The Icelandic geothermal industry and its opportunities internationally
The Icelandic Geothermal Cluster project is seen as a great tool to promote the Icelandic geothermal expertise and build business opportunities for companies in the sector internationally, so Gudmundur Thoroddsson of Reykjavik Geothermal.
In a recent interview, Gudmundur Thoroddsson, the CEO of Reykjavik Geothermal talked about his company and the Icelandic geothermal industry. While covered in this article yesterday on his company’s activities in Ethiopia, he also touched upon the Icelandic geothermal industry and the Icelandic Geothermal Cluster project.
The Icelandic Geothermal Cluster is a project aimed to combine the whole geothermal energy industry in helping utilizing the Icelandic geothermal expertise for future business development of the Icelandic geothermal sector world-wide.
Mr. Thoroddsson says, that “the work on the (Icelandic) geothermal cluster is something we support, as the geothermal sector in Iceland is strong and has lots of experience. Iceland has consulting firms, like Reykjavik Geothermal, engineering firms, as well as energy companies that constitute a lively geothermal energy industry in Iceland. Iceland also has great players, such as Iceland GeoSurvey (ÍSOR) and the UN Geothermal Training Program (GTP). This gives Icelanders a strong position in the world, particularly in countries with geothermal potential in the developing world, as many of the former students of the UN GTP are now in key positions in their countries. Therefore one can say that everywhere there can be found “Ambassadors” of Iceland.”
Asked about the main competitors for Icelandic geothermal companies, he mentions countries that have been using geothermal energy for a long time. He mentions New Zealand, but also Australia where there are strong geothermal companies. “In the U.S. there are many companies , the same can be said about the Philippines, Japan and Italy, but there are not many companies similar to ours (Reykjavik Geothermal), maybe there are about 10 in the world.”
On financing for the company’s projects, he mentions that the early start – the company was founded in the fall of 2008 in the middle of the Icelandic financial collapse- was not easy. The company, so Thoroddsson, was built up with geothermal experts and bankers. “The company has been able to gain investment first and foremost from abroad. The company has found good partners abroad and the company now has a turnaround of ISK 400- 500 million (about $3.3-4.1 million).”
He believes that the company has proven that the company and its geothermal activities “are an interesting investment option, and that Icelanders can continue to build upon their geothermal expertise and sell it abroad”.
Source: Frettabladid (in Icelandic)