Five-in-five: Chris McCormick, Geothermal Development Facility for Latin America

New Energy Events 5 in 5 | Interview with Chris McCormick from New Energy Events on Vimeo.

New Energy Events interview series, Five-in-Five, features concise and incisive interviews with leading industry players. We’ll be putting five market-critical questions to each of our interviewees over the course of a highly digestible five minute segment.

This week, New Energy Events spoke with Chris McCormick, the Chief Investment Officer of the Geothermal Development Facility for Latin America, to better understand the details surrounding the new fund, and how he expects the GDF will impact the development of geothermal projects across LAC.

The US$50m fund, established by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), via KfW, is structured to address the roadblock issues associated with the early phase development of geothermal projects. McCormick anticipates applications to the fund from both private developers and public sector entities.

In an era of falling solar and wind prices, progress for geothermal has slowed. McCormick suggests, however, that the GDF reduces the risk on the equity portion of a project thus making geothermal more competitive with other forms of renewable energy. In short he believes that the GDF gives geothermal a fighting chance in today’s highly competitive environment.

The GDF has been built on lessons learned from another KfW grant program, the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility for Eastern Africa. According to McCormick, “Latin American countries targeted with this fund are more advanced and we anticipate the GDF will be more successful … than the GRMF has been.”

Listen to the full interview for more details on the GDF. Stay tuned for news on GEOLAC 2017, dates and venue to be announced shortly!