International recognition for NZ geothermal expertise

Wednesday 26 October 2011, 12:27PM
By Wayne Mapp

New Zealand has been accepted as a member of the International Partnership for Geothermal Technology, announced Science and Innovation Minister Wayne Mapp.

“Geothermal energy is one of our most important renewable energy resources with huge potential for growth,” said Dr Mapp.

“This recognition of our geothermal research programmes will allow our scientists to collaborate with an elite group of researchers in the United States, Australia, Switzerland and Iceland.”

Dr Mapp saw the potential of geothermal technology first hand at the recent Clean Energy Expo at the new Clean Energy Centre in Taupo.

“There I met scientists from our research organisations who are committed to finding new ways to harness New Zealand’s extensive geothermal fields.”

The International Partnership for Geothermal Technology (IPGT) seeks to develop advanced, cost-effective geothermal energy technologies through international research co-operation.

Geothermal electricity generation in New Zealand grew by 21 percent in 2010, and accounted for 13 percent of total electricity generation that year. There is significant potential for this to grow with three large geothermal projects in the pipeline by 2020.

“Innovation and clean energy is a big part of enabling New Zealand to grow the economy,” said Dr Mapp.

“This new international partnership will help keep us at the forefront of technology developments such as enhanced geothermal systems.”

New Zealand will be formally admitted to the IPGT in Melbourne on 16 November.