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Iceland Minister for Foreign Affairs makes case for Geothermal at UN meeting

Össur Skarphedinsson at the project start at an Icelandic project in Geretsried, Germany (source: Enex)
Alexander Richter Alexander Richter 25 Sep 2010

Iceland's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Össur Skarphedinsson makes a case for geothermal and its potential for poorer countries as part of an address at this week's UN meetings in New York.

One of Iceland’s big advocates for geothermal energy, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Össur Skarphedinsson used an address at this week’s UN meetings to promote geothermal energy.

“Geothermal energy could answer a substantial part of the energy demands of many poorer countries”, he said, telling United Nations Member States that it was time to consider initiatives to transfer expertise and financing to those nations in need. In an address to the General Assembly’s annual high-level segment, Össur Skarphédinsson said Iceland could draw on its experience to assist developing countries.

While the country dominated news headlines in April this year when an ash cloud from a volcanic eruption led to the temporary shutdown of air travel over much of Europe, Iceland has long used geothermal energy to meet its own energy needs.

“Geothermal will of course not on its own solve the climatic problems, but in some parts of the world it could, however, make a huge difference,” Mr. Skarphédinsson said.

“In East Africa the utilization of geothermal potential could free the people of several nations from the bondage of energy poverty. They do, however, lack the geothermal expertise – and the finance for the infrastructure.

“Iceland, therefore, has formally engaged in discussions with some of the big nations operating, for example, in East Africa, to form a partnership for a geothermal drive in countries with unused potential. Iceland would put up the expertise. The partners [would put up] the necessary finance. This initiative could enable some countries to escape from energy-poverty, industrialize without undue emissions, and embark on the road to prosperity.”

Source: UN News Centre