Reykjavik Energy Invest will develop further its work in Djibouti based on its project and is looking into other projects where it will use the same methodology as in developing the energy resources in Iceland, where it is the largest power company.
I. Reykjavik Energy Invest, a leading Icelandic geothermal energy company commits to build on its expertise, network and ongoing projects to advance the harnessing of geothermal energy in Eastern African countries. More specifically:
- To invest in comprehensive research into the geothermal potential of Djibouti and build a large powerplant totally driven on geothermal power if conditions prove beneficial. This could lead to Djibouti becoming a model of a country where most of it's power will be renewable, leading it to be a shining light to many of its neighbours.
- To look at the energy issues in Djibouti in a holistic way and approach it with sustainable development in mind.
- If succesful Reykjavik Energy Invest will work with the Djibouti authorities to attract buyers of this clean energy resource to the country.
- To work with authorities and experts in Ethiopia to develop potential geothermal energy sites.
- To support the work of geothermal experts in Eastern Africa, host workshops and fieldtrips to advance the knowledge of the geothermal energy resources in the African Rift Valley built on cooperation with the Icelandic Development Agency which has been supporting the ARGeo project.
- To lend experts from Iceland to these countries when needed to explore certain areas.
- To work with authorities in other Eastern African Countries to develop their geothermal energy resources.
II. Icelandic experts have for many years worked with local authorities in the African Rift Valley countries to build expertise and develop geothermal energy resources. Many of these experts have sought education at the United Nations' University's Geothermal Training Programme in Iceland and had Icelandic experts teaching in their own country. Geothermal experts from Reykjavik Energy have worked with the governments in all these countries for over 20 years. Until now there has not been much interest at the highest level of national politics to emphasise the use of clean, renewable energy resources but this has been changing rapidly.
Iceland has been a founding partner the ARGeo Project where specific projects are chosen in consensus. This has been supported by the World Bank, UNEP, the Icelandic Development Agency and now Reykjavik Energy is an official sponsor. The company also supported the initiative by President of Iceland, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, the President of Djibouti, Ismail Omar Guelleh and Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs of the Earth Institute, Columbia University to hold a leaders' summit at the beginning of this year in Djibouti. This summit had to be postponed due to the situation in the region at the time it was planned (it was at the hight of the dispute in Somalia). The preparation however led to the visit of the president of Djibouti to Iceland where an agreement was signed between Djibouti and Reykjavik Energy to develop a geothermal site in Djibouti.
Since this work began, Reykjavik Energy has hosted geothermal experts from Djibouti in Iceland to understand the devleopment in our country. Also experts from other African countries have participated in the Djibouti project, building expertise which will work in other countries. If this proves succesful Djibouti can become the first country in the world to switch totally from fossil fuels to geothermal energy showing a great example to its neighbours.
The initial results have been promising so Reykjavik Energy is confident to announce its interest in developing this site further and to commit strongly to the development of geothermal energy resources in Africa. It has been encouraged by the President of Iceland in this endeavour. This has led to other African countries asking for cooperation with Iceland which is well received at our end.
We believe that the Clinton Global Initiative is a ground breaking event where good ideas are put to practice. Our president who has attended this gathering in the last two years has emphasised how this platform can serve good causes, win win situations can be created. We see the prominent gathering as a means to create awareness about the potential of geothermal energy but also to seek any partners interested in joining us in the journey to transform the energy systems of African countries in a similar way as we were able to transform Iceland from being one of the poorest countries in Europe into being one of the most affluent in the world through the intelligent utilization of our natural resources.
Anticipated Launch: October/November 2008
First Milestone: The decision on the development in Djbouti
Launching event in Djbouti and visits to other countries of the African Rift Valley by the Reykjavik Energy Invest leadership.
Reykjavik Energy Invest believes that geothermal energy is a energy resource which has a great potential in many places. The awareness has to date not reached the highest echelons of power and private investors have up to now not fully understood its potential. All this is changing.
With the price of oil skyrocketing and the urgent need to combat climate change, there is a broad understanding that developing countries need to take a different approach to serve their energy demands, than the developed countries have taken. We are prepared to lead that way forward with good people from any country to assist these countries to develop their energy resources at home.
In Iceland we have shown that it is possible to utilize geothermal energy for many different businesses and we have also shown that it can serve industry well. Thus we see the possibility of assisting the African countries in attracting corporations willing to use the clean energy resource to drive their operations in Africa. Therefore the clean energy resource can become a magnet for international companies looking for ways to support communities at the same time as finding good locations for their operations.