A coalition of 38 countries and over 20 development and industry partners have joined forces at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP21), to increase the share of geothermal energy in the global energy mix.
The coalition launched the new Alliance at a high-level event in Paris within the wider context of the COP 21 Energy Action Day. The Global Geothermal Alliance is an initiative facilitated by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) which is aiming to achieve a 500 percent increase in global installed capacity for geothermal power generation and a 200 percent increase in geothermal heating by 2030.
“Geothermal has proven its potential to be part of both the global climate and energy action agenda” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin. “While geothermal can provide baseload power at some of the lowest costs for any power source, it remains under-developed. The Global Geothermal Alliance will provide a platform for partners to share best practices, further reduce costs and get the most benefit out of this sustainable energy resource.”
Nearly 90 countries have potential for geothermal energy resource development; however, just 13 gigawatts of installed capacity exists worldwide.
Geothermal is a proven technology, but the main obstacle for investment and development has historically been the high upfront costs of surface geophysical studies and drilling to explore for geothermal resources. However, once a geothermal project is in operation, it can generate electricity at low cost. The Alliance is aiming to overcome these barriers by mitigating risks, promoting technological cooperation, coordinating regional and national initiatives and facilitating geothermal energy investments into energy markets.
Members of the Alliance include H.E. Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, President, Iceland; H.E. Ségolène Royal, Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, France; H.E. Judy Wakhungu, Cabinet Secretary for Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, Kenya; and H.E. Simon Bridges Minister of Energy and Resources, New Zealand. It is supported by governments around the world, leading industry players, development partners, regional and national institutions and non-governmental organisations. The initiative was initiated in September 2014 at the Climate Summit organized by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Image: From left to right: Minister Ségolène Royal, France; President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, Iceland; Director-General Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA.