Green Green:  Financing News for the U.S. Geothermal Industry

Volume 3, Number 6
31 October 2002

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OPIC & SBA Launch Small Business Initiative

Emerging Economies Present Opportunities for U.S. Businesses — More USG Support Needed

Ex-Im Bank to Increase Focus on Renewables

Solicitations & RFPs


In Short

Upcoming Events

Other Geothermal and Related Calendars

Past Issues of Green Green

OPIC & SBA Launch Small Business Initiative

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) signed an agreement on 18 September to create the Small Business Initiative to promote the expansion of U.S. small businesses into emerging markets.

According to OPIC President and CEO Dr. Peter Watson, "The initiative responds to President Bush’s call for greater coordination between federal agencies, especially in the area of trade and overseas investment. The creation of the OPIC Small Business Center is a new chapter in OPIC’s commitment to helping America’s small business grow through overseas investment.”

SBA Administrator Hector V. Barreto added that, “This partnership between the SBA and OPIC will help to make sure that American small businesses that want to export American products have the opportunity and resources to do so.

In conjunction with the initiative, an OPIC Small Business Center was opened on 1 October. The center will coordinate OPIC expertise for the development of small business deals through a streamlined approval process aimed at reducing costs for U.S. small businesses. OPIC Chief Financial Officer Gary Keel, a former acting associate administrator of the SBA, will serve as director of the center.

Under the terms of the OPIC/SBA Small Business Initiative:

  • Each agency will provide training on its programs to the other’s personnel in order to better serve U.S. small businesses.
  • The SBA will train OPIC personnel about SBA business information centers, finance, and technical assistance programs. These programs will enable both agencies to make qualified referrals of financial and technical assistance to each other.
  • OPIC and SBA staff will meet regularly to share information about economic, financial and political developments, business development, and risk mitigation and management. Ad hoc working groups to support specific initiatives will be established; for example, the agencies will create a working group to support America’s Partnership for Prosperity with Mexico.
  • OPIC and the SBA will make staffs available to travel in the U.S. to participate in trade shows, conferences, and seminars focusing on small businesses and commercial lenders.

For more information contact OPIC's Small Business Center:

Overseas Private Investment Corporation
1100 New York Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20527
Attention: Small Business Center
Tel: (202) 336-8700
Fax: (202) 336-8701


Emerging Economies Present Opportunities for U.S. Businesses — More USG Support Needed

Robert B. Holland, III, U.S. Alternate Executive Director of the World Bank, gave the keynote speech at the 5th Annual Seminar on Environmental Business Opportunities at the Adam's Mark Hotel in San Antonio on 15 October.

Officials from the North American Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporationgathered at the seminar to instruct contractors, suppliers, and consultants on how to win contract bids from the multilateral development banks.

Despite the opportunities, however, U.S. companies need federal help in overcoming barriers, witnesses testified on 18 September at a Senate Energy Committee hearing on technology transfer, specifically, the role the U.S. Government can and should play to support private sector efforts to achieve sustainable energy policies in developing countries.

Testifying before the committee was Daniel Schochet, vice president of ORMAT International. He raised several points:

  • Over the past few years, the renewable energy industry has seen a decline in concrete assistance from U.S. Government agencies in accessing foreign markets.
  • Worries about a developing country's possible instability and other financing risks have delayed or prevented U.S. companies from winning contracts.
  • USG agencies need to provide credit support or investment enhancements to help U.S. technology compete with European or Japanese projects. Such assistance should be set up so that the entire amount is repaid once the power plant begins operating.
  • A key to ensuring worldwide viability of renewable and energy-efficient technology is a healthy U.S. demand for such products.
  • The energy bill in House-Senate conference is the best way for lawmakers to support the demand through production tax credits and other means.

Carl Smith, Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy; Robert K. Dixon, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Power Technologies; George L. Person, Jr., International Relations Specialist, Office of American and African Affairs; William A. Trapmann, Lead Economist, Natural Gas Division; and Jeffrey Logan, Senior Research Scientist, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, all of the Department of Energy; and Sylvia V. Baca, British Petroleum America, Inc., Washington, D.C., former Assistant Secretary of the Interior also testified.


Ex-Im Bank to Increase Focus on Renewables

Renewable energy accounted for a small percentage of the U.S. Export-Import Bank's energy loans and loan guarantees from 1990 through 2001, according to a 16 September report issued by the General Accounting Office. Of the $28 billion Ex-Im Bank provided during that period for energy-related projects, 93% was used to finance fossil fuel projects and 3% was for renewable energy projects. Congress called on the Ex-Im Bank in 1989 to provide at least 5% of its energy financing for renewables.

Geothermal power was the beneficiary of the vast majority of Ex-Im Bank's renewable energy loans and loan guarantees in the 1990-2001 period, with five geothermal projects in the Philippines accounting for $455 million.

The report cited several possible obstacles to renewable energy financing including:

  • The relatively small share of renewable energy in worldwide energy consumption, due in part to cost factors;
  • Macroeconomic conditions, e.g., the Asian financial crisis, which can be linked to the decline in building of geothermal power plants in Southeast Asia;
  • The strong growth of European and Japanese renewable energy sectors, due in part to government support; and
  • Concerns about environmental impacts of large hydroelectric projects

Ex-Im Bank is working to increase its renewable energy portfolio. It formed the Renewable Energy Exports Advisory Committee to help expand its support of U.S. renewable energy exporters in May 2002. Karl Gawell, Executive Director of the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA), is a member of that committee. The Advisory Committee is expected to make recommendations to the Bank's Directors at the end of the year. If you have suggestions for actions, policies, or programs that the Ex-Im Bank should undertake to expand its support for geothermal or other renewable energy programs, please email Karl Gawell.

A copy of the GAO report, "Export-Import Bank: Energy Financing Trends Affected by Various Factors," (GAO-02-1024) is available in PDF format from the GAO website.


Solicitations & RFPs

The following solicitations and RFPs may be of interest to the geothermal community.

Due 18 December 2002

Environmental Justice Small Grants Program.. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) invites applications for the FY2003 Environmental Justice Small Grants Program. The program helps eligible groups carry out projects that address environmental justice issues. Environmental justice is defined as the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, culture, education, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. Preference will be given for projects that are working on local solutions to local environmental problems.

Funds can be used to develop a new activity or substantially improve the quality of existing programs that have a direct impact on affected communities. Of the total $1.5 million available, $1 million is set-aside for Superfund projects only. Awards will range from $15,000-20,000. Cost-matching is not required.

For more information, contact Sheila Lewis, Tel: (202) 564-0152, or see the EPA's Environmental Justice Small Grants Program website. Responses are due 18 December.


StEPP (Strategic Environmental Project Pipeline). The StEPP (Strategic Environmental Project Pipeline) Foundation, is looking for projects with significant and measurable environmental benefits to fund across the country. Established in July 2001, the StEPP Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose primary mission is to increase the number of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and pollution prevention projects implemented at the local, state, and national levels.

Funding is provided to a limited number of projects, in one-year to three-year time frames. Projects must meet a minimum funding requirement of $25,000. The Foundation conducts a project selection process several times during the year, in search of projects to best match the requirements of funding sources.

For more information, see the StEPP Foundation's website.


In Short

  • The International Geothermal Association (IGA) Education Committee has announced the availability of grants to support short courses and training programs. Application forms can be obtained by contacting Marcel Gavril Rosca; University of Oradea, Faculty of Energy Engineering; Tel: [ 40] 94-564-768; Fax: [40] 59-416-788; or Email.

Czech Republic

  • The town of Decin began using its geothermal resource, an underground lake with a temperature of 32ºC, for heat on 2 October. The new heating system uses 1.1 mil cubic meters of hot water annually. The district heating project cost $31.5 million. Financing was provided by strategic partner MVV Energie CZ, and the Danish Environment Agency which provided about $1.1 million (Source: Access Czech Republic Business Bulletin, 3 October).


  • Geothermal resources for most European countries are assembled in the recently completed Atlas of Geothermal Resources in Europe. The participating countries are: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The atlas includes overview maps at an European scale which offer a context against which individual countries and regions can be set. This general section is followed by more than 500 maps at a national or regional scale. The atlas was partially funded by the JOULE II program of the European Commission. For more information, see "Atlas of Geothermal Resources in Europe: Planning Exploration and Investments" (in PDF format), or contact Suzanne Hurter, Tel: [49] 0331-288-1572, Email:

    Atlas of Geothermal Resources of Europe
    Figure from the Atlas of Geothermal Resources in Europe


  • The House of Representatives hopes to finish drafting a geothermal power bill by the end of the year. According to Rustam Tamburaka, chairman of the House's team for the drafting of the bill, the bill aims to lure foreign investors into the country's geothermal sector. The drafting commission will seek input from several sources, including PT Indonesian Power, PT PLN, the Indonesian Geothermal Association, PT Amoseas, activists, and academics. The bill is among the few bills proposed by the House; most bills emanate from the Government.
  • PT Indonesia Power, a subsidiary of the state-owned electricity company PLN, plans to build a 40 MW geothermal power plant in Kamojang, Central Java. According to a company executive, PT Indonesia Power is looking for financiers for the US $80 million project. Construction of the new plant will take two to three years, once funding is available. The project will be built in cooperation with the state-owned oil and gas company. (Source: Asia Pulse Pte Ltd., 19 September 2002).


  • The Kenyan Government will begin importing electricity from South Africa by 2006. Energy minister Chris Okemo said plans were under way to connect the national grid to the Tanzanian one, which is linked to South African supply. The link would add 100 MW to Kenya's national grid. According to a report from the Nation/All Africa Global Media on 16 October, the decision to import power from South Africa was made when it was realized that locally-generated power and that imported from Uganda was not enough to satisfy local demand. Minister Okemo also announced that the government was planning to develop other sources of energy, e.g., wind and geothermal. According to KenGen managing director, Isaac Boindet, geothermal plants will contribute 575 MW to the national grid by 2017, about 25% of projected demand.


  • According to the 1 October issue of La Prensa of Nicaragua, the first stone of the new geothermal plant at the San Jacinto-Tizate field will be set tomorrow. Tarma Investment Corp, Consorcio Electrico (Morelia, Mexico) and Daimler Benz will invest $140 million in the project. The plant was designed by CFE (Mexico) and GESAL (El Salvador). According to the article, Ervin Kruger, president of San Jacinto Power, indicated that initially 10 MW of capacity will be installed, followed by another 20 MW, to eventually reach a total of 66 MW. Three older refurbished/repaired production wells will be used and eight new ones will be drilled in the near future (Source: Marcelo Lippmann, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory).


  • Statoil ASA is investigating the possibility of importing geothermal electricity from Iceland to Norway and the United Kingdom. The Norwegian oil company signed a letter of intent with Norwegian grid operator Statnett and Iceland's Landsvirkjun to conduct a feasibility study for a 600 MW geothermal power plant in Iceland. According to plans, the plant would generate about five terawatt-hours per year. Electricity would be exported along a 1,200 kilometer submarine power cable to Norway or the UK. Preliminary assessments show that the project can compete with other types of renewable energy but is not competitive at today's electricity prices. According to Hanne Lekva, head of Statoil's new energy business development unit, the company is taking a long-term view based on an anticipated growth in "green certificates" which they believe will make geothermal electricity commercially attractive. For more information, see Statoil's press release

United States

  • Proceedings of the International Energy Project Financing Conference convened by the California Energy Commission (CEC) Energy Technology Export Program April 18, 2002 in San Francisco are available on CD-ROM. The CD contains conference presentations, the Mexican funding sources report, the attendee list, the transcript, and photographs. For more information, contact Tambu Kisoki, Tel: (916) 654-4719, Email: or Jennifer Williams, Tel: (916) 654-4710, Email.
  • The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) provides links to useful resources about financing and incentives for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for the home, business, industry, utilities, and government. Information about financing options for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects overseas is also provided. For more information, see the DOE EERE Financing Solutions website.


Upcoming Events

November December

January February
March April
May June
July August
September October
November December



4-5 November
Website: 2002 Caribbean Renewable Energy Conference
St. Lucia
Contact: Cheryl Hosier, Tel: (785) 452-0140, or Email

4-7 November
Website: International Trade & Pre-Export Financing
New York, NY

4-8 November
Website: 3rd Earth Sciences National Conference
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

6 November
Website: Colorado Environmental Forum - Fall 2002
Denver, CO

6-8 November
Email: 20 Jahre Tiefe Geothermie in Deutschland
Waren, Germany

6-9 November
II International Renewable Energy Source Symposium
Santiago, Chile
Email: Ruben Ramos Heredia, Centro de Investigaciones de Energia Solar

7-9 November
Website: 2002 APEC Exhibition on New & Renewable Energy Technology
Seoul, South Korea
Email: Korea Institute of Energy Research

11-12 November
Website: 2nd Annual Energy Investor Summit
New York, NY

12 November
Positioning Your Company to Access Capital
Denver, CO
Contact: Craig Cox, Tel: (303) 679-9331, or Email
Sponsored by the Colorado Coalition for New Energy Technologies (CCNET) and the Colorado Environmental Business Alliance (CEBA), this breakfast meeting will feature presentations by venture capital experts on how to access financing for energy and environmental businesses of all sizes. This briefing will take place at 7:30 a.m. at Racine’s Restaurant, 850 Bannock Street. Admission will be $15 for members of CCNET and CEBA and $25 for nonmembers. The cost of breakfast and all materials is included in the price.

13-15 November
Website: International Energy Conference & Exposition
Reno, NV
The conference will address current and future energy-related issues and discuss solutions. Government representatives, along with all sectors of the energy industry, e.g., oil, natural gas, geothermal, solar, wind, and hydropower, will present new ideas, technologies, products, and services that will benefit the entire energy industry.

13-15 November
Website: 24th New Zealand Geothermal Workshop
Auckland, New Zealand

14-15 November
Website: Implementing Renewable Generation Technologies
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

15-17 November
Website: NW Energy Coalition Fall Board Meeting
Portland, OR

18-19 November
Geothermal Trade Mission
Reno, NV
Contact: Helen Harrington, Tel: (208) 327-7950, or Email
The Idaho Energy Division is organizing a geothermal trade mission to Nevada specifically slated for elected and appointed officials and staff to learn more about geothermal energy and how Idaho can benefit from its geothermal resources. Participants will tour two geothermal power plants and an onion drying facility in Fallon, and conduct roundtable discussions with Nevada state and local officials, regulators, and staff from public utilities. There is limited space available for others to participate in this trip. Confirmation of participation is required by 1 November.

18-19 November
Website: 2nd Annual Trade Finance in Asia Conference:
Exploring Opportunities in China and Beyond
Shanghai, China

20-22 November
Website: Fifth State and Local Climate Change Partners Conference
Hosted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Cosponsored by the U.S. Departments of Energy and Transportation
Annapolis, MD

22 November
Website: Vietnam Power Generation Orientation Visit and Business Briefing
New York City, NY
Email: Power Tech Associates
Sponsored by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (TDA), 11 high-level Vietnamese officials will visit potential sources of equipment 14-26 November in New York and South Carolina for major power generation projects at Ca Mau and Uong Bi, Vietnam. A business briefing will be held on 22 November in New York City.

26-27 November
Website: Twin Eurelectric Conference: Doing Business in the Renewable Energy Market and the Transition to a More Decentralized Power System
Brussels, Belgium


2-6 December
Website: Secretarial Business Development Mission
Lima, Peru and Santiago, Chile
Secretary of Commerce Donald Evans will lead a senior-level business development mission to Lima, Peru and Santiago, Chile. The focus of the mission will be to help U.S. companies explore business opportunities in Peru, the Andean Region, and Chile. The delegation will include approximately 15 U.S.-based senior executives of small, medium, and large U.S. firms representing, but not limited to the following sectors: energy, services, machinery and equipment, information and communication technologies. The application deadline is 2 October.

3-4 December
Website: Carbon as a Commodity
Denver, CO
Sponsored by the Colorado Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society, the technical training conference will address current policy on carbon in terms of storage (e.g., who stores it and where), the potential for sustainable and environmentally friendly storage, and other issues associated with carbon trading.

3-4 December
Website: Global Energy Finance Summit
New York, NY

4-6 December
Website: New Technologies for Small and Medium-Size Enterprise Finance
World Bank Global Conference
Washington, D.C.
Contact: Colleen Mascenik, Tel: (202) 473-7734, or Email

5 December
North American Development Bank (NADB)
Board of Directors Public Meeting
San Antonio, TX
Tel: (210) 231-8000
The purpose of this meeting is to provide an opportunity for a direct exchange of information about the Bank's projects, programs and processes with the NADB Board of Directors.

9-11 December
Website: Europe Regional Waste-to-Energy/Renewable Energy Sources Conference
Prague, Czech Republic
This event will focus on projects that relate to the transformation of refuse products from many sources into usable resources, and the use of renewable sources to provide energy. The conference will cover opportunities in the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia.


13-17 January
U.S.-Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum (AGOA Forum)
Contact: Stephanie Childs, Tel: (202) 482-2867, or Email

25-29 January
Website: American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Winter Meeting
Chicago, IL

27-29 January
Website: 28th Stanford Workshop on Geothermal Reservoir Engineering
Stanford, CA

27-30 January
Website: Project Finance Workshop
New York, NY

10-11 February
Website: Harvesting Clean Energy Conference III
Held in partnership with the 8th Annual Idaho Ag Summit
Boise, ID

20-23 February
Website: India International Clean Energy Expo 2003
Bangalore, India
The exposition will showcase clean energy technologies, products, and services for worldwide buyers and sellers; feature India as a leading destination for clean energy products, services, and technology; and highlight global and governmental clean energy policies and incentives.

12-13 March
Email: 24th Annual PNOC-EDC Geothermal Conference
Manila, Makati City, Philippines

TBD April
East Africa Geothermal Workshop
Nairobi, Kenya
Email: Tom Hamlin, United Nations Environment Programme
The workshop will promote geothermal development in East Africa by presenting information about opportunities in the Rift Valley countries and facilitating meetings with regional public and private sector energy representatives.

Website: Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Regional Workshop
Los Angeles, CA
The primary focus of the workshop is to link Federal facility managers interested in installing DER projects with project developers, equipment manufacturers, and system designers.

7-9 May
Website: 23rd Annual Utility Energy Forum
Tahoe City, CA

14-16 May
Website: Energy and the Environment 2003
First International Conference on Sustainable Energy, Planning, and Technology in Relationship to the Environment
Halkidiki, Greece

25-29 May
Website: European Geothermal Conference (EGC) 2003
Szeged, Hungary
EGC 2003 is organized by the Hungarian Geothermal Association, the Romanian Geothermal Association, the Slovakian Geothermal Association, and select companies. The conference will include a technical program, an exhibition, field trips, and social events.

Scientific correspondence should be emailed to Dr. Franciska H. Karman The deadline for abstract submission is 30 November 2002; full papers are due 31 January 2003.

18-21 August
Website: Project Finance Workshop
New York, NY

14-17 September
Website: International Geothermal Conference: "Multiple Integrated Use of Geothermal Resources"
Reykjavik, Iceland
The objectives of the IGC-2003 are to provide an international forum for the exchange of ideas, experiences, and knowledge relating to engineering, environmental, financial, and scientific issues of multiform geothermal development; to demonstrate the indisputable benefits that may be attained from integrated and multi-use of geothermal energy with respect to environmental, socioeconomic, and pure commercial considerations; and to identify barriers to widespread geothermal development, e.g., legal issues, risk, public attitude, and scarcity of funding, and their mitigation.

24-27 September
Website: Structures in the Continental Crust and Geothermal Resources
Siena, Italy
The meeting will promote a comparison among the different structural settings of geothermal systems in various parts of the world, and encourage a multi-disciplinary approach (e.g., rheology, magmatism, modeling, seismic, structural, geology, etc.) to the study of geothermal areas.

25 September-1 October
Email: SITH2003 / Société Internationale des Techniques Hydrothermales
Beppu, Japan

12-15 October
Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) 2003 Annual Meeting
Held in conjunction with the Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE)
Morelia, Mexico
Contacts (email): Ted Clutter, Jim Combs, or Gerardo Hiriart

7-11 December
Website: Fourth International Conference on Fluid and Thermal Energy Conversion
Bali Island, Indonesia


20-28 August 2004
Website: 32nd International Geological Congress
Florence, Italy

5-10 September
Website: 19th World Energy Congress
Sydney, Australia

24-29 April 2005
Website: World Geothermal Congress 2005
Antalya, Turkey

To have your event listed, contact the Editor.


Other Geothermal and Related Calendars:


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Watch for the next issue of Green Green coming
30 November 2002.



Green Green is produced for the Idaho National Engineering & Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) under Purchase Order No. K99-181018 and the U.S. Department of Energy, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Geothermal Technologies Program.

This information was prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of the U.S. Government. Neither the U.S. Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the U.S. Government or any agency thereof. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the U.S. Government or any agency thereof.

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