Vanuatu seeking geothermal policy advice in New Zealand

Vanuatu seeking geothermal policy advice in New Zealand Erakor Island Resort, Efate, Vanuatu (source: flickr/PhillipC creative commons)
Alexander Richter 12 Jul 2013

A government delegation of the Pacific island state of Vanuatu is visiting Waikato in New Zealand to seek policy advise on geothermal development in its country.

The Pacific island state of Vanuatu is looking at developing its geothermal resources to free itself from the dependence on oil for electricity generation.

Over the past few years, we have reported on Australian KUTh Energy that is looking to develop a geothermal project in Vanuatu, and the company received an exploration license in January of this year.

Next week, a governmental delegation from Vanuatu plans to visit the Waikato Regional Council in New Zealand to seek advise and policy advise on the best way to develop the country’s own geothermal energy potential.

The Energy Minister of Vanuatu will be travelling to New Zealand together with senior advisors and land owners that would be affected by geothermal development on their propoerties.

The Waikato council in New Zealand is in a unique position as it represents about 70 percent of the geothermal energy resources of New Zealand, there is a long and richt experience in policy development, but also issues related to resource consent.

Already, several other governments, among them from Chile, Indonesia, Japan, Iceland, Papua New Guinea, Mexico and Switzerland have sought the advise of the Waikato council.

In geothermal development on Vanuatu, as elsewhere, solid geothermal policies giving developers security, while maintaining environmental protection in place is crucial.