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Scope for more geothermal use in Bay of Plenty

Around half of New Zealand’s geothermal energy use occurs in the Bay of Plenty - but there’s scope for much more.

That’s the message from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), which is sponsoring an upcoming workshop in Rotorua on direct use of geothermal energy for commercial use.

The Bay of Plenty is already dominant when it comes to geothermal energy, with around half of the country’s 300 geothermal applications located in the region, says Shaun Bowler, EECA renewable heat programme manager.

“Access to geothermal energy resources provides a real comparative advantage for the Bay of Plenty and Waikato regions.

“Bay of Connections and Grow Rotorua are showing leadership in enabling increased investment in this important national resource,”

Uses for geothermal include timber drying, horticultural hot houses, aquaculture, motels, and spas. Geothermal heat is available throughout the central North Island area, and there is scope to develop a lot more of it, Mr Bowler said.

EECA is sponsoring the keynote speaker Dr John Lund, an internationally acclaimed expert in of geothermal energy. Dr Lund’s experience complements a programme that will provide a “how-to” guide on geothermal energy for use in direct heat applications.

EECA is a principal sponsor along with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ,Te Puni Kōkiri and other key players.

“The region has the potential to significantly contribute towards the Government’s renewable energy goals. Geothermal is a key component of these goals."

The Workshop on Geothermal Direct Heat for Commercial Applications will be held in Rotorua on February 18-19. It is part of the Bay of Connections Energy Strategy project in association with Grow Rotorua, Kawerau Industrial Symbiosis and Enterprise Great Lake Taupō.


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