News

Missing lobbyists and a social license for geothermal – insights by Marit Brommer, Exec. Director, IGA

Dr. Marit Brommer, Executive Director, IGA (source: REN21/ YouTube screenshot)
Alexander Richter 28 May 2020

How can the oil and gas sector benefit from engaging in geothermal development, how geothermal is missing wider lobbying efforts, the social license to operate and why geothermal could have a great decade ahead of itself is theme of an interview with Dr. Marit Brommer of IGA with Jamie Beard of GEO/ University of Texas in Austin.

The Heat Beat blog by Jamie Beard, Executive Director of the Geothermal Entrepreneurship Organization (GEO) at the University of Texas at Austin shares a number of great and insightful interviews, as we have reported before.

The latest interview with Dr. Marit Brommer, Executive Director of the International Geothermal Association (IGA) is providing interesting insights on “a Social License for Geothermal & the Case of the Missing Lobbyists.”

As highlighted by Jamie, there are certain themes coming up again and again in discussions at the moment, last but not least with the “(glaring) historical disparity in levels of support, subsidies, incentives and funding between geothermal and other renewables like solar and wind.”

With her background in the oil sector and in her role now as Executive Director at IGA, Marit clearly has some points to make in that regard, which she does clearly in the interview with Jamie.

Highlighting the fact that the geothermal sector is fragmented and project-focused, she thinks that the overall collaboration, support and engagement on policy and subsidy conversation is not a collective priority. This, so Marit, is illustrated to the mostly small players of the sector focused on regional market not pushing on an international level on lobbying and influencing governing bodies and decision makers.

She then describes how geothermal energy can get to a better presence in governing bodies around the world, describing the need to form a “coalition of the willing”, that could set strategic initiatives on elements that could help remove obstacles and impact the industry at large.

Another point coming out strongly in the interview, is the take on a “social license to operate”, which Marit describes as an “informal license” or permission by all stakeholders that are either directly or indirectly affected by development. Geothermal energy in general enjoys a broad social license to operate, yet requires work to maintain it based on trust, respect and confidence in values.

How far oil and gas companies can benefit from the same social license by joining geothermal energy development is a question, something where Marit provides some great insight.

So read more in the full interview on the Heat Beat blog via the link below and learn more on why Marit believes that this is “THE DECADE” for geothermal.

Source: HeatBeat blog