Geothermal training education for developing countries in Iceland

ICI 18-10-2017

The Geothermal Training Programme of the United Nations University (UNU-GTP) is a postgraduate training program, aiming at assisting developing countries in capacity building within geothermal exploration and development. The program consists of six months annual training for practicing professionals from developing and transitional countries with significant geothermal potential. Priority is given to countries where geothermal development is under way, in order to maximize technology transfer.

The first official statement on establishing a UNU geothermal institute in Iceland was made in 1975 when the United Nations University (UNU) had just been established. After a first proposal in 1976 and an international workshop in 1978, the Government of Iceland decided in October 1978 to ask Orkustofnun (the National Energy Authority (NEA)), to sign an Agreement on Association with the UNU and establish the UNU Geothermal Training Programme (UNU-GTP). The UNU-GTP has been hosted by the NEA ever since.

The first annual training session of the UNU-GTP started in May 1979 with two UNU Fellows from the Philippines. Since then, a group of scientists and engineers from energy agencies and research organizations as well as universities in the developing countries and Central and Eastern European countries, have come to Iceland every spring to spend six months in highly specialized studies in geological exploration, borehole geology, geophysical exploration, borehole geophysics, reservoir engineering, chemistry of thermal fluids, environmental science, geothermal utilization, and drilling technology.

The development of geothermal resources requires a group of highly skilled specialists from a number of disciplines of science and engineering. Because of its diversity, geothermal energy has not been taught as a common subject at universities. The training of geothermal specialists has mainly taken place on-the-job within companies and institutions. International geothermal schools have contributed significantly in the transfer of geothermal technology, especially for the benefit of developing countries.

More recently, the UNU-GTP also offers a few successful candidates the possibility of extending their studies to MSc or PhD degrees in geothermal sciences or engineering in cooperation with the University of Iceland.

The UNU-GTP was established in the shadow of the oil crisis, when nations were looking for new and renewable energy sources in order to reduce dependence on hydrocarbons, in particular oil with its rapidly escalating prices. The current situation is somewhat similar in the sense that the international community is looking towards renewable energy sources as an alternative for the hydrocarbons in order to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases.

The UNU-GTP yearbook “Geothermal Training in Iceland 2016” has now been published on print and released online and is now available for download under publications on the webpage http://www.unugtp.is.

Source: http://www.unugtp.is and http://www.nea.is

Orkustofnun-ensk

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Green Marine Technology in Iceland

Greenmarine

Iceland has about 60 technology companies that create technology that are suitable for sea-related operations. Many of them are leaders in their field, both in terms of quality and environmental protection. The companies are focused in durable goods, efficiency, good use of energy, oil savings, water savings and hygiene.

The 10 Icelandic companies have been collaborating closely together recently through the Iceland Ocean Cluster and their newest cooperative project is a website, greenmarinetechnology.is where users can explore a virtual world of eco-friendly tech solutions. Introducing everything from geothermal energy utilization to ecofriendly trawl doors, Green Marine marks a turning point in jointly marketing technology solutions for the seafood industry.

Green technology refers to technology, which improves production processes, productivity and efficiency, use of raw materials or energy and reduces waste and pollution. Technological development is a key environmental issue. The call for environmentally friendly technologies is in all areas. Renewable energy and energy efficiency are prominent, as it is clear that if the goal of reduced greenhouse gas emissions is to be achieved it´s necessary to make changes in energy matters.

Many Icelandic high tech companies are leading in its field in terms of quality and eco-friendliness. They generally emphasize quality, efficiency, power savings, water savings and sanitation. These two key elements, quality and Eco friendliness, are extremely important when marketing Icelandic technology

Further infomation:  http://www.greenmarinetechnology.is/

Conversion of the Icelandic vehicle fleet to renewable energy

ICI 28-08-2017

“It is without a doubt reasonable to convert the vehicle fleet in Iceland” is the opening sentence in Visir news media from Bjarni Már Júlíusson CEO of ON Power.

The Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Björt Ólafsdóttir recently reported that they expect to see the entire vehicle fleet converted to renewable energy by the year 2030. To be able to achieve those goals the government would have to encourage further construction of electrical power stations.

Bjarni also stated an important issue in this debate is that nearly 100% energy is derived from domestically produced renewable energy and 70-80% of the population live in specific areas.

Bjarni talks about the “devils circle”. Individuals who do not change to electrical cars because there are too few power stations in the countryside and the power stations are not in the countryside because of lack of demand. Bjarni stated that this situation needs to change.

He stated that the government needs to walk the talk when it comes to this and reassure increased capital to the energy fund. The governments needs to balance the ratio between tax collections from gas and diesel against construction of power stations. In 2016 they collected around 1,9 billion ISK meanwhile energy fund spent around 200 million ISK in constructions of powerstations. “They should spent a ceartain percentage of these tax collections on the conversion process” reports Bjarni.

ICI 28-08-2017 - V2
Özur Lárusson

Özur Lárusson, CEO of the automotive trade association has another view on the time of the full conversion. Too many cars have too much lifespan left and individuals not ready to throw their fossil fuel cars for an electrical one if the former still is running. He reports that too many challenges are to be solved until we are fully ready for the conversion.

The Visir Daily News article concludes on the matters that both Özur and Bjarni agree upon. They see the development towards electrical cars is fast and see great possibilities in starting conversion of the public bus and coach transport. Stræto Ltd. for example has already ordered five buses and even though they do not have as good a range on the power supply as fossil fuel equivalents, this is a certain development in the right direction. “We just need to put more power into the process” says Bjarni.

Source from Visir daily news 5. ágúst 2017 http://www.visir.is/g/2017170809456/langskynsamlegast-ad-breyta-bilaflotanum-

Iceland Geothermal Conference to be held in Harpa, Reykjavik on 24-26 April 2018

IGC image

Registration is now open for the 4th Iceland Geothermal Conference (IGC) will be hosted in Harpa, Reykjavik in April 2018. The conference offers an in-depth discussion of the challenges in development of the geothermal sector.  It also focuses on the business environment built on three separate themes: vision, development, and operations.

This conference in 2018 offers science trips to nearby geothermal areas and easy access to Icelandic geothermal experts.  IGC historically offers quality lectures presented by carefully selected speakers from around the world.  This conference is the home for networking where buyers and sellers get the opportunity to form new relationships that could lead to new business opportunities.  The founders of IGC are familiar of the fact that networking is the key to any good conference.

Past IGCs have been a success, with an average of 700 participants each year.  IGC is a nonprofit event sponsored by the Iceland Geothermal Cluster Initiative.  The conference was set up as an international platform for the geothermal industry and project developers, to gather and share views on how to improve the business environment for geothermal projects.

Iceland Geothermal Cluster Initiative (IGCI) is a non-profit organization which goal is to promote geothermal energy as a competitive renewable energy solution for businesses and society. Geothermal resources in general are renewable and ideally suited to supply baseload energy improving energy security and encourage growth.

The IGCI and its members take part in hosting events and workshops, receiving delegations, sharing knowledge and experience, and assist in promoting geothermal energy. The cluster participates actively in defining best practice methodology for the sector and building up international cooperation to map best practice methods across the world, as well as performing energy related analyses and publishing reports and paper.

Registration and further information about the conference can be found on the IGCI website www.igc.is

Furthermore a youtube video on the IGC 2018 can be seen by following this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7o_zAWMFMk

Few women in renewable energy management in Iceland

EY report

In Iceland, only one quarter of vice presidents of renewable energy companies are female and only 8% of directors or managing directors of these companies are female.  Furthermore in companies that are not under the law of equal gender division only 17% of presidents are women.

All this information and more is to be found in a newly published report by an Icelandic organisation called Konur í orkugeiranum (Kio) (women in the renewable energy industry) in cooperation with Ernst & Young on the status of females in senior positions in the renewable energy industry.

According to the report, women barely count for 50% of all committee members in renewable energy companies, 32% department managers, 24% managers and 8% senior managers and directors.

The report also shows the evaluation of womens influence in the sector. This evaluation was processed according to Ernst & Young international methodology. 12 companies took part in the evaluation and three companies scored the best.  These are Veitur Utilities, Landsnet Electricity Transmit and Reykjavik Energy.

In an interview with two members of Kio (Harpa Pétursdóttir and Auður Nanna Baldvinsdóttir) in the national newspaper, they were happy to see how many women attended the inaugural meeting on the 15th of January 2016. Harpa is the presedent of Kio and works in a private law firm with focus on renewable energy matters.  Auður is salesmanager in Landsvirkjun, the national power company of Iceland and also treasurer of Kio.

They both agree on the urgency of this organisation to strengthen the network between women in the industry and more importantly draw attention to women in various positions within the renewable energy sector and therefore assist them to become more visible and influential.

The conclusion is clear, there are quite many women in lower positions in the renewable energy sector but when it comes to higher positions and actions need to be taken. Harpa mentions that the report proves their suspicions.  For example of all the 11 general managers in the renewable energy sector, none of them is a woman.

The report is downloadable here http://www.konuriorkumalum.is/

Source: mbl.is 2.may 2017

Eco-Friendly Transportation in Whale watching in Iceland

medium_Opal undir seglum ii_1822502519

North of Iceland in a town called Húsavík is a very forward thinking whale watching company called North sailing.  In their fleet they is a transformed electrical schooner “Opal”. This vessel has an outer appearance of a traditional gaff rigged sailing ship, but is without a doubt the most technologically advance ship in the North sailing fleet.

Opal is the first ship in the world to feature specifically designed Regenerative Plug-In Hybrid Propulsion System, and is equipped to recharge the batteries while under sails. On a day-to-day basis, the ship’s batteries will be recharged when docked, utilizing the sustainable, green energy of Iceland’s power grid, much of which is supplied by Landsvirkjun, the National Power Company of Iceland. During whale watching tours, the electric motor will silently propel the boat, but when the ship is under sails, the propeller blades can be modified and used to recharge the ship’s batteries. This technique has never been used on a sea vessel before.

The new electric system is not only eco-friendly and carbon-free, but it also minimizes the disturbance to the whales, enabling the ship and its passengers to get closer to the majestic animals. From this day on, Opal will run solely on eco-friendly electricity, and the old diesel engine will only be used for emergencies. Along with the engine changes, the ship’s hull has been overhauled and strengthened, and the sailing gear has been modified to better utilize the wind energy.

Jón Björn Skúlason, General Manager of Icelandic New Energy, says that North Sailing’s developmental work has not gone unnoticed and that it has been carefully monitored from abroad: “This project has utilized technology from many different sources, coming together in a unique, never-before-seen, novelty. I think this is one of the biggest events in the utilization of eco-friendly energy that has taken place in Iceland in a long time.” Icelandic New Energy’s largest shareholders are the Icelandic State, Reykjavík Energy, Landsvirkjun and HS Orka.

About The Schooner Opal
The Schooner Opal is one of the latest additions to North Sailing’s Fleet. Built at Bodenwerft shipyard in Damgarten, Germany in 1951, she served as a trawler in the Baltic – and North Sea, and in the Barents Sea. In 1973, new owners started her restoration. During eight years until 1981, Opal was converted to the elegant but seaworthy, double masted schooner she is today. She has sailed all over the world, completing several trans-Atlantic crossings, being carefully maintained through the years. Opal remained with the same owners, until becoming part of North Sailing’s fleet in early 2013. She has undergone restoration and had interior work done to better fit her for the new purpose as an expedition ship.

About North Sailing
North Sailing is a family owned company, founded in Húsavík in 1995. It was the first whale watching tour operator in Iceland to offer regular whale watching tours. The company has grown steadily, along with its growing number of customers, and the fleet has grown from one ship to eight. Apart from the Whale Watching, North Sailing owns and runs the restaurant Gamli Baukur, the coffee house Hvalbakur, and the Húsavíkurslippur shipyard. North Sailing has received numerous honors and awards internationally and domestically for consistently delivering outstanding quality experiences for its customers.

 

National Energy Authority of Iceland introduces a new geothermal research project Geothermica

Geotermisk område på Island

Led by Iceland‘s National Energy Authority, the Geothermal research project called Geothermica is worth 30 mill EUR aims to support and accelerate development of geothermal utilization within the participating European countries.

The National Energy Authority of Iceland (NEA) have newly introduced a geothermal research project, which was discussed on a local news media in Iceland. NEA will serve as head of the project in a big cooperative geothermal research project with sixteen administrative and research centers in thirteen European countries. The project called Geothermia will aim to support and accelerate development of geothermal utilization within the participating countries. To achieve the goals the participants have contributed over EUR 30 million ($33 million) into a fund that will be used to support the innovation and development of geothermal energy.

10 EU countries participating in the partnership; Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Romania and Slovenia, as well as Iceland, Switzerland and Turkey related to the project through an agreement with the EU, including the EEA Agreement. They are to share research funds from the participating countries on the one hand and the EU on the other hand for research and innovation in the field of geothermal energy, and to promote business networks and the geothermal sector in Europe. Then the plan is to establish strategic alliances among those who provide funding for geothermal research and innovation.

Hjalti Páll Ingólfsson, Manager of the GEORG research cluster in Iceland and Program manager for Geothermic, values this project to be also useful in Iceland. It provides opportunities for projects in new locations, beyond where Icelandic companies and individuals have worked in recent years.

“This also opens the opportunity to utilize our knowledge of district heating and the possibility of using geothermal energy as a source of heat, not only for power generation. This is becoming a major revival in Europe of the use of renewable energy, which has not been so far despite intense moment, “he says.

When asked who could take advantage of this fund, he says it may be experts in energy that might be on various projects, regardless of what they are denominated. “Those who can definitely come in here are independent experts and consultants, engineering firms, energy companies and this can certainly be an opportunity for the row of projects,” he says.

Behind projects like this lies the policy of European countries to substantially increase the share of renewable energy both for the public and for use in industry. Today, geothermal energy is used as an energy source only in a few industries and a few designated areas. At the same time it is estimated that about a quarter of European countries can take advantage of geothermal energy. The European Union wants to fuel 80% of all heating from renewable energy by 2050, including from geothermal energy which is still much undeveloped in most parts of the world. The participants in the research project therefore believe that the opportunities of further utilisation of geothermal energy is essentially limitless.

Asked if this project connects to the ongoing debate on climate change, he says that the project confirms the EU’s interest in geothermal energy is directly and indirectly connected to the debate. The interest in renewable energy is therefore incredibly important.

Source: visir.is