U.S., Iceland Team up on Geothermal Power

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"Agreement will allow for the joint development of technologies."

In good news for renewable energy internationally, the United States and Iceland recently signed an agreement that will allow for the joint development of geothermal energy and technologies. The new agreement, entitled "Scientific and Technological Cooperation on Geothermal Research and Development," will allow for an exchange of researchers, joint projects, and education initiatives between the two countries in order to accelerate advanced geothermal development, and to identify key obstacles to increasing use of this renewable energy resource.

This bilateral agreement was signed during a week of international meetings on geothermal energy in Reykjavik, Iceland. These meetings saw representatives from nations across the globe–including Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Republic of Korea, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland and the United States–engage in working group sessions to (1) help facilitate the development of advanced, cost-effective geothermal technologies, (2) increase the availability of these technologies internationally and (3) identify and address wider issues relating to geothermal energy.

As part of the geothermal festivities, the International Partnership for Geothermal Technology (IPGT) also hosted meetings in Iceland, and was happy to welcome Switzerland as its fourth and newest member country. The IPGT was chartered in 2008 by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Australian Ministry of Resources, Energy and Tourism, and the Icelandic Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism, and focuses on cutting-edge geothermal technology. Switzerland is expected to bring its technical knowledge in induced seismicity to the table, a new topic to be added to the six existing, high-priority areas identified by IPGT as crucial to the development of the geothermal industries in each country.

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