Study visit: Geothermal and renewable energy know–how transfer

Study visit: Geothermal and renewable energy know–how transfer

The Slovak Investment and Trade Development Agency (SARIO) in cooperation with the Icelandic partner Green by Iceland organized a business–expert work trip aimed at exchanging know–how and mediating business opportunities in the geothermal and renewable energy sectors.

SARIO became a successful recipient of funds from the Fund for Bilateral Relations within the EEA and Norway grants. The mission within the project with the official name 'Study visit: Geothermal and renewable energy know–how transfer (SGRE)' was carried out on 18—20 September, 2023 and the main purpose of the trip was the opportunity to visit individual power plants and operations, presentations on the use of Iceland's geothermal and renewable potential, and the exchange of contacts and experiences in a workshop/business forum with local partners from relevant local institutions and companies.

A twenty–member Slovak delegation of experts, including SARIO organizers, completed a three–day agenda, the first day of which began with a visit to the headquarters of the Icelandic partner Green by Iceland in the premises of the Business Iceland agency (Íslandstofa). The Slovak delegation was welcomed by CEO Pétur Óskarsson and Executive Director of the Icelandic Renewable Energy Cluster Rósbjörg Jónsdóttir. The participants had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the history of the use of renewable energy on the island and the vision of the country moving towards carbon neutrality.

Subsequently, the group moved to the Resource Park, which was built near the HS Orka geothermal power plant in Sudurnes—Svartsengi. The park is unique in the world, supporting the further development of increased and better use of the potential of geothermal power plants. As part of the presentation, the Svartsengi power plant itself and the possibilities of using geothermal energy for health and wellness purposes, fish farming and plant cultivation, and e-methane production were presented. The end of Monday's agenda meant a visit to Carbon Recycling International, a facility where CO2 emissions are converted into sustainable fuels (e-methane) and chemicals through modern technologies and hydrogen.

Tuesday's agenda began with the reception of the delegation at the residence of the Icelandic President Gudni Th. Jóhannesson in the so-called Bessastaðir, following his previous visit to Slovakia in October 2022. The delegation moved from the seat to visit the youngest and largest geothermal power plant in Iceland and the eighth largest in the world –– Hellisheidi. The delegation was welcomed by Harpa Petursdóttir, who presented the energy potential of Hellisheidi, which is used to produce electricity and heat for heating not only households. At the end of the agenda, the oldest Ljosafoss hydroelectric power plant, which has been in operation since 1937, was visited. The power plant falls under Landsvirkjun, that is, under the national energy company of Iceland, which operates a total of 19 hydro, wind, and geothermal power plants.

The last day of the program was devoted to the geothermal potential of Slovakia and specific projects to build geothermal power plants and obtain heat from the ground for heating households and industry as part of the national project in Košice. Sixteen representatives of Icelandic companies and institutions took part in the workshop/business forum, as a result of which the Slovak participants were mainly to establish relevant contacts in the territory for the development of future mutually beneficial cooperation.

Thanks to the support of the countries of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway in the context of the EEA and Norway Grants, the initiative could be implemented with the aim of supporting bilateral relations between the two countries –– Slovakia and Iceland, in the key areas of renewable energy. Altogether, thirty Icelandic representatives of business, institutions and clusters participated in the mission, eight bilateral activities were carried out, strategic enterprises and operations were visited, and last but not least there was a space for establishing strategic contacts and exchanging know-how from specialized experts in renewable energy.


Iceland Liechtestein Norway Grants


Green by Iceland