ESG Spotlight: Clean Tech, Geothermal Lead Q4 Earnings and News

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This summer, we touched on the EU’s upcoming CBAM in Europe, a carbon tax that would pass the cost of carbon on to companies that import goods such as steel, aluminum, and other carbon-intensive resources.

In November, legislators proposed bringing CBAM to the U.S. in order to compete with China. Furthermore, this seems to be a bipartisan issue that could gain traction in the coming months and be a further boon to clean energy development. We explored the news coverage on this topic at scale with Amenity’s ESG News dataset to determine where geothermal energy has made strides in recent months in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Digging Deep on Geothermal

When it comes to geothermal energy, the United States is number one in overall output as of 2022. Nearly 90% of geothermal energy generation comes from California and Nevada, but the Appalachian region has high geothermal potential as well. In its most recent earnings call, Ormat Technologies Inc. (ORA:US) discussed how it is acquiring assets in the U.S. from Enel Green Power North America, including a geothermal plant in California that will add to Ormat Technologies’ renewable energy production.

In October, energy giant Baker Hughes Co. (BKR:US) announced that it has completed its pilot project in Oklahoma and is now producing electricity for the grid. The Wells2Watts consortium, led by Baker Hughes, is focused on scaling commercial geothermal energy in the region, and the consortium recently welcomed California Resources Corp. (CRC:US) as a new member.

Outside the United States, geothermal energy is taking off with activity in New Zealand, as well as in Europe and other locales. In its recent earnings call, the American company Dril-Quip Inc. (DRQ:US) discussed how it was seeing increased growth in its product usage for geothermal projects, particularly in New Zealand. Ormat Technologies signed a recent contract with Mercury NZ Ltd. (MCY:NZ) to expand geothermal in New Zealand. Also, Japanese engineering firm Obayashi Corp (1802:JP) acquired a 50% stake in New Zealand renewable energy firm Eastland Generation Ltd. in November to fund geothermal projects in the region.

To complete the geothermal global roundup, Austrian oil and gas group OMV AG (OMV:AT) announced in November a partnership with Vienna Energy to further explore geothermal energy applications in the greater Vienna area.

Geothermal: An Off Ramp for the Fossil Fuel Industry

Geothermal energy technology has been around for a while, but we’re seeing a recent surge in project development. This is partially due to the high crossover to engineering from the fossil fuel industry, much like what we’ve observed with offshore rigs and wind energy.

As companies face increasing pressure to decarbonize, we can expect industry crossovers to continue to be a theme as companies involved in the engineering of fossil fuel solutions start to diversify their use cases.

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