Tue, September 14, 2010
China > China & World > Summer Davos 2010

Iceland story may shed light on clean energy development in China: president

2010-09-14 14:08:14 GMT2010-09-14 22:08:14 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

TIANJIN, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- Iceland is a front-runner in applying clean energy and is ready to share its experience with China, Iceland's President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson told Xinhua in an interview on Tuesday.

Grimsson, who is attending the fourth Summer Davos in China's northern city of Tianjin, recalled that over 80 percent of Iceland's energy resources came from oil and coal when he was young.

"Now 100 percent of our electricity is from clean energy resources, and 100 percent of the heating system in our cities is from clean energy resources, primarily geothermal," he said.

Grimsson encouraged China to tap its huge potential in geothermal resources. Many Chinese cities can replace the coal-based heating system with clean hot water geothermal urban heating system, he said.

"This would be very protective in terms of economy, lifestyle, health, reducing pollution as well as being a major contribution to the clean energy economy in China," he said.

In addition to the energy dimension of the geothermal energy, Grimsson also called on China to look at its agricultural and tourism dimensions.

"For example, you can use geothermal energy for green house agriculture," he said, adding that the hot water could be used for spa, tourism and swimming pools.

Different from other forms of energy, geothermal resources can bring about a new lifestyle, said the president. Therefore, he expressed the hope that China will develop geothermal resources in a comprehensive way.

Talking about China's investment environment, Grimsson said his country's investment experience in the geothermal field has been very positive. Responses from companies in a number of other areas have been positive as well.

Grimsson admitted that Iceland can never be a major investment partner in China due to its economic size. However, it can provide China with technological know-how and scientific know-how, which China is hungry for.

Apart from energy cooperation, Grimsson said his country is ready to step up cooperation with China on the earthquake monitoring and earthquake rescue system.

The president also touched upon cooperation on the opening of the new Arctic seaway, which will shorten the distance between Asia, Europe and America by about 40 percent.

As to the ongoing Summer Davos, Grimsson described it as "impressive and inspiring."

Compared to the Davos in Switzerland, which primarily involves European countries and the United States, the Summer Davos attracts a wide range of Asian states, he said.

"There is more evidence here that the world is changing, and if you combine the Winter Davos and the Summer Davos, you got a comprehensive picture," said Grimsson.

In his view, the meeting sent a strong signal that China and other Asian countries hope to become responsible global citizens.

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