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Europe learning about geothermal energy in Iceland

Press Release july 2022

6.7.2022

Utilization of geothermal energy is growing in Europe.

From 26th to 28th of April, delegation and cooperation partners of Orkustofnun came to Iceland from Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Norway in the User4GeoEnergy project, which aims to improve energy efficiency in geothermal installations through changing consumer ‘s energy characteristic‘s.

The aim of the project is to increase efficiency, sustainability and reduce CO2 emissions

The aim of the project is to increase the efficiency of district heating systems in Poland, Hungary and Slovakia, in order to increase sustainability, decrease air pollution and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Meeting these goals should contribute to getting geothermal DH systems more popular in cities and contribute towards mitigating climate change and more energy security.

The project's partners with the National Energy Authority are the Mineral and Energy Economy Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences (MEERI PAS) from Poland, which is leading the project, SLOVGEOTERM a.s. from Slovakia, InnoGeo Ltd. from Hungary and NORCE Norwegian Research Center AS from Norway.

Introductory meetings and visits to companies

During the visit to Iceland, emphasis was on introducing the activities of companies in Iceland related to geothermal energy and district heating. For this purpose, a meeting was held at the National Energy Authority where Halla Hrund Logadóttir, Director of Energy, welcomed the group and had a presentation as well as Marta Ros Karlsdóttir, Director of Sustainable use of natural resources. Companies and institutions in Iceland that are related to geothermal energy then had short presentations about their activities where there was an opportunity for discussions between the parties for future cooperation.

Visits were also made to various companies related to the utilization of geothermal energy and to the resources parks in Hellisheidi and Reykjanes, where rapid development has taken place. There, the group met companies that use geothermal energy in various products and services and related activities. The main companies the group visited or had a presentation at the resources parks were, Hitaveita Seltjarnarnes, HS Orka, Bláa lónið, Geothermal Research Cluster (GEORG), Geothermica, Laxar aquaculture, ON, OR, Pure North, Carbfix, Climeworks, GeoSilica, Friðheimar, Varmaorka, Flúðasveppi and Límtré.

Fast development in Iceland

It was the opinion of the foreign visitors that there has been great progress in this country in many areas related to geothermal energy and derivative activities such as in the resources parks and energy clusters, that could be learned from and utilized abroad. There was also interest in further cooperation between parties from the countries in question and Iceland.

The project started in October 2020 and will last until September 2023. The budget is EUR 1.32 million and is financed by the EEA Development Fund in the field of Regional Cooperation. Baldur Pétursson, project manager for international projects, is in charge of the project on behalf of the National Energy Authority.

The main focus of the project

• Dissemination of practical knowledge regarding the management and operation of geothermal district heating between Iceland and Norway on the one hand and Poland, Slovakia and Hungary on the other, in order to increase economic benefits as well as environmental and climate benefits for all.

• Development of a mathematical model of geothermal systems (energy source - heat distribution - users), to analyze optimal solutions for the supply of geothermal energy in Poland, Slovakia and Hungary based on geothermal conditions and prices in domestic markets.

• Emphasis will be placed on temperature control systems and the importance of individual customers, by sharing knowledge, experience and technical solutions to improve geothermal utilization, based on the use of sustainable solutions. The project also focuses on encouraging home users to change their focus on central heating and improve utilization.

Presentations from companies during the visit and more information on the project website can be seen here.

Press release available on pdf. file here.