Tag Archives: geothermal

Björk Protests Icelandic Geothermal Utility Sale to Canadian Company


From HuffingtonPost.com – Jan 23, 2011

by Joanna Zelman

Singer Bjork joined fellow Icelanders in protesting the sale of a geothermal energy company this week, according to a recent Reuters report. In what seems to be a disturbing act of “parliamentary oversight,”
a deal was approved to sell Iceland’s HS Orka to Magma Energy Corp, a
Canadian-based geothermal firm. Since the deal was made, the public has
been fighting it, demanding a vote on the privatization of the country’s
natural resources.

Geothermal energy
is considered an intriguing sustainable resource, produced by drilling
into the earth and extracting heat, which is then converted into usable

This week, Bjork presented Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir with a petition signed by 47,000
people. Considering that the entire population of Iceland is less than
320,000, this is a remarkable number of outraged people. According to The Canadian Press,
the petition stated that “For 100 years, good people protected our
natural resources and public interest. [Then] the sale of natural
resources and irresponsible access to them began. Now it is time to stop
that unfortunate development.”

Sigurdardottir invited Bjork and other activists to discuss the issue in her office. After the meeting, Bjork reported
that “basically we are in agreement on the issue, but it’s always a
question of methods. In plain language, it’s a question of how to deal
with the system, the bureaucracy.”

Meanwhile, Magma reported
that the government has not contacted them, and Monday was “business as
usual.” Although perhaps actions speak louder than words in this case –
Monday afternoon, Magma’s shares apparently dropped 2.9 percent on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Read full article


Why Is Canada Freezing out Geothermal Power?


Canadians are some world’s best at advanced exploration
and drilling technologies. Not surprisingly, members of the Canadian
Geothermal Energy Association (CanGEA) also produce more than 20 per cent
of the world’s geothermal energy. They just don’t do it here. The
almost complete absence of government support means that all of this
green energy infrastructure in being installed somewhere else. That’s
right — the total geothermal energy capacity in Canada is zero. 

That is a shame, considering that
geothermal energy is a clean, continuous base-load power whose source is
the virtually unlimited heat from our planet’s interior. Unlike other
renewables such as wind or solar, geothermal plants can operate 24 hours
a day, rain or shine. 

While the upfront costs for geothermal can be considerable, it is ultimately very cheap energy. According to CanGEA chair and founder Alison Thompson, “it has the lowest levelized cost of any power source in the world, even coal.”

Canada’s advantage

Thompson points out the ironic reason
Canadians are so good at geothermal is because there has been so much
focus here on fossil fuel extraction. “I come from the oil patch. We
have developed enormous expertise in advanced exploration and drilling
techniques. These are exactly the skills you need to develop geothermal

So if Canadians are among the best
geothermal experts in the world, why aren’t they doing business here?
“Most of our membership are die-hard Canadian entrepreneurs, but they
are forced to operate in other countries because there is so little
support for the industry here. We are just so frustrated that it doesn’t
need to be like this.”

Read full Tyee article here