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Global Geothermal Alliance to officially launch December 7, 2015

IRENA Global Geothermal Alliance meeting at COP21, Dec. 1, 2015, Paris/ France (source: IRENA)
Alexander Richter 2 Dec 2015

On December 7, 2015 at the Energy Day as part of the COP21 meetings in Paris, France, IRENA will launch the Global Geothermal Alliance, which aims at fast-tracking geothermal development world-wide.

At a meeting yesterday, IRENA hosted a high-level workshop during the COP21 meetings in Paris. The main theme was the potential of geothermal energy and ways to overcome the barriers which hold it back.

At the meeting, Mr. Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland explained that 90% of all space-heating and close to 30% of all electricity in Iceland comes from geothermal sources. And that share will continue to grow as a result of vigorous expansion plans.

Mrs. Soifiat Tadjiddine Alfeine of Comoros described how the island is currently exploring its geothermal potential, and is in the planning phase for a 10 MW geothermal plant with support from New Zealand. It is expected that geothermal energy could play a major role in addressing the island’s energy needs.

Indonesia plans to invest USD 20 billion to install an additional 2GW of capacity over the next 10 years, tripling its current installed capacity.

The meeting though also discussed some of the challenges for geothermal energy industry.

These include: risks of exploration; high upfront development costs; human resource limitations; and regulatory difficulties. Moreover the simple lack of awareness about the promise and benefits of geothermal energy is a major barrier to its development – but also perhaps the easiest to overcome in the end. It was emphasized, however, that none of these obstacles are insurmountable.

On December 7, Energy Day at COP21, the Global Geothermal Alliance (GGA) will formally launch. The GGA will address investment challenges and help create the conditions for a rapid expansion of this key renewable resource. Its aim will be to break through existing barriers and achieve a 500% increase in global installed capacity for geothermal power generation, and a 200% increase in geothermal heating by 2030.

In development for two years, the GGA has attracted more than 40 countries and institutional partners. Its ambition will be nothing short of ensuring hundreds of millions of people are able to benefit from this clean and reliable source of renewable energy.

Source: IRENA