Renewable Energy's Poor Cousin Getting Richer? International Geothermal Power Partnership Formed


Nesjavellir geothermal power plant in Iceland, photo: Wikipedia.

The summer has seen a good deal of new investment in geothermal power (so much in fact that a roundup of these new developments seemed in order) with both the US and Australian governments announcing that they would be investing more money into researching advanced geothermal energy technologies. Considering the vast, mostly untapped, potential of this renewable energy resource this investment certainly is warranted. So too is some collaboration with a nation which knows a thing or two about making the most of its geothermal power.

Three Nation Collaboration on Geothermal Power
Announced last week, the United States and Australia have entered into a partnership with Iceland to form the International Partnership for Geothermal Technology (IPGT). Under this agreement, the DOE will be working 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 (Enhanced Geothermal Systems) and deep drilling technologies, exchange best practices and support education and training programs." "The World's Only Ever-Present Form of Baseload Renewable Energy"
The DOE's Acting Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs Katharine Fredriksen touted the benefits of geothermal power,

Enhanced geothermal systems have the potential to be the world's only ever-present form of baseload renewable energy. This international collaborative will bind the US, 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.

Granted, at least in the United States, there's a long way to go before geothermal even taps into a small percentage of its potential, but if this collaboration and recent investments are any indication of things to come, we may have to stop picking on geothermal power, calling it the poor cousin. The sleeping cousin?

:: US Department of Energy
Geothermal Power
5 Ways Geothermal Power is Heating Up Around the World
1% of Australia's Geothermal Power Potential = 26,000 Years of Energy
A Primer to Iceland's Geothermal Power Stations

Tags: Australia | Geothermal Power | Iceland | Renewable Energy | United States

Best of TreeHugger