Govt urged to harness geothermal

Business, Normal

The National, Thursday 10th November 2011

FREQUENT blackouts in towns and cities around the country have propmted the public to urge the government to come up with reliable and efficient electricity supply.
Geothermal energy is an indigenous resource that the government can tap into to put an end to the on-going electricity woes and a low-cost option for policy makers to consider.
Ita Kuna, Southern Energy Systems (SES) executive director, said geothermal was an industry that had a low carbon footprint which reduced carbon emission into the atmosphere, which the government recognised as a climate change agenda and global environmental issue under the Kyoto Protocol.
Kuna recently returned from San Die­go in the United States where he attended the Geothermal Resource Council (GRC) and Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) Annual Meeting and Expo.
He said this was the first time PNG had been represented at an international geothermal resource expo where the country could really benefit from.  
In recognition of SES’s efforts to promote the geothermal industry in PNG, both the GRC and GEA recently invited SES to attend the GRC annual meeting and expo late last month in San Diego, California.
Discussions were held with GEA, GRC and USA Trade and Development Agency (TDA) officials on identifying ways to assist SES advance the development of geothermal energy industry in PNG. 
Kuna believed that our government should now provide the support for indigenous citizens venturing into high-end technological industry, R&D and entrepreneurial activities through policy and grants.
He stressed the need for the government to step in and assist indigenous citizens benefit from the development of natural resources rather than allowing foreigner conglomerates come in to exploit and gain.”
The tradition of foreign exploitation of our resource had been a long established trend that needed to be reconsidered, Kuna said.
Indigenous citizens must now be given the opportunity to compete on a level playing field and that required government support, he said.