The Icelandic Ministry of Industry will convene an event within the EU Sustainable Energy Week on 1 February 2008. The title of the event is Geothermal Energy – Benefits and Potential. Opening remarks will be delivered by Mr. Ossur Skarphedinsson, Minister of Industry and Mr. Andris Piebalgs, the Commissioner for Energy.
Geothermal energy, which is a clean and renewable energy source, is present in many countries in Europe as well as all over the world. Despite its potential the growth in utilisation has been slow. Iceland is hosting this high level event to share its experience in geothermal utilisation, raise the awareness of the geothermal potential and the benefits that it can bring with it. The focus will be on the importance of geothermal research and technology transfer. Opening remarks will be delivered by Mr. Ossur Skarphedinsson, Minister of Industry and Mr. Andris Piebalgs, the Commissioner for Energy in EC.
Iceland is mountainous and volcanic country located on the mid-Atlantic ridge. The country’s geographical peculiarities have endowed Iceland with an abundant supply of geothermal resources and hydropower. During the course of the 20th century, Iceland went from what was one of Europe’s poorest countries, dependent upon heat and imported coal for its energy, to a country with a high standard of living where practically all stationary energy, and roughly 75% of primary energy, is derived from indigenous renewable sources. Nearly all electricity is produced by renewable resources (hydro and geothermal). Geothermal energy plays a vital role in the Icelandic energy situation and during the last decade both geothermal electricity production and direct use of geothermal energy has increased significantly.