Icelandic Minister for Foreign Affairs Össur Skarphédinsson met Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah, and the Indian state’s Minister of the Interior Nasir Aslam Wani in Jammu on Wednesday.
Össur Skarphédinsson. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
The ministers discussed the development of the cooperation between Icelandic and Indian companies on the harnessing of geothermal energy for electricity production, as stated in a press release from the Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
Kashmiri authorities are keen on such cooperation and some Indian and Icelandic companies have already launched geothermal energy projects in the region.
The Kashmiri economy is primarily based on tourism in connection with the renowned beauty of the Himalayas and the Kashmir Valley and at the meeting various options were discussed on how geothermal energy harnessing and tourism could go together.
Skarphédinsson mentioned the Blue Lagoon in Iceland in that connection, which was created through the operations of the geothermal power plant in Svartsengi.
The minister also visited Leh in the Kashmiri Labakh region where considerable geothermal energy can be found, before continuing to Srinagar to meet Dr. Farooq Abdullah, India’s Minister of New and Renewable Energy.
Energy cooperation between the two countries was discussed further, also in terms of hydropower. Dr. Abdullah declared his interest in having Icelandic companies assist on the construction of large hydropower plants which the Indian government has decided to construct at the foot of the Himalayas.
Click here to read more about Skarphédinsson’s official visit to India.