They say that your golden years are the best years of your life. For most older Americans, that's how it should be - a time to relax, reflect, and live life in a familiar place. After all, senior citizens in the U.S. have worked tirelessly to build a better economy, serve their communities, and raise families.
However, as seniors grow older, sometimes they cannot live independently without someone by their side to provide care. Unfortunately, some older Americans aren't able to rely on their adult children for help. The reality in today's world is that family members do not have the skills or time to dedicate to caring for their parents. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.
Our in-home care services are for people who prefer to stay at home as they grow older but need ongoing care that family or friends cannot provide. More and more older adults prefer to live in the comforts or their home rather than in an assisted living community. Home care in Rolling Hills, CA is a safe, effective way to give your loved ones the care they need when they need it the most.
Since 1996, Always Best Care has provided non-medical in-home care for seniors to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle as they age. We are proud to have helped tens of thousands of seniors to maintain a higher level of dignity and respect. We focus on providing seniors with the highest level of home care available so that they may live happily and independently.
Unlike some senior care companies, we genuinely want to be included in our clients' lives. We believe that personalized care is always the better option over a "one size fits all" approach. To make sure our senior clients receive the best care possible, we pair them with compassionate caregivers who understand their unique needs.
The Always Best Care difference lies in life's little moments - where compassionate care and trustworthy experience come together to help seniors live a fruitful, healthy life. Whether you are an aging adult that can't quite keep up with life's daily tasks or the child of a senior who needs regular in-home care services in Rolling Hills, CA. Always Best Care is here to help.
Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it's especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age. When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.
The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.
At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one ages, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.
To give our senior clients the best care possible, we offer a full spectrum of in-home care services:
If your senior loved one has specific care needs, our personal care services are a great choice to consider. Personal care includes the standard caregiving duties associated with companion care and includes help with tasks such as dressing and grooming. Personal care can also help individuals with chronic conditions like diabetes or Parkinson's or Alzheimer's.
Sometimes, seniors need helpful reminders to maintain a high quality of life at home. If you or your senior has trouble with everyday tasks like cooking, our home helper services will be very beneficial.
Using this kind of care is a fantastic way to make life easier for you or your senior loved one. At Always Best Care, our talented caregivers often fill the role of a companion for seniors. That way, older adults can enjoy their favorite activities and hobbies while also receiving the care they need daily or weekly.
According to AARP, more than 53 million adults living in the U.S. provide care to someone over 50 years old. Unfortunately, these caregivers experience stress, exhaustion, and even depression. Our respite care services help family caregivers address urgent obligations, spend time with their children, and enjoy other activities. Perhaps more importantly, respite care gives family members time to recharge and regroup. Taking personal time to de-stress helps reduce the risks of caregiver burnout.
When it comes to non-medical home care, our goal is to become a valuable part of your senior's daily routine. That way, we may help give them the highest quality of life possible. We know that staying at home is important for your loved one, and we are here to help make sure that is possible. If you have been on the fence about non-medical home care, there has never been a better time than now to give your senior the care, assistance, and companionship they deserve.
Always Best Care in-home services are for older adults who prefer to stay at home but need ongoing care that friends and family cannot provide. In-home care is a safe, effective way for seniors to age gracefully in a familiar place and live independent, non-institutionalized lives. The benefits of non-medical home care are numerous. Here are just a few reasons to consider senior care services from Always Best Care:
While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit.
In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a unfamiliar assisted living community, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.
How much does a senior's home truly mean to them?
A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old. With the help of elderly care in Rolling Hills, CA, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.
Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors. Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.
For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like an assisted living community. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.
More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, can be less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.
With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care in Rolling Hills, CA gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.
In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.
Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.
At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.
When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.
Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.
At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Rolling Hills,CA understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.
Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.
Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.
The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:
An assessment of your senior loved one
An in-depth discussion of the needs of your senior loved one to remain in their own home
Reviewing a detailed Care Plan that will meet your senior loved one's needs
After a pandemic pause, Okanagan wineries have been ready to welcome visitors from across the globe and they’re getting a bit of help from arguably the world’s most well-read fashion magazine.Vogue magazine has listed the Okanagan as a place to be in article titled 12 Underrated Wine Regions to Visit this Fall According to the Experts.“The Okanagan Valley in British Columbia lies between two mountain ranges and is punctuated by large, breathtaking glacial lakes and rolling hills of vineyard. This region produc...
After a pandemic pause, Okanagan wineries have been ready to welcome visitors from across the globe and they’re getting a bit of help from arguably the world’s most well-read fashion magazine.
Vogue magazine has listed the Okanagan as a place to be in article titled 12 Underrated Wine Regions to Visit this Fall According to the Experts.
“The Okanagan Valley in British Columbia lies between two mountain ranges and is punctuated by large, breathtaking glacial lakes and rolling hills of vineyard. This region produces world-class wines that are difficult to find outside of Canada — the easiest way to taste them is to travel there,” Juliet Wine cofounder Allison Luvera said in the story.
“It’s a relatively new winemaking area and much of the wine produced here is consumed within Canada, leaving the region unknown to wine lovers in other countries. However, its high calibre wines coupled with the stunning natural beauty of the region have attracted top winemakers from France, New Zealand, and South Africa, so awareness is on the rise.”
Luvera listed a number of wineries in the article, including Quails’ Gate, Okanagan Crush Pad, and Painted Rock, and made time to note the outstanding natural amenities in the region.
Getting a coveted mention alongside the Okanagan were Spain’s Sherry regions; Kartli, Georgia; Puglia, Italy; Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico; Middleburg, Virginia; Switzerland; Szekszárd, Hungary; Chinon, France; The Pedernal Valley, Argentina; Mendocino County, California; Mendocino County, California; Bugey and Savoie, France.
The Okanagan was the only Canadian wine growing location in the mix.
It’s good timing for the Okanagan, where the harvest is underway.
David Paterson, winemaker at Tantalus Vineyards in Kelowna, said in a recent interview that there were plenty of benefits to a recent record-breaking streak of warm days.
“It’s saving the vintage all across the valley,” Paterson said. “We had an incredibly cool spring and lots of rain, which was good for vine growth but not necessarily for pushing ripeness of grapes towards wine quality. So everyone was a little bit nervous to start September. We really needed this (season) to be like this to get to a quality level.”
He and other winemakers said that this year’s vintages may be the best in recent history due to the weather.
LONDON, U.K. - With martial law still in place in Ukraine, civilian men are only allowed to travel for exceptional reasons and one has been offered by the United Kingdom: its armed forces are training Ukrainian men and turning them into combat-ready soldiers.The program has turned Ukrainian lawyers, builders, even dance choreographers, into soldiers after a five-week course which is based on the U.K.'s infantry training. In this case however, the average man is in his 30s and their instructors say the level of maturity and urge...
LONDON, U.K. -
With martial law still in place in Ukraine, civilian men are only allowed to travel for exceptional reasons and one has been offered by the United Kingdom: its armed forces are training Ukrainian men and turning them into combat-ready soldiers.
The program has turned Ukrainian lawyers, builders, even dance choreographers, into soldiers after a five-week course which is based on the U.K.'s infantry training. In this case however, the average man is in his 30s and their instructors say the level of maturity and urgency they project come from knowing what's waiting for them. In just a few days, many will be leaving the picturesque rolling hills of southern England for the frontlines of the war in eastern Ukraine more than 3,000 km away.
"For our Ukrainian allies, there is no more mission rehearsal," Lt. Col. Kempley Buchan-Smith, told CTV News, adding "when they leave here, they need to be ready for the fight."
Some came here having never held a weapon. But as their country celebrates Defender's Day on October 14, they leave as the newest crop of soldiers having learned about trench and urban warfare, patrol tactics, battlefield first aid and having spent days firing live rounds in a setting meant to simulate the chaos of war.
One recruit in his 20s, who now goes by the name of Panda, says watching fellow recruits from so many different backgrounds change their thinking and develop instincts in the field, is inspiring. "There are no air raid sirens here, no missiles going over our heads," he says, "it means we are motivated to keep training until we're ready," he adds.
Over the past few months, the course has had to be tailored to developments in the battlefield, meaning switching from a defensive battle to an offensive one.
"Rather than defending a position, remaining static in entrenched locations or in houses, we're looking at how you assault those houses, how you assault trenches and how you take the fight to the enemy," explained Buchan-Smith.
Translation in the training field is provided by Ukrainian refugees - mostly women - who fled the war and who believe this is the best way they can help their country.
The U.K. has committed to training 19,000 recruits and more than 5,700 have completed the course since June.
As part of Operation Unifier, the Canadian Armed Forces were training Ukrainian military personnel in Ukraine until February, when the war began. They've been deployed to the U.K. since August and will remain here until at least December.
"It's so rewarding, so fulfilling, in light of what's going on in Ukraine," Maj. Mike Pal told CTV News, "it's really good to see a sense of purpose for how important this is," he went on to say.
"It remotivates us when we see indiscriminate killing and war crimes going on," he adds.
ROLLING HILLS ESTATES, CA — The Rolling Hills Estates City Council expressed their support for community members who are fighting a $1 million lawsuit to keep the beloved Norris Theater alive.At Tuesday's meeting, City Attorney Don Davis said the city council issued a notice of violation to Stolz Management and The Promenade LLC requiring them to maintain a parking agreement that was contract...
ROLLING HILLS ESTATES, CA — The Rolling Hills Estates City Council expressed their support for community members who are fighting a $1 million lawsuit to keep the beloved Norris Theater alive.
At Tuesday's meeting, City Attorney Don Davis said the city council issued a notice of violation to Stolz Management and The Promenade LLC requiring them to maintain a parking agreement that was contracted in 1981.
"I'm very sorry that we are where we are," Mayor Frank Zerunyan said during the meeting. "I think I speak for my colleagues that our disappointment is endless. I hope you understand that we heard you."
Davis said the city would order the Promenade on the Peninsula owners to stop blocking the parking garage for Norris Theater patrons and if Stolz and Promenade LLC does not comply with the city's order, then the city will file civil action.
Stolz claimed that the use of the parking for PVPA's Conservatory, which was created in 2006 and serves as an educational center for young kids in the South Bay, is considered trespassing and a breach of the 1981 contract. Parent Jennifer Clinton said that Stolz's lawsuit would bankrupt the nonprofit theater because they are not equipped to pay such a large amount of money.
"Norris is such a wonderful gem in our community, it has such a warming environment with such amazing people," Claire, a child who performs at Norris said at the meeting. "I'm so blessed to be a part of this amazing theater family and I cannot imagine what I would do if it got taken away from us."
Another parent, Gabriela Ryan, said she and other parents are grateful to have the city's support, but this is only step one in the process to save the Norris theater. Ryan said they believe that Stolz's "aggressive" tactics is in connection to the selling of the mall to make room for potential housing.
Stolz listed the mall for sale in March of 2022, Ryan said. The sale of the property is pending and the city of Rolling Hills Estates marked the Promenade Mall Area and the parking garage as an asset for future housing development.
"We are incredibly appreciative of the actions the City Attorney will take, but that does not change that Stolz Management and Promenade, LLC are using bully tactics, including a $1 million lawsuit," Ryan said. "After tonight, it seems the City is willing to help support us against this out-of-state bully. It will be important to follow this and see if Stolz/Promenade complies with the notice of violation and order, or if the City has to go to court."
As a kid, fashion and home designer Jenni Kayne used to visit the Santa Ynez Valley with her family. “I have such amazing memories of summers and long weekends there,” says Kayne regarding the wine-growing region northwest of the city of Santa Barbara.In September of 2020, Kayne purchased a 3,860-square-foot home in the valley — where celebrity residents have included Noah Wylie, Bo Derek, tennis grea...
As a kid, fashion and home designer Jenni Kayne used to visit the Santa Ynez Valley with her family. “I have such amazing memories of summers and long weekends there,” says Kayne regarding the wine-growing region northwest of the city of Santa Barbara.
In September of 2020, Kayne purchased a 3,860-square-foot home in the valley — where celebrity residents have included Noah Wylie, Bo Derek, tennis great Jimmy Connors and lyricist Bernie Taupin — but the four-bedroom house was not exactly move-in ready.
“I spent time looking for the right property in Santa Ynez, and came across this home that had been abandoned since the 1970s. It was near disrepair, with caution tape across the sinks and toilets and animals living inside,” says Kayne, who nevertheless could see the potential of the space as a showcase for her Jenni Kayne Home collection and as a place for friends and family to visit.
“I took the property down to the studs with my team, opening up rooms, rebuilding and fulfilling its potential.” Renovation of the property took two years and was completed this past March.
Now Kayne is selling the 20-acre property, which the designer has dubbed the Jenni Kayne Ranch and which she describes as a classic “California ranch-style home … optimized for indoor-outdoor living.”
The home slash marketing concept — which she showcases on her brand’s website with a “shop the ranch” buying feature of showcased items including her Pacific Bed and Brentwood Chair — is a study in comfy yet minimalist living done in white and beige tones. “We loved having the ability to showcase the power of our home collection in a living, breathing space,” says the L.A.-based designer.
Listed for $5.99. million with Kayne’s husband, Westside Estate Agency partner Richard Ehrlich in partnership with Laura Drammer of Berkshire Hathaway, the open-floor-plan house, which has 360 degrees views of the surrounding oak-dotted hills, includes a chef’s kitchen by bespoke kitchen designer Plain English and a pool surrounded by items from her outdoor furniture line, the Vista Collection. Over the summer and early fall, Kayne and her brand hosted experiential getaway weekends for guests at the property that included farm-to-table meals, wine tastings, yoga classes and spa treatments. Among those posting on Instagram about their stays were fashion blogger Aimee Song and stylist Brad Goreski.
Kayne, who published design book Pacific Natural at Home with Rizzoli last year, sees the property renovation as her “first big step” into the hospitality sector, with plans for a similar project in New Zealand in 2023. The designer, who last year launched a beauty line, Oak Essentials, is also partnering with the soon-to-open Auberge Resorts Collection property The Inn at Mattei’s Tavern. Located in Los Olivos in the Santa Ynez Valley, the resort will include her beauty line, plus spa treatments curated by Kayne.
The designer describes how the property was designed with its location in the Santa Ynez Valley mind. “With its rolling hills and focus on California living, the intimacy and the beauty of the Santa Ynez Valley is what draws people in. It’s easy to get to for those who live in California, yet it still feels like a total escape. Plus, there’s so much to do, whether it’s wine tasting, horseback riding, or exploring the incredible restaurants. The Ranch encourages the appreciation of surrounding nature and that slower life, really focusing on indoor-outdoor living. I love that this classic ranch is more than just a single-story space, it’s a place that is welcoming, comfortable, and speaks to an effortless way of living,” says Kayne, whose clothing designs have been worn by such stars as Jennifer Garner, Jessica Alba, Emma Roberts, Emma Stone and Hailey Bieber. (Kristen Bell wore a number of Jenni Kayne items in The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window).
The house is being sold unfurnished, though according to a spokesperson for the designer, buyers will have the option to purchase furnishings by request.
Scroll on for more pictures of the Jenni Kayne Ranch in California’s Santa Ynez Valley:
CIGLENA, Croatia – Hidden in the rolling hills of the Croatian countryside, a futuristic structure that looks a little like a flying saucer is what backers say is the hope for the region’s emissions-free future.In a part of Europe that still generates much of its electricity by burning natural gas and coal, some green advocates say they should look deep beneath their feet to harness the power of the earth’s core. Croatia and its neighbors sit on top of a patch of unusual geology where the vast heat at the center of t...
CIGLENA, Croatia – Hidden in the rolling hills of the Croatian countryside, a futuristic structure that looks a little like a flying saucer is what backers say is the hope for the region’s emissions-free future.
In a part of Europe that still generates much of its electricity by burning natural gas and coal, some green advocates say they should look deep beneath their feet to harness the power of the earth’s core. Croatia and its neighbors sit on top of a patch of unusual geology where the vast heat at the center of the world has an especially easy time coming close to the surface.
The result is a high concentration of potential emissions-free geothermal energy, one that can form the base of a carbon-free electricity grid, unlike wind and solar power, which don’t typically generate power around the clock. The UFO-like Velika Ciglena geothermal plant is the first of its kind in Croatia, and backers believe the technology could eventually power much of the country’s needs, as well as in neighboring countries that have similar geology, such as Austria, Hungary and Serbia.
“There is a huge potential to generate a lot of electricity out of this. There is a huge potential for district heating. And there is a huge potential for agriculture,” said Marijan Krpan, the chief executive of the Croatian Hydrocarbon Agency, the state agency that oversees drilling in the country. Krpan said that he hopes that geothermal energy could eventually generate a third of the country’s power demand.
Geothermal energy’s backers are gaining momentum around the world, as the technology improves and societies seek every avenue to reduce the emission of harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Among other virtues, advocates say, geothermal energy has a relatively small footprint, generating far more electricity per square foot than either wind or solar power, both of which require a lot of land to create power in any quantity. And geothermal power doesn’t have the same waste or safety risks as nuclear energy, a rival emissions-free source for electricity.
So advocates are advancing geothermal projects around the world, wherever the earth’s crust is conducive. In Paris, geothermal wells are heating elegant 19th-century apartment blocks. In the rugged mountains of eastern California, a major new geothermal power plant opened in August. In Iceland, a tiny island nation that sits atop countless hot springs, geothermal plants are being used to power the world’s biggest carbon capture effort, an innovative attempt to pull carbon out of the air and pump it into the ground.
And in Croatia, there has been a flowering of projects after the government changed regulations in 2016 to allow the country’s thousands of disused oil and gas wells to be reused for geothermal projects. The northern part of the country is part of the geothermal-rich Pannonian basin, a region where continental plates collided about 16 million years ago, then folded back on themselves repeatedly, creating fractured rock that allows heat to rise from the earth’s molten core close to the surface.
“It’s a treasure,” said Zeljka Sladovic, the founder of GeoDa Consulting and a longtime consultant on geothermal projects in Croatia. For decades, the geologist worked for Croatia’s oil and gas industry, since the country was long rich with both of those resources.
Now the oil has largely run out, and the country imports most of its gas. But the detailed underground maps left over from decades of fossil fuel exploration can help geothermal investors find good prospects.
In Croatia, that has meant projects that generate heat for entire districts in towns that have centralized heating infrastructure instead of furnaces or boilers in each building. Farmers are using the technology to warm their greenhouses. And the first geothermal power plant opened last year in the middle of a cornfield just outside Ciglena, a village of about 300 people that is about 20 miles from the Hungarian border.
The Velika Ciglena power plant is an unlikely futuristic addition to a pastoral landscape. Weathered 19th-century churches back onto farmland and forest, and jouncing roads twist their way from Croatia’s elegant capital of Zagreb, which is an hour away. The installation is dominated by 44 massive silver fans, each about 20 feet across, and spinning parallel to the ground, that cool the water before it is pumped back into the ground.
“We showed to the world and to the sector that Croatia’s geothermal potential is useful,” said Dragan Jurilj, one of the investors who helped build the power plant and who now operates it amid an ownership dispute with his former Turkish partners.
The plant can generate about 17 megawatts of power, although because of the way Croatia’s grid is operated, it’s currently limited to 10 megawatts. At the installation’s higher end, that’s equivalent to about the electricity generated by about 94 football fields of solar panels, on a plot of land that is less than a tenth of that.
Skeptics of the efforts say that solar and wind generate power more cheaply, especially in Croatia, where the geothermal water isn’t as hot as it is in more volcanic places like Iceland.
“I’m not sure that it makes sense from an economic point of view,” said Neven Duic, the president of the International Center for Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment System, a Zagreb-based research group, who said he thought that more modest geothermal projects, such as municipal heating plants, would general fewer profits but might make more social sense than electricity.
But as the climate warms, backers of geothermal energy say that it can be a good hedge against the weather extremes that can sometimes threaten above-ground renewable energy sources. Europe had its warmest summer on record this year, drying up rivers and draining hydroelectric dams of their energy source, for instance.
And now that Russia has caused an energy shortage in Europe by cutting off natural gas supplies, there is fresh impetus to invest in every form of homegrown power.
“This is our own resource. You don’t have to haggle about it with anybody. What’s better than having our own energy in our backyard?” said Dragutin Domitrovic, who served as construction manager when the Velika Ciglena power plant was being built and now runs Calida Aqua, a geothermal consulting group.
Geothermal energy typically works by drilling a well a mile or two into the ground and pumping up water that has been heated by the energy of the earth’s core. The heat is used to make steam that spins turbines, generating electricity. Then the cooled water is pumped back down into the ground. In many areas of Croatia’s Pannonian region, the water is boiling a little more than a mile down and gets hotter the deeper a well is drilled.
Hotter water leads to more electricity. But there is wide variability from site to site, drilling wells is expensive, and often it’s impossible to know in advance whether a drillhole will yield good enough water. That can scare off investors.
“This is a game which is not for the feeble-minded. But with patience you can be there,” said Domitrovic, who said that with European energy prices as high as they were this summer, he thought that many geothermal projects would break even in seven to 10 years.
Croatian authorities are eager to press forward. Several new permits for geothermal power plants have been issued in recent months. And the leaders of the government office that oversees the process, the Croatian Hydrocarbon Agency, want to make their focus even clearer by changing their name, which comes from the fossil fuel era.