Geothermal Experts Attends World Geothermal Conf.
NEW ZEALAND GEOTHERMAL ASSOCIATION INC
22 April 2005
Large Contingent of New Zealand Geothermal Experts Attends World Geothermal Conference
Around 40 New Zealand scientists, engineers and developers are attending one of the largest international geothermal conferences in the last five years. The conference is expected to draw in nearly 1000 people from Iceland to Australia.
The World Geothermal Congress is being held in Antalya, Turkey between 24 and 29 April. Many of the New Zealand delegates will also be able to visit Gallipoli around this time.
The World Geothermal Congress is organised by the International Geothermal Association. The theme of the conference is “Geothermal energy: the domestic, renewable, green option”. Many countries, including less obvious ones such as those through Europe and Australia, are considering geothermal options in their energy mix.
New Zealand geothermal specialists have an international reputation, and have been involved in more than half of the geothermal developments worldwide. International consultancy on geothermal has brought in tens of millions of dollars to New Zealand since the initial development at Wairakei nearly 50 years ago. International work has sustained this expertise through relatively quiet periods of New Zealand geothermal development.
In New Zealand, there has been increasing interest in generation from geothermal power, as its cost is competitive with other forms of generation. While its capital cost is relatively high, its operating costs are relatively low (say compared to gas or coal fired generation). Geothermal generation typically supplies about 7% of all electricity generation nationally, and this is normally baseload generation. Geothermal energy is reliable and not dependent on the weather.
There are many fields in New Zealand that are currently untapped or underdeveloped, and that could be readily developed. Geothermal energy is expected to make an even greater contribution to supplying New Zealand's increasing demand for electricity. Conservative estimates that take account of likely consent restrictions have indicated that more than 600MW of new geothermal power stations could be installed.
The New Zealand Geothermal Association (NZGA) is an independent, non-profit industry association with a wide membership covering developers, regulators, researchers, consultants, Maori interests, manufacturers, etc. It provides information on geothermal phenomena and utilisation for industry, government and educational organisations. The NZGA supports appropriate sustainable development of geothermal resources, and works with industry and government to achieve this.