Emphasis should be on the energy needs of companies and communities rather than locally available resources. Furthermore, social acceptability and active involvement of the aboriginal communities are key to developing renewable energy in the North. These were two main takeaways that emerged from the workshop on defining energy solutions for northern regions held at INRS on December 9, 2016, in the wake of the international research cooperation agreement between Quebec and Iceland.
The workshop, which brought together INRS (which initiated the agreement), Université Laval, Reykjavik University, University of Iceland, Landsvirkjun (Iceland’s national power company), Hydro-Québec’s Research Institute (IREQ), and Ouranos Consortium, was an opportunity for university partners and energy producers to discuss and define collaborative projects aimed at replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy, not only to preserve the environment but also to reduce price volatility. Participants highlighted the importance of improving:
By pooling their complementary expertise in shallow geothermal energy, mobile energy system development, geothermal system engineering, and new materials research, partnership members want to provide private and public decision makers with valuable scientific and technical insight. To succeed, they plan to:
Choosing the right materials for geothermal operations remains a constant challenge, which is why cooperation and knowledge sharing between universities, industry, and government is crucial to the growth of geothermal energy. That was the general consensus following the geothermal symposium held on December 8, 2016, at INRS’s Eau Terre Environnement Research Centre.
The event gave researchers from Iceland, Sweden, and Quebec an opportunity to review the state of knowledge in this multidisciplinary field. They concluded that:
“Iceland’s and Sweden’s experience with geothermal energy in the Arctic Circle is paving the way for Quebec,” asserts INRS professor Jasmin Raymond, holder of the Northern Geothermal Potential Research Chair.
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