friendly way. The GeoWell project will address the major bottlenecks like high investment and maintenance costs by developing innovative materials and designs that are superior to the state of the art concepts. The lifetime of a well often determines the economic viability of a geothermal project. Therefore, keeping the geothermal system in operation for several decades is key to the economic success. The objective of GeoWell is to develop reliable, cost effective and environmentally safe well completion and monitoring technologies. This includes: - Reducing down time by optimised well design involving corrosion resistant materials. - Optimisation of cementing procedures that require less time for curing. - Compensate thermal strains between the casing and the well. - Provide a comprehensive database with selective ranking of materials to prevent corrosion, based on environmental conditions for liners, casings and wellhead equipment, up to very high temperatures. - To develop methods to increase the lifetime of the well by analysing the wellbore integrity using novel distributed fiber optic monitoring techniques. - To develop advanced risk analysis tools and risk management procedures for geothermal wells. The proposed work will significantly enhance the current technology position of constructing and operating a geothermal well. GeoWell aims to put Europe in the lead regarding development of deep geothermal energy. The consortium behind GeoWell constitutes a combination of experienced geothermal developers, leading academic institutions, major oil&gas research institutions and an SME. These have access to world-class research facilities including test wells for validation of innovative technologies and laboratories for material testing.


News Article | February 23, 2017
Site: www.altenergystocks.com

Debra Fiakas is the Managing Director of , an alternative research resource on small capitalization companies in selected industries. Last week, one of the leaders in a development consortium, Iceland’s largest privately owned energy generator HS Orka hf , announced the completion of a project to prove the merits of deeper geothermal wells.  The project in the Reykjanes Peninsula in southern Iceland reached 4,659 meters depth in January 2017, where temperatures measured 427 degrees Centigrade and fluid pressure was 340 bars.  By all accounts the project was successful, suggesting that deep wells could a cost effective approach to geothermal energy.The drilling program was mentioned in early December 2015 a recent post “Hot Rocks, Warm Stock,” which touched on the option of investing in a larger company, Statoil (STL: SW or STO:  NYSE) , for a stake in geothermal technologies for renewable energy.   Unfortunately, a position in Statoil brings with it the noise of Statoil’s fossil fuel interests.  Fortunately, for the more environmentally-conscious investor, there is an alternative.HS Orka is majority owned by Alterra Power AXY :  TO or MGMXF: OTC) a Canada-based geothermal power generation company.  Alterra has interests in eight different power facilities totaling 825 megawatts of generation capacity using hydro, wind, geothermal and solar technologies.  The assets are located in Texas and Indiana in the U.S., British Columbia in Canada and, of course, the HS Orka asset in Iceland. Alterra’s development pipeline includes additional geothermal projects in Iceland through HS Orka, in Peru through a local Energy Development Corporation, and in Italy through Graziella Green Power.  Notably HS Orka is also planning new hydro-electric projects, in which Alterra will participate.  No doubt the knowledge gained during the recently completed deep well drilling project will boost HS Orka’s geothermal development as well.Alterra Power reported $42.9 million in total sales in the first nine months of the year 2016, providing $2.7 million in net income or $0.06 per share.  Since there is considerable noise in reported income from charges and benefits through the shifting values of equity derivatives, the financial fortunes of this company are best viewed from the perspective of cash earnings.  Operations generated $15.5 million in cash in the first nine months of 2016, representing sales-to-cash conversion rate of 33.8%.  This compares favorably to the conversion rate in the previous year of 28.0%, and suggests Alterra can consistently generate cash for future investments.Internal cash resources have not been enough for Alterra’s ambitious development plans.  The company had $273.6 million in long-term debt on the balance sheet at the end of September 2016.  The debt-to-equity ratio was 1.15, suggesting there is potential for additional leverage if the company needs to move aggressively in its renewable energy markets.Alterra’s common stock trades on the Toronto exchange under the symbol AXY, but investors can also gain access through the Over-the-Counter Pink Sheets where the stock is quoted as MGMXF.  The shares have traded off in recent weeks providing a compelling entry point for shareholders with the lengthy investor horizon and risk tolerance for smaller companies. Neither the author of the Small Cap Strategist web log, Crystal Equity Research nor its affiliates have a beneficial interest in the companies mentioned herein.


News Article | February 28, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.com

VANCOUVER, Feb. 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ - Alterra Power Corp. (TSX: AXY) ("Alterra") announces that its 66.6% owned Icelandic subsidiary, HS Orka hf, today released audited financial and operating results for the year ended December 31, 2016. HS Orka's financial statements are prepared in...


Consolidated Financial Statements for the year ended December 31, 2016 of HS Orka hf. (the “Company”) were approved at a Board of Directors meeting on 27 February 2017. The financial statements of HS Orka hf. are prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards as adopted by the European Union and are stated in Icelandic krónur (ISK). The financial statements can be found on the Company´s website: http://www.hsorka.is Net profit for the year was ISK 3,104 million, up from a net loss of ISK 247 million in 2015, with the movement predominantly due to non-cash gains in the year further discussed below. Operating revenue was ISK 7,099 million against 7,343 million in 2015, with the decrease primarily due to a reduction in aluminum based sales (as a result of a decline in aluminum prices in 2016) plus a decrease in the sale of geothermal water due to unusually warm weather in 2016. This is somewhat offset by a continuing growth in sale of electricity to the retail market. Production cost increased by 13% to ISK 3,671 million in 2016 mostly because of an increase in power purchases and a rise in depreciation derived from the revaluation of the Svartsengi Power Plant at year-end 2015. Research and development costs were higher in 2016 due to the deep drilling program at Reykjanes. Drilling was completed at a depth of 4,650 meters. Initial well readings (427ºC temperature, 340 bars pressure) indicate supercritical conditions at the base of the well, comprising significantly higher energy content versus conventional high-temperature geothermal steam. Legal fees were higher in 2016 due to arbitration proceedings regarding the power purchase agreement with Norðurál Helguvík ehf (“Norðurál”). HS Orka hf. received positive results in November 2016, indicating that the power purchase agreement had lapsed due to certain circumstances, and therefore was at an end. The panel further determined that the ending of the contract was not due to any fault on the part of the Company. All counterclaims advanced by Norðurál Helguvík ehf. in the arbitration were denied. Finance-related income increased to a gain of ISK 2,364 million (2015: ISK 3,141 million loss). This was driven primarily by an increase in future aluminum prices during the year, resulting in an increase in the fair value of embedded derivatives in power purchase agreements of ISK 1,467 million (2015: ISK 3,248 million loss). Currency gains were ISK 970 million compared to a gain of ISK 197 million in 2015. A total comprehensive profit of ISK 2,757 million was recorded against ISK 2,633 million profit in 2015. The Company’s equity ratio is 66.7% compared to 58.6% at year-end 2015. Further information can be provided by Ásgeir Margeirsson, Managing Director of HS Orka hf., tel. 520 9300 / 855 9301.


News Article | December 1, 2016
Site: globenewswire.com

HS Orka hf. has received positive results from the arbitration concerning the validity of a power purchase agreement between HS Orka hf. and Norðurál Helguvík ehf. The arbitration panel determined that the power purchase agreement has lapsed due to certain circumstances, and therefore is at an end. The panel further determined that the ending of the contract was not due to any fault on the part of HS Orka hf., and that all counterclaims advanced by Norðurál Helguvík ehf. in the arbitration have been denied. Ásgeir Margeirsson, CEO of HS Orka hf. said “We are pleased to have this longstanding issue behind us. This award will enable us to freely pursue new contractual opportunities in Iceland as new power becomes available to us.“ For further information please contact Ásgeir Margeirsson, CEO of HS Orka, tel. +354 855 9301


News Article | December 1, 2016
Site: globenewswire.com

HS Orka hf. has received positive results from the arbitration concerning the validity of a power purchase agreement between HS Orka hf. and Norðurál Helguvík ehf. The arbitration panel determined that the power purchase agreement has lapsed due to certain circumstances, and therefore is at an end. The panel further determined that the ending of the contract was not due to any fault on the part of HS Orka hf., and that all counterclaims advanced by Norðurál Helguvík ehf. in the arbitration have been denied. Ásgeir Margeirsson, CEO of HS Orka hf. said “We are pleased to have this longstanding issue behind us. This award will enable us to freely pursue new contractual opportunities in Iceland as new power becomes available to us.“ For further information please contact Ásgeir Margeirsson, CEO of HS Orka, tel. +354 855 9301


Consolidated Condensed Interim Financial Statements for the nine months ended September 30, 2016 of HS Orka hf. (the “Company”) were approved at a Board of Directors meeting on 8 November 2016. The financial statements of HS Orka hf. are prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards as adopted by the European Union and are stated in ISK. The financial statements can be found on the Company´s website: http://www.hsorka.is Company profit for the period was ISK 2,714 million (YTD 2015: ISK 290 million), driven primarily by increased aluminum prices (see below). Operating revenue was 4.9% lower at ISK 5,119 million (YTD 2015 ISK 5,382 million) largely due decreased generation at Reykjanes and reduced sales to fish smelters due to a poor fishing season. Net finance income was ISK 2,135 million (YTD 2015: expense ISK 2,016 million). The major driver for the variance was due to an increase in aluminum prices since year-end which drove up the fair value of the embedded derivatives and resulted in a gain of ISK 1,653 million (YTD 2015: loss of ISK 2,156 million). In addition, net exchange rate differences were positive of ISK 597 million (YTD 2015 ISK 206 million). The deep drilling program at Reykjanes has progressed below 3,850 meters, making it the deepest drilled hole in Iceland. The target depth remains 5,000 meters, and drilling progresses at 8.5" diameter. Estimated well-bottom temperatures are currently around 400°C. The program hopes to elucidate a previously untapped supercritical steam zone The Company’s equity ratio is 65.7% compared to 58.6% at year-end 2015. Further information can be provided by Ásgeir Margeirsson, Managing Director of HS Orka hf., tel. 520 9300 / 855 9301.

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