July 31 (SeeNews) - The state visit of France’s minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy Segolene Royal to Iceland was marked by the signing of a bilateral cooperation agreement on the development of geothermal energy.
The French Geothermal Cluster GEODEEP and its sister organisation - the Iceland Geothermal Cluster Initiative, on Wednesday agreed to cooperate in creating a framework of standardized model licenses for exploring, realizing, and developing geothermal energy resources.
The signing was witnessed by Mme Royal and Iceland’s Minister for Industry and Trade Ragnheidur Elin Arnadottir.
This landmark agreement between the two clusters could easily serve to build a general consensus for developing geothermal projects worldwide. It will also push forward the global expansion of geothermal energy and the set up of a Global Geothermal Alliance (GGA), which will be formally launched at COP21 in Paris later this year.
In 2013, the international renewable energy agency (IRENA) recorded just 12 GW of geothermal capacity worldwide but its potential capacity for energy alone is 1,700 GW, as estimated by the International Energy Agency (IEA).
France already has experience in tapping geothermal resources for heating and wishes to boost the low-temperature geothermal systems for heat production with a new simplified regulatory framework. The country is equally interested in developing the high-temperature segment for electricity generation, the Ministry of Ecology said on its website.
Iceland already covers 100% of its electricity and heating energy needs from renewable sources.