India looks to Iceland to help tap into geothermal reserves

August 26, 2011

Seeking to tap Iceland’s unique expertise in geothermal technology, India has announced a plan to work with the northern country to develop its own capabilities in that fast-emerging and potentially huge renewable energy sector.

Due to Iceland’s unique geology, which includes a high concentration of volcanoes, five major geothermal power plants produce approximately 26.2 percent of the nation's energy, while geothermal heating provides for the heating and hot water requirements of approximately 87 percent of all buildings in Iceland.

New and Renewable Energy Minister Farooq Abdullah said, "We are trying to co-operate with them (Iceland) in a big way because there are number of areas in our country where geothermal energy can be made use of. Today’s, technology provide us this opportunity," The Press Trust of India reported.

According to Abdullah, India is progressing rapidly to develop new renewable energy resources, and now has an installed base of 20 gigawatts of renewable energy, which New Delhi aims to increase 350 percent within the next decade to 70 gigawatts and "if we do not seize the opportunity now, future generations will have every reason to identify us as a selfish, shortsighted and an irresponsible generation."

Currently about 81 percent of Iceland’s total primary energy supply is derived from domestically produced renewable energy sources, which besides geothermal, include significant hydroelectric facilities.