U.S. and Iceland Sign Bilateral Agreement to Develop Clean Geothermal Energy

October 6, 2010

U.S. Ambassador to Iceland Luis E. Arreaga and Icelandic Minister of Industry Katrín Júlíusdóttir, sitting at a table, shake hands after signing the agreement.

Signing of the agreement by by the U.S. Ambassador to Iceland, Luis E. Arreaga, and the Icelandic Minister of Industry Katrín Júlíusdóttir.

Today the United States and Iceland signed a bilateral agreement aimed at increasing the world’s understanding of advanced geothermal technologies and accelerating their deployment. The agreement was signed by U.S. Ambassador to Iceland, Luis Arreaga, and Icelandic Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism, Katrín Júlíusdóttir. The new agreement, entitled “Scientific and Technological Cooperation on Geothermal Research and Development,” was established cooperatively by the U.S. Department of Energy and Iceland’s Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism. It is designed to allow an exchange of researchers, joint projects, and education initiatives to accelerate advanced geothermal development, and to identify key obstacles to increasing the use of this renewable energy resource. Demonstrating cutting-edge geothermal technologies will reduce the dependence on fossil fuels in both countries, while significantly cutting carbon pollution and creating new jobs in geothermal research, deployment and operations.

The signing of the bilateral agreement between the U.S. and Iceland punctuates a week of international meetings on geothermal energy held October 3-9 in Reykjavik, Iceland, where representatives from nations across the globe are engaged in working group sessions geared toward facilitating the development of advanced, cost-effective geothermal technologies, increasing the availability of these technologies internationally, and identifying and addressing wider issues relating to geothermal energy. Nations represented in this week’s events include Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Republic of Korea, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland and the United States.

The International Partnership for Geothermal Technology (IPGT) also hosted meetings in Iceland this week. IPGT, chartered in 2008 by DOE, the Australian Ministry of Resources, Energy and Tourism, and the Icelandic Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism, today welcomed Switzerland as its new member country. The IPGT focuses on cutting-edge geothermal technologies that will ensure energy security and address global climate change. Switzerland is the fourth nation to join the IPGT, strengthening the multi-national expansion of baseload, renewable energy from geothermal resources.

The IPGT is committed to bringing about widespread, international commercialization of advanced geothermal technologies by capitalizing on the accumulated experience of world experts. Swiss technical experts will bring to the IPGT their technical knowledge in induced seismicity, a new topic to be added to the six existing, high-priority areas identified by IPGT as crucial to the development of the geothermal industries in each country. Other key research areas the partnership targets include exploration techniques, tools and techniques to isolate or close off specific sections of geothermal wells and fractures, high temperature tools, methods for creating and improving geothermal reservoirs, reservoir modeling and lower-cost drilling. Addressing these barriers through international collaboration will help the partner nations move more quickly to develop their substantial geothermal resources.

For more information visit International Partnership for Geothermal Technology: http://www.internationalgeothermal.org/http://www.internationalgeothermal.org/

DOE’s Geothermal Technologies Program: http://www.geothermal.energy.gov/http://www.geothermal.energy.gov/