Juliet Newson

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Juliet Newson, President, International Geothermal Association

Dr. Juliet Newson graduated as Senior Scholar in Geology in 1989, then moved to the Department of Engineering Science to complete a Master degree, followed by a PhD, on geothermal reservoir simulation.  Juliet has 15 years’ experience in geothermal energy training, research, and consulting.  She specializes in geothermal reservoir engineering and modeling, with a special interest in geothermal surface features and their connection to the deeper reservoir.  

Juliet was instrumental in reinstatement of postgraduate geothermal training at the University of Auckland, co-organizing the inaugural Postgraduate Certificate in Geothermal Energy Technology in 2007.  She continued her involvement in the course, both as an organizer and lecturer until 2011 when she joined Contact Energy Ltd at Wairakei as a Reservoir Modeling Engineer.

Juliet was on the Board of the New Zealand Geothermal Association for six years, and was elected to the Board of the International Geothermal Association in 2010, taking the post of Chair of the Education Committee, and becoming President in 2013.  She is an Honorary Staff member of the Department of Engineering Science at the University of Auckland, and a member of the NZ Institute of Directors.




Direct Use of Geothermal Heat - the New Zealand Experience

New Zealand has a large geothermal resource, and a long history of use of geothermal energy.  The indigenous Maori people have always used geothermal energy for cooking, fibre processing, paint pigments, medicine, and bathing.  Geothermal energy currently provides 16% of New Zealand’s electricity.  Since the mid 1950’s the use of geothermal heat directly has grown steadily, and by 2014 it had increased to more than 9000 TJ/year.  Over this period the largest single direct user of geothermal steam has been pulp and paper production which has accounted for approximately one half of the total energy use.  Overall, two-thirds of geothermal direct use is for industrial process heat; bathing and swimming accounts for a further one quarter of the total; the remaining fraction is used for heating, aquaculture, agriculture, and tourism parks.  

Most of the development is in the North Island of New Zealand, which has a larger fraction of the population (~77%), and a larger share of the geothermal resource.  This resource could support much more intensive use than current consumption.  Barriers to the large-scale uptake of geothermal energy use in New Zealand include lack of information on existing developments and on possible development models.  There is also a lack of understanding of resource characteristics and regulatory requirements










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