Twenty different nations, including the populous country Indonesia, have made a commitment to make large-scale investments in geothermal via Climate Investment Funds. These countries were divided into two different groups and the first group consisting of fourteen countries promised to bring about substantial changes in the sector of clean energy, as well as decrease carbon emissions from power plants.
Indonesia in particular has great geothermal potential. The United Arab Emirates are researching into geothermal investments they could make into the industry in Indonesia, based on what the Indonesian government has told the UAE representatives in Jakarta. As it was reported from the UAE, the country is stepping up plans to participate in geothermal investments in Indonesia.
Marty Natalegawa, the Foreign Minister of Indonesia, said that there is huge geothermal potential in Indonesia and it could become the largest geothermal energy user in the world, and that the International Renewable Energy Agency’s chairman in the UAE is willing to promote this concept to the world. The government of Indonesia wants to attract about 12 billion dollars for its geothermal sector investments, and it is countries like the UAE that can help Indonesia reach this goal.
Chile is another country with massive geothermal potential. Because Chile is a very seismically active country that has various volcanoes from north to south, as well as frequent earthquakes, there is huge potential to capture the heat of the earth there for geothermal energy. Over the next year, the goal of the Chilean government is to grant 50 geothermal concessions, and over the following two years – to grant 120 new concessions. All of these concessions will roughly equal to $200 million in investments. At this time there are 24 concessions in Chile for geothermal exploration. The Chilean government has also granted six concessions for geothermal exploitation.
Enel Chile is developing the most advanced geothermal project in the Andean nation. This company is a unit of Enel SpA, which is an Italian power utility. In northern Chile, the Apacheta geothermal project has a goal to supply 40 megawatts of electricity generated from geothermal energy to the SING northern grid by the year 2014. A large percentage of Chile’s copper mining industry is connected to the SING power grid, as it is located in northern Chile, so it is sure to benefit from the geothermal potential in the area.
The Apacheta project is actually a joint venture that is being developed under the name of Geotermica del Norte S.A. Enel holds 51 percent, and Empresa Nacional del Petroleo S.A., which is an oil and gas company, holds 46 percent. The remaining 3 percent is held by Corporacion Nacional del Cobre, which is a state copper-mining company (also referred to as Codelco).
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