China, Iceland join forces to tap geothermal reserves

April 23, 2012

Iceland Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Friday signed an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation for the development of geothermal energy.

While visiting Iceland’s Hellisheidi power station, the second largest among Iceland's five major geothermal power plants, Wen watched a demonstration of the plant's operation and a video clip about Iceland's geothermal energy.

Wen said that China has among the world’s biggest potentials in geothermal energy, but it was still in its infancy of developing and utilizing it.

Noting that Iceland has trained many Chinese students in geothermy study, Wen said China will strengthen cooperation with Iceland in developing, utilizing, researching and promoting geothermal energy and other clean energy.

To strike a balance between achieving development goals and tackling climate change, the developing countries need to follow a path characterized by energy saving and developing and using new energy such as geothermal energy, Wen said at a seminar.

Geothermal power plants provide over a quarter of energy needs in Iceland, which has proven a great success in the country's transformation from burning coal to using clean geothermal energy over the past several decades.