NZ & US to collaborate on geothermal tech

  • Hon Dr Megan Woods
Research, Science and Innovation

Minister of Research, Science and Innovation Megan Woods today welcomed a new partnership between the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and the United States Department of Energy (U.S. DOE), which will facilitate collaboration on the research and development of geothermal technologies.

“New Zealand has an abundant supply of renewable geothermal reserves and a long history of utilising this reliable and cost effective energy source to produce electricity,” says Minister Woods.

“While the capacity we have to generate electricity from geothermal sources has significantly grown over the past decade and it now contributes around 17 per cent of New Zealand’s electricity supply, this resource still offers vast and untapped potential as an energy source.

“This new research partnership with the United States Department of Energy will bring together experts from both countries to harness this potential and accelerate the development of geothermal technologies. It will also contribute towards our goal of 100% renewable energy by 2050.”

The partnership builds on New Zealand’s existing commitment to geothermal science through the International Partnership of Geothermal Technology (IPGT), together with the United States, Iceland, Switzerland and Australia.

Representatives of the IPGT have been in Taupō this week discussing directions and outcomes of current research and development projects as part of its annual conference. MBIE and U.S. DOE officials signed the statement of principles for cooperation during the event.

“New Zealand will be working closely with the United States to increase efficiency and advance cost-effective geothermal energy technologies,” says Woods.

“The partnership with the United States will accelerate the availability of these technologies internationally, and identify and address wider issues relating to geothermal energy while informing appropriate technical and regulatory environments.”

You can read more about the partnership on MBIE’s website here.