World Geothermal Congress 2020 postponed to 21-26 May 2021

World Geothermal Congress 2020 postponed to 21-26 May 2021 Postponement of WGC 2020 - now to be held May 2021
Alexander Richter 13 Mar 2020

The World Geothermal Congress 2020 has been postponed until May 2021 in a tough decision made by the host Iceland and the IGA due to the current circumstances.

While many of you will already have heard or received the note sent by the organisers of the World Geothermal Congress 2020 scheduled for April 2020, I want to share the news here with you as well. The WGC 2020 has been postponed to 21-26 May 2021. Details can be found on the congress website which also contains a section with Questions and Answers that will be updated as we go along.

You will have realised that ThinkGeoEnergy has not been posting much news in the last few days. The reason is simple, in my role as President of the IGA things have been rather hectic behind the scenes with our counterparts of the Icelandic Organising Committee. I would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding. We tried our utmost to come up with a plan and I am absolutely proud of the team that has worked so diligently.

Here the official press statement of this morning:

The Organising Committee of WGC 2020 after having consulted with the International Geothermal Association, stakeholders and Authorities in Iceland, have postponed the WGC for a year, until May 21-26, 2021. WGC is held every three years in co-operation with IGA and the Congress in Iceland was expected to be largest so far with delegates from 100 countries.

Direct quote, Dr. Bjarni Pálsson, chair Organising Committee:  “In light of the unprecedented circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the decision has been taken to postpone WGC till late May next year. This was by no means an easy decision but the health and safety of everyone involved is our primary concern. By postponing rather than cancelling we are safeguarding all the hard word done by thousand of geothermal colleagues preparing this coming together of the geothermal industry.”

Here below the official announcement that went out to all stakeholders and registered participants and sponsors this morning.

Dear geothermal community,

It is with a heavy heart that we have to announce the postponement of the World Geothermal Congress 2020 in Reykjavik, Iceland, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, until next year.

This decision was taken after engaging with various stakeholders; geothermal associations, our sponsors and exhibitors and most importantly, after consulting with the relevant authorities in Iceland. Further to these discussions, it is foreseeable that the hosting of WGC 2020 this spring in Iceland would have been impossible.

As you are all aware, the COVID-19 pandemic and its implications have been grave and the escalation worldwide in recent weeks and days is very worrying. Both the Organising Committee of WGC 2020 and the International Geothermal Association (IGA) have been monitoring the situation and reviewing all available options. This decision now has not been an easy one, however the health and safety of everyone involved is our first priority.

The preparation for WGC 2020 has been ongoing for almost 6 years now, with thousands of geothermal colleagues; authors, reviewers, sponsors, exhibitors and of course all those already registered, contributing towards making WGC 2020 the largest World Geothermal Congress to date. We feel that by postponing rather than cancelling WGC 2020 outright, we are safeguarding all their hard work. The new date of May 21 – 26, 2021 in Reykjavik, Iceland, is the best solution we have at hand under these unprecedented circumstances. While setting the new date, we have had to account for various limitations such as the availability of Harpa, the Conference Centre, accommodation, religious holidays and of course avoiding conflict with other major geothermal events.

We will strive towards ensuring the Congress program will have only minimal revisions and all the speakers will retain their already allocated slots and all the sponsors and exhibitors will maintain their chosen locations in Harpa and all non-technical events will maintain their designated times and venues.

We sincerely hope that you understand our decision and continue to support WGC 2020 under the circumstances. We acknowledge that for some of you, the new date may not be ideal, but we hope you will be able to participate in the World Geothermal Congress in Iceland next year. The Organising Committee of the World Geothermal Congress is working hard to implement this postponement of WGC 2020 and will communicate with all concerned in due time to make these changes go as smooth as possible.

We will do our utmost to ensure that next year in Reykjavik will be the greatest World Geothermal Congress ever! And last but not least, the Organising Committee and the IGA send their heartfelt support to all those affected in one way or another by COVID-19.

With warm regards,
Alexander Richter, President IGA
Bjarni Pálsson, Chairman Organizing Committee