Geothermal Energy – “New” Opportunities for the Middle East & North Africa

2020 was a remarkable year – the world stood still due to the pandemic, oil prices plunged and business as usual was not possible anymore. At the same time, the push for alternative energy sources was dramatically accelerated on a global scale. Also, the announcement of several futuristic clean-tech mega projects in the Middle East caused great astonishment and admiration worldwide. The wealth and economies of most Middle East countries are largely based on their know-how and experience to production efficiently different types of hydrocarbon plays. However, subsurface renewable energy sources like geothermal energy are not yet part of the strategic renewable energy mix. The focus of the high-profile decision-makers is largely on wind, solar, and hydrogen projects.

This seems to be a paradox. Why excluding the exceptional skill-sets formed during decades of subsurface research and oilfield experience from the energy transition? An extremely well-educated and motivated young local workforce is ready to tackle future challenges. Given such excellent conditions, it would be easy to unlock the geothermal potential to generate electric power and large-scale district cooling, saltwater desalination but also integration opportunities with CCS/CCUS technologies to maximize asset values and creating new business models and opportunities for the energy transition.

We want to find out what the main challenges are in the region, and how to solve them. Geothermal energy is a key element of the energy transition in many other countries, and a great opportunity to further diversify the economies, to transition existing know-how into this emerging renewable energy sector, but also to create new business models and preserve existing wealth. 

This workshop aims to provide an overview of the current status of developments in the Middle East and North Africa -  and to promote an open discussion, exchange of experience, and an update of new game-changer technology developments.