The use of geothermal heat in the agri-food sector is rising worldwide, with several examples in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Americas, and Oceania. In African countries, geothermal heat applications along the agri-food value chain have the potential to enhance food productivity, reduce food spoilage, and add value to food produce. This would result in food security, more employment opportunities and higher incomes for the employees and other agri-food stakeholders. Geothermal energy would also contribute to the sustainability of the agri-food sector by reducing carbon emissions.
However, more significant progress can be achieved with increased support in areas such as resource mapping, policy and regulations, financing, and capacity building, as well as with the development of tools that can enable policymakers to carry out assessments of geothermal heat utilisation, such as socio-economic impacts and heat pricing. These assessments might provide relevant information to support decision making, hence fostering accelerated use of geothermal heat in the agri-food sector.
In the framework of the Global Geothermal Alliance, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) collaborated with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to organise a webinar to share global experiences and best practices for accelerating the use of geothermal heat in the agri-food sector in Africa. The webinar built on IRENA’s guidebook for policymakers on Powering Agri-food Value Chains with Geothermal Heat and its flagship publication on Renewable Energy for Agri-food Systems.
Moderator – Jack Kiruja, Associate Programme Officer, Geothermal Energy, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)
SESSION I: Introduction, Geothermal Resource and Heat Demand Mapping, and Enabling Frameworks
- Opening Remarks – Amjad Abdulla, Head of Partnerships, IRENA
- Powering Agri-Food Value Chains with Geothermal Heat- Africa – Martha Mburu, Manager, Direct Use, Geothermal Development Company
- A Case Study: Agri-food Uses of Geothermal Energy in Tuscany Region – Roberto Cianella, Directorate General for Energy Incentives, Italian Ministry of Ecological Transition
Presentation: Mapping of Geothermal Energy Resources and Co-location with Heating Demand
- Powering Agri-Food Value Chains with Geothermal Heat: Geothermal Resource and Heat Demand Mapping – Hezy Ram, Senior Geothermal Consultant, GreenMax Capital
Presentations: Enabling Policies and Regulations and Cross-sectoral Coordination
- Powering Agri-Food Value Chains with Geothermal Heat: Enabling Policies, Regulations, and Cross-Sectoral Coordination – Hezy Ram, Senior Geothermal Consultant, GreenMax Capital
- Case Study: Geoheat in New Zealand – Kennie Tsui, Chief Executive, New Zealand Geothermal Association and Brian Carey, Geothermal Specialist, GNS Science and Member of the New Zealand Geothermal Association
SESSION II: Project Development, Financing, Capacity Building, Awareness, Sustainability, and Innovation
Presentations: Project Development and Financing
- Powering Agri-Food Value Chains with Geothermal Heat: Project Development and Financing – Hezy Ram, Senior Geothermal Consultant, GreenMax Capital
- Implementation of the Agricultural Specialized Organized Industrial Zone – Geothermal Greenhouse Loans and Investment Incentives in Türkiye – Umut Bariş Ülgen, General Manager, Medithermal Enerji
- Powering Agri-Food Value Chains with Geothermal Heat: Geothermal Heat Tariffs – Hezy Ram, Senior Geothermal Consultant, GreenMax Capital
Presentations: Capacity-building, Awareness Creation, Sustainability and Innovation
- Powering Agri-Food Value Chains with Geothermal Heat: Capacity building, Awareness Creation, Sustainability, and Innovation – Anna Colvin, Consultant, GreenMax Capital
- Use of Geothermal Heat in Industrial Processes in SICA Member Countries (GEO II) Project – Ana Lucia Alfaro Murillo, Regional Director for Geothermal Heat Utilization for Industrial Processes in the SICA member countries, GIZ and Claus-Bernhardt Johst, Regional Principal Advisor for Geothermal Process Heat in Industry-project in SICA member countries, GIZ
- Powering Agri-Food Value Chains with Geothermal Heat: Measuring Socioeconomic Impacts and Assessing Socioeconomic Benefits – Anna Colvin, Consultant, GreenMax Capital
Q & A