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Friday, April 06, 2018

New Geothermal Energy Directions: Interview with Marit Brommer, International Geothermal Association – Innovators Series

Geothermal energy is often overlooked as a renewable, sustainable energy source, but new developments in technology and a better understanding of the earth’s mantle are making it one of the fastest-growing energy source in some parts of the world. Welcome to an interview with Marit Brommer, Executive Director of the International Geothermal Association.

1.  What is your name and what do you do?  
I am Marit Brommer, and I am the Executive Director of the International Geothermal Association.

2.  How did you become interested in geothermal energy?
I am a geologist by training and have built my technical career in the Oil/Gas Industry. Over the past years I became very interested in the global energy transition and the world´s perspectives on moving away from fossil fuels and embracing renewables. However I became equally intrigued by the marginal role Geothermal Energy is still playing in the energy transition. After all I am an Earth Scientist ;-)

Although many countries worldwide are adopting geothermal energy as a potential renewable energy source, and influential people as Bill Gates specifically mention geothermal power and refer to geothermal as´… the phenomenal amount of energy stored up as heat under the Earth´s surface´ and earmark it as an investment opportunity, we still see that there is a lot of work to do to create that visibility for geothermal at the world energy scene.

Here we chat with Marit on LifeEdge (click here)
Interview on LifeEdge with Marit Brommer.  
3.  What is your organization?
We are the International Geothermal Association – a global geothermal organization uniting the geothermal sector around the globe. The IGA is an Association of Associations meaning it has an umbrella function towards its affiliated national associations.

4.  What does the IGA do?
We believe that Geothermal Energy is a key player in the sustainable future energy-mix and we are committed to let geothermal energy reach its full potential.
The IGA aims at being the leading world authority in matters concerning the research and development of geothermal energy by setting educational standards and offering world-wide energy solutions and in-house technical support, with special support for countries in early stages of geothermal development.

We connect the Global Geothermal Community, serving as a platform for networking opportunities aimed at promoting and supporting global geothermal development, providing best practices and guidelines, and actively engage with policy-makers and decision-takers.

5.  Where can we find geothermal energy?
Geothermal is available everywhere as underground heat is available everywhere!

6.  What are some of the exciting new directions in geothermal energy?
There are many exciting new directions here are a few: electricity conversion in low temperature environments (i.e. temperatures up to 150 dec Celsius), the search for deeper and hotter reservoirs (between 4 and 8km depth for instance NW Europe) in non-volcanic rocks, smart cities initiatives with the vision to replace the baseload from a coal-based district heating systems to a geothermal based system, and small island development states in the fury of climate change wanting to become independent from fossil-fuels and adopting renewable technologies such as geothermal in their journey towards autonomy, independence and a clean and green future.

7.  Where are places of great potential right now? 
Everywhere, geothermal has something for everyone around the planet. Whether it is deep geothermal for power production, geothermal baseload for district heating, geothermal heating and cooling of buildings, direct uses such as green houses & geothermal spas, industrial purposes such as drying foods, hot springs for geothermal tourism, you name it, geothermal has it!

In terms of countries the eyes are on Indonesia, Philippines, Turkey, Central America and East Africa. Where we can win the most is the Asia Pacific, Caribbean, Africa and the Arabic Peninsula.

Crepuscular rays over the steam from a hot spring in Yellowstone National Park. Source: Wikimedia Commons.
8. Please describe the GTW Geothermal Cross-over workshop.
AAPG and the IGA have joined forces and organises Cross-over workshop. Both associations are committed to develop a vibrant community of integrated research and development, information exchange, and creating value-based projects together This joint community has the unique opportunity to leverage the experience of the oil & gas industry over the last century, share the technical know-how on drilling geothermal prospects in deep and hot wells, innovate dual-play concepts, in order to put the vision of global policy makers to scale up geothermal development into action.

The workshop will offer a meeting point to two geo-energy communities where both technical and social aspects associated with subsurface energy exploration, development and production activities will be presented and discussed. It will provide case-study examples where geo-energy projects benefitted – or not – from an effective technology and knowledge transfer between different industries.

9. Recommended good books
There are plenty of good books out there but here are few really great ones:

What is Geothermal Energy? – Dickson and Fanelli, 2004
Geothermal Exploration – global strategies and applications (Harvey et al., 2016)
Geothermal reservoir engineering – Grant (2012)

Please stay tuned with the IGA and check our website and connect with us on social media (#lovegeothermal) and follow us on twitter @lovegeothermal. Connect with the Geothermal Resources Council in the USA -  and for the latest news visit


Crepuscular rays over the steam from a hot spring in Yellowstone National Park 

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