WELLINGTON, New Zealand, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- New Zealand scientists will be working with the world's leading geothermal researchers when the country joins an elite international group, officials say.
Science and Innovation Minister Wayne Mapp said New Zealand will be admitted to the International Partnership for Geothermal Technology in Melbourne, Australia, Nov. 16, Xinhua reported Wednesday.
"This recognition of our geothermal research programs will allow our scientists to collaborate with an elite group of researchers in the United States, Australia, Switzerland and Iceland," Mapp said.
"Geothermal energy is one of our most important renewable energy resources with huge potential for growth," he said.
Geothermal electricity generation in New Zealand increased 21 percent in 2010 and accounted for 13 percent of total electricity generation, officials said.
"This new international partnership will help keep us at the forefront of technology developments such as enhanced geothermal systems," Mapp said.
The IPGT, established in 2008, works to promote advanced, cost- effective geothermal energy technologies through international research cooperation.