Geothermal Training Programme

Workshop for Decision Makers on Direct Heating Use of Geothermal Resources in Asia, held in Tianjin, China, May 11-18, 2008. The Workshop for Decision

China 2008

Workshop for Decision Makers on Direct Heating Use of Geothermal Resources in Asia, held in Tianjin, China, May 11-18, 2008.

The Workshop for Decision Makers in China was co-hosted by UNU-GTP, Iceland and Tianjin Bureau of Land Resources and Real Estate Management (TBLRREM) and Tianjin Bureau of Geology and Mineral Exploration Development (TBGMED), China in co-operation with the Ministry of Land and Resources of P.R. China as well as the Municipality of Tianjin and several specialized agencies. The 118 participants mainly came from seven countries in southern and eastern Asia active in direct geothermal utilization for space heating, i.e. China, India, Iran, Jordan, Mongolia, the Peoples Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea. About 1 million people in the Tianjin region (out of 11 million) live in houses heated by geothermal water, and another 4 million enjoy hot tap water (heated by geothermal) in their apartments. The geothermal water replaces coal as a heat source. China is presently at the top of the world list on direct use of geothermal resources and has the potential to make significant contribution to the mitigation of climate change by making full and sustainable use of its widespread geothermal resources. We are very grateful to the Chinese authorities for co-hosting the Workshop and for their willingness to share their expertise with their neighbouring countries and the international community. Only a small portion of the geothermal resources in southern and eastern Asia have yet been harnessed and vast regions are suffering the cold without any means of stable district heating supply.

The aim of the workshop was to give high level decision makers from respective energy ministries and leading geothermal agencies in the region an overview of some of the key issues in the development of geothermal direct use for space heating, with special focus on sustainability, CO2 emission reduction and reinjection. His Excellency the Vice mayor of Tianjin (Mr. Li Wenxi) was present at the welcoming banquet on Sunday, May 11. On Monday, May 12, the workshop was officially opened by Chairman Wu Yanlong, Director General of Tianjin Bureau of Land Resources and Real Estate Management, and a panel of speakers consisting of the ambassador of the UNU-GTP (Dr. Gudni Axelsson), His Excellency the Vice Minister of Land and Resources (Mr. Yun Xiaosu), His Excellency the Ambassador of Iceland to China (Mr. Gunnar Snorri Gunnarsson), The Commissar of Tianjin (Ms. Li Runlan), His Excellency the Minister of Power of Iran (Mr. Hamid Chitchian), His Excellency the State Secretary for the Ministry of Fuel and Energy of Mongolia (Mr. Tudev Tserenpurev) and the programme officer of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (Mr. Willy Alarcon Salas).

During the speech of Mr. Sverrir Thorhallsson on the first day of the Workshop the lamps in the conference room, made of glass pipes, started sounding. It was later known that the movement in the lamps were due to a major earthquake measured at a magnitude of 7.9 in the eastern Sichuan province, China. The earthquake caused severe destruction in a radius of more than 100km. The UNU-GTP would like to give its condolences and expresses its sympathy with the families of the victims in the earthquake.

Fifty two papers were presented and distributed as conference proceedings and CD-ROMs. The lecturers came from the seven Asian countries mentioned above as well as from Germany, Iceland, Japan, Poland, Switzerland, and the international agency UNFCCC. Among the lecturers there were several former UNU-GTP Fellows.

Amongst the presentations given at the Workshop there were two, one from Tibet and one from India, representing the geothermal localities, situated in the Himalayas, at the highest altitude on earth, and one, from Jordan, representing the geothermal localities, situated by the Dead Sea, at the lowest altitude on earth.

The cooperation with TBLRREM and TBGMED in organizing the Workshop was excellent. The staff of the two Tianjin bureaus, under the leaderships of Mr. Zhang Baiming and Ms. Wang Kun did an outstanding job. We owe our sincere thanks to the management and staff of the TBLRREM and TBGMED for their help, hospitality and friendship. The UNU-GTP looks forward to further cooperation in capacity building.

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