In our inaugural issue of the Energy Branding & Marketing Insights newsletter, [subscribe here if you haven’t already] we interviewed our long-time friend, fellow geothermal-champion, Founder of ThinkGeoEnergy.com and current President of the IGA, Alexander Richter.
Each issue will feature a similar style of interview questions with a geothermal leader from around the world. Alexander provided the following response.
Q: What do you see as the biggest challenge we face in the geothermal industry?
Richter: As an industry, we face a variety of challenges, some general, some more regional or local, some technical, some political and some socially, but in many regards often these are challenges faced by our peers in the renewable energy space as well. I would say that perception is one of the largest challenges for us. We as an industry have not been able to paint the complete picture of what geothermal energy has to offer with regards to the global energy transition and have not received the attention we deserve.
Q: What are you doing to help mitigate this challenge?
Richter: Any industry thrives off a good collaborative ecosystem of technology, research, supply, policy action, communication, publicity, and visibility. Showing that we are a lively and growing industry through the reporting on our ThinkGeoEnergy news platform and highlighting success stories, while also providing a real picture of both challenges and opportunities, has been a key element of my work for the industry. Paired with our gathering and reporting business intelligence on development worldwide I hope we help create a better perception and visibility of our industry.
Taking this a bit further through my work with the International Geothermal Association, I have tried to better tie in the scientific and research world of our sector with industry for better representation towards international organizations. The results have been very positive and we have been able to strengthen the visibility and representation of the geothermal offer internationally.
Q: What are you most hopeful about with our industry?
Richter: In our efforts to mitigate the risks we face with climate change, I see geothermal incredibly well-positioned to play its part in the global energy transition, particularly when it comes to the rather important heating and cooling sector. The power sector will remain an elementary part of our industry offering, but the largest growth opportunity is provided by the direct use of geothermal resources for district heating applications and other industrial applications such as horticulture, food dehydration, cooling, etc. This not only allows to grow our business by size but also regionally beyond the high-temperature areas of this world along with the tectonic plates. We see now geothermal development for heating applications in countries that were not considered feasible for development before such as the Netherlands, Finland, and others.
Q: How important are public outreach, strategic marketing, and brand management to further promote and educate the public about our industry? And Why?
How you are perceived as a business or industry essentially depends on your visibility and how well present yourself. Therefore any work on visual elements, as well as content determines how seriously you are being taken by either your customers or stakeholders in or outside the industry. The visual representation in the form of your brand is one thing, but this also includes how you reach out to stakeholders. A strategic approach to efforts to promote and market yourself (and for that matter also for us as an industry) are crucial and need to be carefully mapped out.
We would though be doing a mistake in limiting those efforts to our businesses and sales efforts. We as an industry also need to unify in our promotion of geothermal energy and what it has to offer. Efforts by national organizations to promote geothermal nationally or those by international organizations are crucial and require the necessary industry support. Only unified efforts in public outreach will gather both local support of the population for development, but also the necessary and crucial political support for our industry and concrete project development. Only when we work together, we will grow the complete market for us an industry and thereby our business.
Let’s unify in this work to make the voice of our industry heard and promote what we have to offer.
This concludes our Q&A with Alexander. It was important for us to feature him in our first issue as an ode to his incredible contributions to our industry that heavily aligns with our mission to professionalize, promote, inform and educate everyone about geothermal. Thank you for time and contributions to geothermal Alexander!
To be more informed about the latest developments in the geothermal industry, visit www.thinkgeoenergy.com
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