Issued: 7th December 2012
For Immediate Release

Geothermal industry discuss European policy, East Africa, Turkey, Hungary and more at GeoPower Europe Congress

The 4th annual GeoPower Europe event, the key European geothermal congress endorsed by EGEC (the European Geothermal Energy Council) and organised by Green Power Conferences took place in Hungary on the 4-5 December.

Key industry leaders speaking at the event included representatives from EGEC, the IGA, Hungarian Ministry of National Development, European Parliament, Icelandic Government and commercial companies developing and operating geothermal projects across the globe.

Case studies drawn from Spain, the UK and Germany showed that weakening government support for renewable energy, geothermal in particular (compared with wind or solar) could be holding the industry back. Action is needed from policy-makers to show they have a firm commitment to the industry and to encourage investment into the industry.

Ryan Law, Chair of the UK Deep Geothermal Sector Group said that immediate action is needed if the UK is to reach 200MW by 2020. Thorsten Weimann, Executive Director of the German Geothermal Association highlighted low public recognition of geothermal, compared to wind and solar as a renewable resource. Geothermal has huge potential as stable base load power and does not suffer the intermittency of other renewables (if it is not windy, or not sunny, wind and solar will not produce energy). Christian Boissavy, Founding President, French Association of Geothermal Professionals (AFPG) suggested that the industry should make it easier for consumers to compare the cost of geothermal power with hydrocarbons, including externalities such as pollution. The director of the Spanish APPA Geothermal Steering Group, Daniel Muñoz illustrated the effects of the tough economic climate on the incentives for producing renewable power.

Despite the uncertain backdrop of government policy in Europe, the industry is in fine health and exploring new territories all the time. For example The East African Rift currently shows enormous promise as do Turkey and Hungary. East Africa provided some fantastic examples of how the industry is working with communities to build up local skills and resources.  Kenyan company GDC is working with the University of Kenya to drive local expertise. IGA board-member and Director of GeoThermal Engineering, Horst Kreuter spoke of working with local communities to build up additional resources such as schools. ThinkGeoEnergy Founder, Alexander Richter, summarised the region adding that in Djibouti, experience is king – companies are not allowed to build plants unless they have at least 10 years’ experience and he also highlighted the differences of working from country to country which were often cultural. This is also true of Europe where companies have to deal with disparate government policies which do not necessarily point in the same direction.  

With drilling risk still at the forefront of people’s minds, IRENA technology and innovation director, Dolf Gielen discussed the Risk Mitigation Facility which provides €50 million for exploration/drilling. The facility sees the German Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development and the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund via KfW Entwicklungsbank (KfW) collaborate to co-finance surface studies and drilling projects in Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

Hungary, the host country, famous for its geothermal spas provided an excellent update on the policy for Hungarian geothermal until 2020 from Otto Toldi, Head of the Ministry of National Development. The policy is simply to ensure the long term sustainability, security, and economic competitiveness of energy supply in Hungary. This will be done via Hungary's renewable energy utilisation action plan which should see geothermal growing from 9% of the renewable energy share to 17%.  Annamária Nádor a Project Manager at the Geological and Geophysical Institute of Hungary followed up with further information on the policy and how it applies to different resources, including the designation of geothermal protection zone regulated designed to safeguard exploration.

The event also saw the launch of the 2012 Market Report authored by EGEC which can be downloaded free of charge for EGEC members and conference attendees or bought for just €250 for non-members and non-attendees.

Gold sponsors of the event were Nooter Eriksen and Ormat who also provided the internet lounge. Silver sponsors were Cryostar Clean Energy, Exergy, Mannvit, PannErgy and Turboden.

The next event takes place on the 3-4 December 2013 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Contact Jo-Anne Duff for more information:


Notes to editors

About Green Power Conferences

GeoPower Europe is an annual conference organised by Green Power Conferences and endorsed by EGEC. It take place as part of the World GeoPower Markets series of conferences, webinars and training courses, a leading source of impartial information to the geothermal industry.

Green Power Conferences are dedicated to creating high-quality business networking events that provide strategic business intelligence and connect industry, government and investors.

Founded in 2003, we were the first company to create independent, professional events for the renewable energy and sustainability markets. Our fantastic speaker faculty includes Nobel prize-winner, Mario Molina, Al Gore, Bob Geldof and international representation from local government ministers. We run events across the globe in every continent focused on renewable energy.

Portfolio Director: Jo-Anne Duff
+ 44 (0) 203 384 5794

Twitter: #GeoPower or @greenpowerjo or @greenpowerphil
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About EGEC

EGEC, the European Geothermal Energy Council, was founded in 1998 as an international non-profit association in Brussels. Its office is based nearby the European Institutions in the Renewable Energy House.

EGEC has now more than 120 members from 27 European countries: private companies, national associations, consultants, research centers, geological surveys and other public authorities.

EGEC is a member of EREC, the European Renewable Energy Council, which groups together all main European renewable energy industry and research associations. EGEC is also a member of the International Geothermal Association (IGA).

Communication & Event Officer
Sanni Roinevirta

T : +322 400 10 24
F : + 322 400 10 39