Roundtable Discussion Focuses on Geothermal Energy Potential for Electricity Generation

The Nesjavellir Geothermal Power Station is the second-largest geothermal power station in Iceland. (Credit: Cornell University)

A roundtable discussion scheduled for October 17th 2016 will focus in depth on the potential of geothermal energy at a time when Cornell University is planning to consider a groundbreaking project of its own.

This is the latest event that will be organized by the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies and will highlight the future of renewable energy. This event will be co-sponsored by the Cornell Energy Institute and will be co-organized by the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future. The roundtable discussion will happen at 4:30 p.m. at 255 Olin Hall.

A keynote address at “The Potential of Geothermal Energy: Lessons from Iceland” will be presented by Thorleikur Johannesson, an engineer with over two decades of experience in design and operation of geothermal facilities in Iceland, where the underground heat liberates more than quarter of all electricity and supplies almost 90% of the heat for houses and buildings.

Kyu-Jung Whang, Cornell vice president for infrastructure, properties and planning, and Edwin A. (Todd) Cowen, professor of civil and environmental engineering will accompany Johannesson in the roundtable discussion. Hirokazu Miyazaki, director of the Einaudi Center, and Jefferson W. Tester, the Croll Professor of Sustainable Energy Systems in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and director of the Cornell Energy Institute will be the moderators.

Highly inspired with Iceland’s example, Whang, Cowen, Tester and others at Cornell University are mainly focusing on the usage of geothermal energy for heat and electricity generation for buildings situated in the university’s Ithaca campus. This will be the first project of its kind to take place in the U.S.

The Einaudi Center, the Atkinson Center and the Cornell Energy Institute co-hosted the then-president of Iceland, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, who highlighted the advantages of a clean-energy economy in November 2014. A video of his speech and an article in the Cornell Chronicle are attached here.

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