Melbourne to host hot rock summit

By Angela Dorizas

Victoria has been recognised as a leader in renewable energy, with Melbourne winning the right to host an international geothermal summit.

Organised by the International Geothermal Association, the five-day World Geothermal Congress will be hosted by Melbourne in 2015.

Energy and Resources Minister Peter Batchelor said Victoria’s potential to generate energy from hot rocks deep underground would be showcased to more than 1500 delegates representing 65 countries at the congress.

“A clean environment is crucial to our future, so to be hosting the world’s leading experts on geothermal energy is a great result for Victoria and underscores our commitment to ensuring Victoria is a leader in renewable and clean energy development,” Mr Batchelor said in a statement.

“It also reinforces Melbourne’s reputation as a conference capital.”

Mr Batchelor anticipates that the congress will inject $9 million into the state economy and provide a boost to regional Victoria.

The announcement follows a federal funding boost to the geothermal industry through the $235 million renewable energy grants.

Speaking at the Australian Geothermal Energy Conference last week, Federal Energy Minister Martin Ferguson indicated there would be further Federal Government support for geothermal to help Australia achieve its renewable energy target of 20 per cent by 2020.

“Ensuring energy security in a carbon-constrained economy is an immense challenge for the Government, which is why our clean energy strategy is supporting the development and deployment of many renewable energy sources,” Mr Ferguson said.

“Cleaner electricity generation represents an opportunity for investment and innovation, which the Government will continue to support.”

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