China is sending several students to the UN Geothermal Training Program in Iceland. This is an effort to help grow the geothermal energy utilization in the growing economy of China.
As reported yesterday by ….. “China as the largest consumer of coal for power generation, is sending engineers 5,000 miles across the world to learn how the Earth’s bubbling hotspots can help utilities clean up their act.
Cui Yu, geothermal projects manager at Beijing’s Geology Minerals Development Bureau, said the government sent her to the volcanic island of Iceland for six months to learn how to develop an industry tapping underground heat. The country in the north Atlantic warms 90 percent of homes from geothermal supply.
China, aiming to get 15 percent of its energy from non- fossil fuels by 2020, is seeking Iceland’s expertise as it pursues a five-year, $10 billion district heating program. China Petrochemical Corp. has pledged to make geothermal one of its main business units over the period, and Xianyang-based Shaanxi Green Energy Geothermal Development Co. plans to become the world’s largest supplier of Earth-generated heat.
“The demand for energy in Beijing and in China is growing fast,” Cui said in an interview. “One of the ways to satisfy the increasing demand is to utilize more geothermal energy, which is both economical and clean.”
Geothermal energy is so plentiful in Iceland that it melts ice on Reykjavik sidewalks in winter, helps grow bananas in greenhouses and warms more swimming pools per capita than in any other country. The United Nations University has run a Geothermal Training Program there for more than 30 years.
“Iceland has a huge advantage due to its experience and knowledge in regard to the utilization of hydropower and geothermal power,” Cui, 34, said by telephone from Reykjavik, the country’s capital. “China can learn from Iceland’s experience and Icelanders can teach us many things.”
The world’s second-biggest economy has 26 megawatts of installed geothermal capacity, compared with 575 megawatts in Iceland, according to Stefan Linder, an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. China, which gets 80 percent of its power from coal and is the biggest polluter, has sent the most students to the UN training program, followed by Kenya and the Philippines.”