Thursday, May 2, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the United Nations University Geothermal Training Programme in Iceland and LaGeo the national energy company of El Salvador on continued co-operation in geothermal training and the development of geothermal knowledge in Latin America. At the same time, a special two-year co-operation agreement was signed between the two parties on the ongoing operation of the 5-month diploma in Spanish for Latin America conducted by the University of El Salvador, mostly based teaching from LaGeo, as well as several Icelandic teachers through UNU-GTP. The Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs is the main sponsor of the training over the next two years, together with UNU-GTP. The Ministry takes over the role of the Nordic Development Fund (NDF), which was the main sponsor for the past three years. Using the occasion, an agreement was also signed between The Ministry and UNU-GTP on this financial support.
Four representatives from LaGeo came to Iceland on this event, the president of the company, Lic. Ricardo Salvador Flores, who signed the Memorandum and the co-operation agreement on behalf of LaGeo, Rosa Escobar, and Kevin Padilla geothermal experts at LaGeo, as well as a media representative. Lúdvík S. Georgsson, UNU-GTP, signed the agreements on behalf of the Programme, and María Erla Marelsdóttir, ambassador signed on behalf of the Ministry. Rosa and Kevin have both studied at UNU-GTP in Iceland. Kevin has managed this project on behalf of LaGeo, in co-operation with Ingimar G. Haraldsson, deputy director of UNU-GTP who signed on behalf of UNU-GTP.
Geothermal energy is very important for El Salvador. In 2016, 24% of the electricity produced in the country came from the two geothermal power plants, Ahuachapan and Berlin, which have a production capacity of 204 MWe.
The importance of increased utilization of renewable energy sources is becoming increasingly important in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Iceland's assistance to developing countries in their development of geothermal energy, for electricity production or direct use, assists the respective countries economically, socially, and not least in the field of environmental and climate issues. With projects such as these, Iceland can help other countries to make use of their renewable energy, thereby reducing the use of fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions that benefits all countries regardless of borders in the combat against global warming.