You are here

China and Iceland in geothermal cooperation

Agreements could lead to island investments and utilising resources of geothermal energy in Far East

Iceland gets about 25 per cent of its power from geothermal sources
The volcanic island of Iceland gets about 25 per cent of its power from geothermal sources

China looks set to work with Iceland to make developments in geothermal energy in the Far East, according to reports. The countries have signed agreements in geothermal cooperation which could lead to business investments and ways to utilise geothermal resources in China. 

Bloomberg has reported that agreements and declarations have been made in areas covering Arctic cooperation, marine science and geothermal cooperation, according to a press statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office. A joint declaration was also signed between Iceland and China National Bluestar Co. Ltd. relating to a solar and silicon project in Iceland, it said.

The news comes during a two-day visit to Iceland from Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. Bloomberg has reported Wen toured Hellisheidi, Iceland’s largest geothermal power plant, and met with President Olafur R. Grimsson and Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir this weekend. It’s the first visit by a Chinese premier since diplomatic relations were established 41 years ago, according to the Foreign Ministry in Beijing.

“China and Iceland have enjoyed a good cooperation in the field of geothermal utilisation and that cooperation has created great opportunities for Icelandic consultancies and companies,” Sigurdardottir said in an e-mailed reply to questions, Bloomberg said. “The possibilities for increased utilisation of the geothermal resources in China are vast and can lead to a more environmentally friendly and more sustainable energy use.”

The volcanic island gets about 25 per cent of its power from geothermal sources and the rest from hydropower. Iceland last year started a feasibility study into building a 1,170-kilometer (727-mile) power cable to Scotland to send some of its untapped potential of geothermal and hydropower power to Europe.

“The two sides enjoy great potential of cooperation in business, geothermal and Arctic and hold a high level of consensus on further deepening cooperation,” Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Song Tao said in an April 16 statement on Wen’s visit, Bloomberg said. The countries will share views on trade, geothermal cooperation and Chinese business investment in Iceland, according to the ministry.

Iceland has geothermal advisers at work in the US China, Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America, according to its National Energy Agency. Grimsson has helped secure energy deals with China, India and Russia after touring the world to promote the island’s geothermal potential.