China signs deal with Iceland to develop geothermal energy

by ClickGreen staff. Published Tue 24 Apr 2012 10:54
Premier Wen Jiabao visits Iceland's world-famous geysers at Geysir
Premier Wen Jiabao visits Iceland's world-famous geysers at Geysir

The Chinese have signed a deal with Iceland to increase co-operation over the development of geothermal energy.

China's Premier Wen Jiabao concluded the agreement last weekend during the first stage of a four-nation European tour.

As a trained geologist, Wen toured the Thingvellir national park, home to popular tourist attractions the Gullfoss falls and the Geysir geyser.

While visiting a geothermal plant, the premier voiced "strong support" for efforts to tap geothermal energy back home in China.

The talks, during what is the first visit by a Chinese premier to Iceland, also yielded accords covering cooperation in marine and polar science and technology and solar energy.

During a visit to a geothermal power plant on an active volcanic ridge, he told students in a spontaneous 10-minute speech that more needed to be done about global warming.

A deal already exists between Iceland's Orka Energy company and the Chinese firm Sinopec, to develop geothermal energy in China.

Chinese interest in Iceland recently emerged when Chinese property magnate Huang Nubo tried to buy a large portion of land in the north of the country.

Suspicion was voiced that the purchase might help China win a foothold in the region and the deal was eventually blocked by the Icelandic government.

But in Iceland, the visit of the bespectacled "Grandpa Wen" has given rise to some unease over what his rising power, the world's second-biggest economy and most populous nation, really seeks from the fiercely independent island.

Worries centre on China's economic clout and its lack of democracy in a state that boasts the world's oldest parliament.

China's interest in ties to resource rich lands is no secret. Its businesses have also been on the lookout for opportunities in a Europe weakened by the global financial crisis - a crisis felt nowhere more sharply than Iceland.

Global warming also has the potential to redraw the geopolitical map near Iceland as melting ice could one day allow for trans-Polar traffic, opening up speedy new routes to Europe for Chinese exporters.

Iceland sees a place for itself on those routes, developing its sparsely populated north.




Sign up to receive ClickGreen's FREE weekly newsletter with a review of all the latest green news and views

Opt Out



Comments about China signs deal with Iceland to develop geothermal energy

There are no comments yet on China signs deal with Iceland to develop geothermal energy. Be the first to leave one, enter your thoughts below.

Post a comment






Alert me of replies

You have characters left


 





















Powered by Click Creative
© All Rights Reserved.