The 34th annual session of the UNU-GTP closed on October 12, 2012, with a record number of 33 UNU graduates from the six month specialized courses. The Fellows came from Bangladesh 1, China 2, Djibouti 1, El Salvador 2, Ethiopia 3, India 1, Kenya 10, Malawi 1, Mexico 1, Nevis 1, Nicaragua 1, Papua New Guinea 2, Philippines 2, Rwanda 2, Sri Lanka 1, Tanzania 1, and Uganda 1. This is the first time that UNU Fellows have come from India, Malawi and Papua New Guinea. The Fellows were trained in: Borehole Geology 7, Geothermal Utilization 6, Geophysical Exploration 5, Reservoir Engineering 5, Chemistry of Thermal Fluids 3, Drilling Technology 2, Environmental Science 2, Geological Exploration 2, and Borehole Geophysics 1.
During 1979-2012, 515 scientists and engineers from 53 countries have completed the annual six month courses. They have come from countries in Asia (40%), Africa (32%), Central and Eastern Europe (12%), Latin America (16%), and Oceania (0,4%). Since 2000, 34 have graduated with MSc. In 2012, ten pursued their MSc studies at the University of Iceland. Five MSc Fellows graduated in the spring of 2012 and three MSc Fellows commenced their studies in September 2012.
The aim of the UNU Geothermal Training Programme is to assist in establishing groups of specialists in selected institutions in developing countries with significant geothermal
potential. Priority is given to candidates from countries where geothermal exploration and development is already under way.
Of 515 graduates from 1979-2012, the largest groups of fellows have come from China (80), Kenya (72), the Philippines (33), El Salvador (34), Indonesia (29), and Ethiopia (30).
- China is at the top of the world list in the direct use of geothermal energy.
- Kenya, the Philippines, and El Salvador obtain 10–22% of their total electricity from geothermal energy.
- Ethiopia has started its first geothermal power plant.
The group of Chinese Fellows is an example of successful capacity building. The group consists of:
- 32 reservoir engineers
- 15 geothermal engineers
- 15 chemists
- 10 environmental specialists
- 3 geologists
- 3 geophysicists
- 2 drilling engineers
The former Chinese UNU Fellows are staff members of government research institutions, municipal energy utilities and universities. Several of the fellows are in the forefront of geothermal research and development in the country. There are already strong multidisciplinary groups established in Beijing and Tianjin. Geothermal resources are known to exist in every province of China and the market for this environmentally benign energy source is enormous.