31. október 2017

Strengthening the relationship between Romanian and Icelandic geothermal researchers and developers

Geothermal collaboration between Romania and Iceland was recently strengthened through two educational and promotional visits. Both countries have vast geothermal resources, although their nature is different. Up to now this collaboration has mainly constituted training of Romanian geothermal specialists through the United Nations University Geothermal Training Programme. In addition Icelandic companies and institutions have participated in a few geothermal studies in Romania, but the biggest project has involved the operation of a geothermal district heating system in the NW-part of the country.

Earlier this summer, a 15-member delegation from Romania came to Iceland for a three-day visit. The Romanian group included both representatives of local governments and public institutions and the emphasis of the visit was to learn specifically about low-temperature geothermal utilization in Iceland. The Romanian group spent one day at ÍSOR where it was educated on various aspects of geothermal research and utilization, as well as discussing these aspects more closely with Icelandic experts. Two additional days were then used for guided tours of geothermal fields, power plants and greenhouses in SW-Iceland. The group visited the Reykjavík district heating system and the geothermal power-plant at Hellisheiði. The Romanian group also visited some geothermally heated greenhouses, and got acquainted with geothermal spas and other direct use of geothermal resources.

Two geothermal experts from ÍSOR went to Romania in September and stayed mainly in two areas. On the one hand, in the Ilfov district of Bucharest and on the other hand in Oradea in the NW corner of the country. In Oradea the most extensive geothermal utilization in the country is to be found. Part of the stay involved a variety of lectures and discussions, while the remainder was devoted to excursions in both Ilfov county and Oradea and surroundings.

The participants from both countries are mutually happy and appreciative, and the project participants are now much better aware of geothermal resources in the counterpart country, than but they were prior to the visits. It is hoped that cooperation of the two countries will continue on basis of the personal relationships the project has created. Also that the eyes of the Romanian parties have opened up for the great potential of geothermal utilization. The Icelandic counterparts also learned a lot about the nature and utilization of geothermal energy at geological conditions, different from those in Iceland, which they know well.

The project was started at the initiative of the Romanian counterparts. It is sponsored by the EEA Grants program RONDINE.