Home / News and Events / Media Releases and News / GNS and Geo40 increases geothermal presence in Japan

New Zealand partnership increases geothermal presence in Japan - 21/04/2022

GNS Science and Geo40 have today announced a geothermal coalition which will see them establish a physical presence in Tokyo. The move to open an office in Japan demonstrates the strength of New Zealand’s expertise in the geothermal space, and builds on GNS Science’s long-standing partnerships in Japan.

GNS Science chief executive Ian Simpson says GNS has operated in Japan for more than 30 years, building many great partnerships and friendships with representatives and universities in the energy and hazard monitoring sectors. 

“Our Japanese partners greatly value New Zealand’s geothermal expertise, and each country has a shared respect for each other’s scientific knowledge and experience. 

“New Zealand shares many similarities to Japan, including a shared vision for zero carbon economies, which is driving strong investment in renewable energy in Japan, including 60 new geothermal power stations planned,” says Ian. 

“More renewable electricity being produced means less fossil fuel consumption, which helps address rising global greenhouse gas emissions.” 

The agreement will employ a Japan-based country manager to grow and develop geothermal business opportunities, and to form partnerships with larger geothermal operators, owners, investors, researchers and consultants. 

They will represent the interests of the geothermal coalition, which includes New Zealand geothermal innovation company Geo40, which has developed the world’s first commercial-scale plant to recover high-value silica. Silica is used in everything from papermaking to permeation grouting to low-carbon concrete. 

“In the future Geo40’s technology could also help sustainably source low-carbon lithium for electric transport,” says Ian. 

Geo40 CEO John Worth noted that it was excited by the potential to contribute to Japan’s decarbonisation efforts.  “We see real potential in Japan as it embraces geothermal generation development.” 

The initiative will operate under co-investment model. Half of the cost is being met by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s International Growth Fund with the remainder coming from the GNS Science and Geo40 geothermal coalition. 

“The coalition has expertise that can make Japanese geothermal power stations produce significantly more electricity more efficiently, reduce or eliminate the small amount of emissions from geothermal generation, and extract value out of by-products. 

“Not only does the coalition’s research and expertise provide value for global geothermal customers, it helps ensure energy resilience, affordability and sustainability.” says Ian.

GNS and Geo40 event in Japan

Photo caption left to right: Yuki Sadamitsu, Director-General, Natural Resources and Fuel Department, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Minister for Trade Damien O’Connor, Haruo Hayashi, President of the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Resilience (NIED), Haruya Nakata, President of Geothermal Energy Research & Development Co., Ltd. (GERD), Tetsuhiro Hosono, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC), Shin Maeda, President, Tokyo Tower, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, and GNS Science chief executive Ian Simpson