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Geothermal Energy Companies face Dead End (Ram,Magma,Raser) due to Harsh Industry Dynamics

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The Cons of Geothermal Power are winning over the Pros in the last few years due to a number of factors.The main reasons are the long gestation time in building the geothermal energy plants,small developers,financing and regulation problems.Despite geothermal having huge potential these drawbacks have resulted in only 10 GW of geothermal energy being installed worldwide despite almost 30 years  of commercial development.Most of the geothermal companies which are small developers have been devastated by the above problems.Canadian companies which are the leaders in consolidating the fragmented industry like Ram Power and Magma Power are facing huge problems.While Ram Power saw its CEO go,Magma is now looking at other renewable energy opportunities.Magma Power has decided to merge with Plutonic Power which is a small hydro and wind  company as geothermal energy looks more or less a dead end.

Now Raser Technologies which was one of the few remaining pure play geothermal developers too has gone belly up.The company operates a geothermal power plant near Beaver, Utah, named Thermo No. 1, with  a capacity of 10 megawatts. Raser has seven other development-stage projects in Utah, New Mexico, Nevada, and Oregon, as well as rights to geothermal resources on 100,000 acres of property in Indonesia.The company has sought protection from the court as it failed to meet a debt payment as its total liabilities far exceed the assets.Note Geothermal Energy in India has also failed to develop despite a yawning energy deficit.Iceland,Philippines are the only countries to have exploited their geothermal energy to some degree while others are far behind.

Raser Technologies, Renewable Energy Producer, Goes Bankrupt (1)

Raser Technologies Inc., a geothermal-energy developer, sought bankruptcy protection with a restructuring agreement worked out with bondholders and secured creditors.The company, based in Provo, Utah, listed $107.8 million in debt and $41.8 million in assets as of Dec. 31, in Chapter 11 documents filed today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware. Nineteen affiliates also sought court protection.“The Company will restructure substantially all of its liabilities, including over $90 million of secured and unsecured debt and over $5 million in trade obligations and other claims, and will receive an infusion of new capital to ensure that the Company will be in a position to continue its operations,” the company said in a statement issued today. Business operations won’t be affected by the bankruptcy, said Chief Executive Officer Nick Goodman.


Abhishek Shah

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