The International Geothermal Association (IGA) is an international non-profit, non-political, non-governmental association representing the geothermal power sector across the globe. The organization works for the promotion and worldwide deployment of geothermal energy technology and advocates a future energy system based on renewable energy of which the geothermal energy should hold an important share.
The IGA enjoys consultative status to the UN and special observer status to the
Green Climate Fund.
The Vision of IGA is to encourage, facilitate and promote the development of geothermal resources, as well as innovative research in geothermal technologies, through visible and integrated position and representation of geothermal power, heat, geo-exchange, cooling and other uses of geothermal resources.
The IGA believes that geothermal represents an unlimited natural source of energy, which can play a significant role in meeting the world’s energy needs of the future. It is a renewable source that provides clean energy for a unique combination of purposes: power, heating and cooling, and direct uses. Geothermal is also unique in its ability to create additional revenue by offering multiple uses of the geothermal by-products such as health & beauty products, attract tourism and the increased interest in lithium production from geothermal brines.
The International Geothermal Association was founded on 6 July 1988 in Auckland, New Zealand as a non-profit organization to encourage research, development, and utilization of geothermal resources worldwide. In 1986 there was a special study dedicated to the institutional aspects of a possible international geothermal association. After consulting experts from different countries, various international institutions and five international geothermal schools operating at that time it was concluded that an international geothermal community is ready to set up a unique and autonomous geothermal organization. The first foundation meeting took place in Castelnuovo V.C., Italy, 2-5 May 1989.
There are 4941 members of the International Geothermal Association at present with members ranging from different categories which include:
● Individual members: scientists, technologists and other persons engaged in the research, development or utilization of geothermal energy.
● Corporate members: industrial, scientific or cultural organizations that are established on a commercial or profit-making basis, are interested in geothermal energy and support the objectives of the Association.
● Student members: students with an interest in geothermal energy who are regularly enrolled in a college or university.
● Affiliated members: persons belonging to the Association through a group scheme by virtue of their membership in an Affiliated Organization.
●Institutional members: international, national, regional or local, non-profit organizations entrusted with promotion, planning, supervision, co-ordination or performance of geothermal activities and which support the objectives of the Association.
● Sustaining members: organizations or persons who wish to demonstrate their interest in geothermal energy by making a voluntary contribution to the Association above a minimum level.
● Honorary members: senior Individual Members who have given many years of service to the Association and/or have made significant contributions in the field of geothermal energy.
Is India a member?
India is not a member of the International Geothermal Association. In fact, in International Geothermal Association, the provision of membership is not at a country level but at an individual or organization level and as can be seen from the map below that there is no individual or organization in India that is a part of the International Geothermal Association.
The IGA aims at being the leading world authority in matters concerning the research and development of geothermal energy by setting educational standards and offering worldwide energy solutions and in-house technical support, with special support for countries in the early stages of geothermal development.
Working of the IGA
The IGA is trying to connect the Global Geothermal Community, serving as a platform for networking opportunities aimed at promoting and supporting global geothermal development through Support, Visibility, Collaboration, and Partnership:
IGA provides geothermal education in terms of the best practices and unbiased benefits of developing the utilization of Earth’s energy for direct use, heat and power generation. It also offers financial support to educational geothermal events especially in countries with emerging geothermal markets.
IGA encourages, facilitates and promotes the coordination of activities related to worldwide research and application of geothermal resources, including conferences, workshops, congresses, etc.
IGA is connected to their renewable partners through the RENAlliance, 100% renewables platform and REN21.
Together with its partners, IGA is conducting political dialogues in such areas as sustainability assessment, carbon funds, green policies, and other related fields. IGA has consultative status at the United Nations, special observer status to the Green Climate Fund and works closely with IRENA – Global Geothermal Alliance (GGA), the International Energy Agency Geothermal Implementation Agreement (IEA – GIA) and is a partner in the World Bank ESMAP program.
1. IFC Project – In 2013 the IGA Service Company conducted a project for the International Finance Cooperation (IFC). As part of this project, a number of workshops were conducted for financial institutions, banks, insurances and developers in Turkey on geothermal energy developments, its prerequisites, financial conditions, and technical aspects. One of the major project outcomes was the revision of a Best Practices Guide for Geothermal Exploration which can be applied to geothermal exploration projects around the world.
2. IGA Academy – In 2013, the International Geothermal Association (IGA) launched the IGA Academy. It is a geothermal learning center at the headquarters of the IGA in Germany. The aim is to promote international education and training in the geothermal energy sector. In the long run, the Academy shall develop into a global network of partnering accredited, certified universities and research institutions with site-specific training courses.
3. GSS-VET – The IGA is a partner in GSS-VET Project. Geothermal- and Solar Skills – Vocational Education and Training is aimed to provide new environmental skills for the construction sector. After the identification of skills needs, the partners will create innovative training including work-based and ubiquitous learning and flipped classrooms for geothermal and for solar energy system installers.
4. GEMex – Cooperation in Geothermal energy research Europe-Mexico for the development of Enhanced Geothermal Systems and Superhot Geothermal Systems. It is an ongoing project of IGA. GEMex has the target to bring together the extended Mexican know-how of discovering, developing, and deploying conventional geothermal energy systems with a variety of European expertise from similar geothermal energy systems (Italy, Iceland, etc.), of developing EGS technology, and finding new approaches to make use of super-hot geothermal systems. The approach should lead to concepts for extended future deployment of geothermal energy in Europe and Mexico.
5. UNFC and Geothermal Energy – The developing of Specifications for Application of UNFC-2009 to Geothermal Energy Resources was carried out under an MoU between UNECE and the International Geothermal Association signed on 19 September 2014. Under this MoU, the IGA agreed to develop Specifications and Guidelines for the application of UNFC-2009 to geothermal energy and to maintain them evergreen in a manner consistent with their proper application through regular and periodic review. Geothermal Specifications became operational on 30 September 2016.
6. Geothermal initiative in five Andean countries in Latin America – The main aim of this project was to promote geothermal energy in Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru by advising decision-makers, awareness-raising and an identification of the current status and needs for geothermal energy development. Strategic activities included the development of initial background studies and workshops.
7. World Bank GeoFund Project – This project covered the countries in Europe and Central Asia (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovak Republic, and Russia). The objective was to develop further geothermal projects through the provision of technical assistance, capacity building, the development of reforms of the energy market and related policies and the monitoring of trends.