Technology Innovation: Geothermal
Day: Tuesday, 6th October 2015
Time: 14:30 – 16:00
Room: Ballroom West
The total installed geothermal capacity as of January 2015 is estimated to be 12,634 MWe. Significant growth has occurred in the last five years in the Asia Pacific region, in Kenya, North America and Europe. This increase has been possible due to the growth of binary power plants.
One challenge facing the sector is the relatively high initial investment costs for the drilling operations and the risks involved in the early exploration phase. Pre-feasibilities and feasibility studies are therefore crucial. Adequate financing and insurance schemes need to be improved, incentives be provided by the governments and a secure investment climate be created by public entities. The financial sector has to become more aware of the characteristics and specific requirements of geothermal energy by providing technical expertise to develop adequate insurance schemes. Another challenge is the regulatory framework conditions, policies and concession arrangements which are frequently not geothermal-friendly. In some countries the institutional coordination work which takes place between the power utility, the ministry of energy (mines) or geological survey needs improvement.
A precondition of geothermal energy is that the resource resides in the subsurface requiring special interdisciplinary teams who asses the reservoirs, test the conditions, output and only thereafter design the power plant. A high number of disciplines and staff with expert skills are necessary. Also capacity building is a key element in successful geothermal development.
Questions to be addressed by the session
- How can the growth of geothermal energy use be increased?
- Which technology innovations can benefit Southern Africa?
- Is the policy framework beneficial for geothermal energy development in those countries with this renewable energy resource?
- How can REN21 and SAIREC help to boost geothermal?
- Ms. Marietta Sander, Executive Director, International Geothermal Association
- Mr. Philippe Niyongabo, Head of the Energy Division, African Union Commission (AUC)
- Ms. Safiatou Alzouma, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)
- Mr. Jón Örn Jónsson, Country General Manager Ethiopia, Reykjavik Geothermal, Iceland
- Mr. Markos Melaku, Independent Geothermal Consultant, Ethiopia