Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Open Letter from International Geothermal Association to Bill Gates Welcoming his Support of Geothermal Energy

(The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) is an affiliate member of the International Geothermal Association (IGA), providing almost one-quarter of the membership. Membership of the GRC includes the benefit of full membership of the IGA)

Dear Mr. Gates,

We wanted to thank you for your blog post of December 12 on the “4 Signs of Progress on Climate Change” and your commitment on finding solutions to Climate Change. We read this piece with great interest, specifically on your commitment towards “especially promising but also underfunded” areas in clean energy investments, including Geothermal Power. 

We are extremely pleased to see this commitment towards Geothermal Energy and agree with your statement that it is ´a phenomenal amount of energy stored up as heat under the Earth's surface´. We are the International Geothermal Association, and the undersigned 31 people are together forming its Board of Directors. We represent countries, companies, research institutes, and universities. All with a passion for geothermal energy and a dedication to see the Geothermal Industry thrive.

We love the efforts and the goal of Breakthrough Energy Ventures and the initial investment areas of focus. We share your view that heat stored near-surface in volcanic islands are the quick wins. We also take note that mature techniques, notably from the Petroleum Industry, help to unlock geothermal resources deeper in the subsurface.

This is exactly why we are engaged and committed to bring geothermal further: the quick wins are done. We need to push harder, collaborate together, and work effectively towards connecting those unexploited geographic areas to their phenomenal energy source beneath their feet. We are keen to work with you and your Breakthrough Energy Ventures to make this happen.

We have the following Vision:

·       We want to help the world economies to let go of the fossil-fuel addiction and let geothermal energy play its part in replacing fossil-based heat and power generation
·       We want to turn geothermal prospects into bankable projects by creating an attractive investors environment
·       We support policy development, based on the value provided by geothermal and promote good governance of geothermal operations worldwide

The unique opportunities presented by geothermal through:
·       Local economic development: geothermal as local source of power through distributed development and decentralised economic development in rural areas.
·       Replacing coal through deep geothermal applications
·       Cleaning up the air: replacing fossil fuels in the heating sector, improving air-quality, health and well-being (see China)
·       Access to water and food: Geothermal provides access to water and heating for greenhouses, as well as cooling.

No other renewable energy and fossil-fuel based technology can compete on the unique and various attributes and opportunities offered by geothermal. We all know the transformative impact geothermal energy can have on communities and the planet and want to share that with others.

We kindly ask for the chance to meet you or the team of Breakthrough Energy Ventures to discuss ways to identify catalysts that can help push for increased geothermal development around the world.  Only when we are collaborating and bundling efforts on pushing geothermal development worldwide, will geothermal energy be able to live up to its great potential in the important energy transition.

You can find the International Geothermal Association via its website at

Dr. Marit Brommer, Executive Director, International Geothermal Association
e-mail: – phone: +49 234 32 10 712
The Board of Directors of the International Geothermal Association (IGA):
  • Bjarni Bjarnason, Reykjavik Energy, Iceland
  • Andrea Blair, Women in Geothermal, New Zealand
  • Rolf Bracke, Bochum University of Applied Science, Germany
  • Paul Brophy, EGS, Inc., U.S. (GRC Member)
  • Jane Brotheridge, Jacobs Engineering, New Zealand
  • Louis Capuano, Capuano Engineering, U.S. (GRC Member)
  • Surya Darma, Indonesia
  • Bruno della Vedova, Fondazione Internazionale Trieste, Italy
  • Ariel D. Fronda, Department of Energy, Philippines
  • Albert Genter, Électricité de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France
  • Ludvik Georgsson, UNU – Geothermal Training Program, Reykjavik, Iceland
  • Colin Harvey, Harvey Consultants, New Zealand
  • Georgina Izquierdo, Instituto de Investigaciones Eléctricas, Mexico
  • Beata Kepinska. Academy of Science, Poland
  • Kristin Vala Matthiasdottir, HS Orka, Iceland
  • Peter Meier, GeoEnergie Suisse, Switzerland (GRC Member)
  • Paul Moya, West-Jec, Costa Rica (GRC Member)
  • Juliette Newson, Iceland School of Energy, Iceland
  • Peter Omenda, Consultant, Kenya
  • Abadi Poernomo, Indonesia Geothermal Association, Indonesia (GRC Member)
  • Alexander Richter, ThinkGeoEnergy, Iceland
  • Horst Rüter, HarbourDom, Germany
  • Andrew Sabin, Geothermal Program Office, U.S. (GRC Member)
  • Ka Noel Salonga, EDC, Philippines
  • Gabor Szita, Porcio Ltd./ Hungarian Geothermal Association, Hungary
  • Valentina Svalova, Institute of Environmental Geoscience RAS, Russia
  • Toshi Uchirida, AIST, Japan
  • Massimo Verdoya, University of Genova, Italy
  • Shigeto Yamada, Fuji Electric, Japan (GRC Member)
  • Sadiq Zarrouk, University of Auckland, New Zealand