1st Workshop on the Geothermal Energy Initiative in Latin America

At the beginning of 2013 the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) together with the Latin America Energy Organization (OLADE) and the International Geothermal Association (IGA) decided to collaborate to promote geothermal energy in Latin America.

A Geothermal Initiative was started in the five Andean countries Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. The Initiative initially aims to collect country-specific geothermal information on the regulatory framework, policies, institutional set-up, geothermal potential and the stages of geothermal site development. At a later stage bilateral projects are to be promoted and support provided on technical and financial levels. Mentor countries with significant geothermal experience, namely Iceland, Mexico, New Zealand and France support the Geothermal Initiative.

A first workshop took place from 4-5 March 2013 in Reykjavik, Iceland. During the workshop the country-specific geothermal background studies were reviewed and country representatives provided additional input. Subsequently, geothermal development barriers were identified and country-specific roadmaps developed by country representatives. Focused roundtables on policy, capacity building, finance and technology assisted to focus the outcome.

The workshop brought together 33 geothermal/ renewable energy experts from over 10 countries. In January 2013, the IGA had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with IRENA and contributes to the Geothermal Initiative in Latin America through advisory services of an IGA consultant.