Iceland and U.S. sign technological R&D cooperation agreement

Well heads at Hellisheidi power plant of Reykjavik Energy (source: flickr/thinkgeonergy, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 8 Oct 2010

Iceland and the United States sign a bilateral agreement on scientific and technological cooperation on geothermal research and development, as part of multinational meetings in Iceland.

Iceland and the United States 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 United States and Iceland punctuates a week of international meetings on geothermal energy held October 3-9 in Reykjavik, Iceland. During the meetings, representatives from nations across the globe engaged in working group sessions to help facilitate the development of advanced, cost-effective geothermal technologies, increase the availability of these technologies internationally, and identify and address 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 where it welcomed Switzerland as its newest member country. The IPGT, chartered in 2008 by DOE, the Australian Ministry of Resources, Energy and Tourism, and the Icelandic Ministry of Industry, Energy, and Tourism, focuses on cutting-edge geothermal technologies that will help ensure energy security and address global climate change by expanding the deployment of baseload, renewable energy from geothermal resources. Switzerland is the fourth nation to join the IPGT.