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Australia, Iceland and US promote geothermal technologies

21 November, 2008

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Acting Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs Katharine Fredriksen, Australia’s Ambassador to Iceland Sharyn Minahan, and Iceland’s Minister of Industry Energy and Tourism Ossur Skarphedinsson has signed the charter of the International Partnership for Geothermal Technology (IPGT), signaling the commitment of the three countries to aggressively foster and promote cutting edge geothermal technologies to promote energy security and address global climate change.

Iceland, Australia and the U.S. bring high levels of expertise, leading the world in harnessing geothermal energy and producing electricity. This framework brings international collaboration on policy and the technical aspects of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) such as deep drilling and geothermal energy conversion.

“Enhanced geothermal systems have the potential to be the world’s only ever-present form of baseload renewable energy,” Acting Assistant Secretary Fredriksen said. “This international collaborative will bind the U.S., Australia and Iceland to work together to accelerate the development of geothermal energy, bringing this clean, domestic and natural energy to the market in the near-term to confront the serious challenges of climate change and energy security.”

DOE will work with Australia’s Ministry of Resources, Energy and Tourism and Iceland’s Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism to identify and encourage research, development and deployment projects critical to widespread deployment of EGS and deep drilling technologies, exchange best practices and support education and training programs. The IPGT will foster close working relationships among the international partners to support an accelerated evolution of geothermal technology through knowledge gained from projects in different countries and geologic settings.

“We look forward to working with the U.S. and Australia to remain on the forefront of geothermal energy,” said Minister Skarphedinsson.  “Australia, Iceland and the U.S. all possess unique individual strengths and experience in geothermal energy, and together this partnership allows us to capitalize on a collaborative international endeavor.”

“Geothermal technology provides a clean source of energy that produces few greenhouse gases,” said Ambassador Minahan. “IPGT can help all member countries to accelerate further development of this technology.”

In addition to establishing the IPGT, ministerial representatives of Australia, Iceland and the U.S. held a two day workshop bringing together experts from government, industry and academia to discuss research, development and deployment priorities for geothermal energy.  The IPGT is open to expansion and in the future may include members from other countries with commitments to emerging geothermal energy technologies.

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