Keynote Speakers

Paul Brophy

President, EGS Inc.

Paul Brophy is President of EGS Inc. and has over 45 years worldwide experience in the field of energy and natural resources, of which 35 years has been in the geothermal industry. EGS Inc. is a California-based geothermal consulting company which he founded in 1995. His general focus has been the assessment of geothermal systems both during exploration and development phases, with particular emphasis on understanding the relationships between geothermal resources and their structural and geophysical responses. He has published papers and made numerous international presentations relating to geothermal and renewable energy development in countries such as Costa Rica, Russia, Peru, Chile, Indonesia, Montserrat, St Vincent, St Kitts and Nevis, Mexico and the Philippines and has been a frequent peer reviewer for research projects funded through the U.S Department of Energy, Geothermal Technologies Program.

Paul has currently completed a second term as President of the U.S.-based Geothermal Resources Council, has served on its Board of Directors since1995 and in 2011 was that organizations recipient of the Joseph Aidlin Award for services to the geothermal industry. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the International Geothermal Association (based in Germany) and chairs its’ Finance Committee.


In a world that is increasingly focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions the renewable energy markets have been rapidly expanding to a level that is now beginning to cause some electric grid reliability concerns. There are now regulatory targets being established in many countries for near carbon-free energy, per cent generation from renewables and net greenhouse gas emissions per gigawatt-hour of generation. This has resulted in major changes to how electric grids are being operated and presents an opportunity for geothermal to play an increasing role in the renewables power market worldwide.

Because of its baseload characteristics the proportion of geothermal energy being generated should be growing rapidly – but in many parts of the world it is not. Why is this the case? This presentation will compare how the electric markets in New Zealand and USA are structured with a particular focus on approaches in California that can assist in integrating geothermal into this new paradigm.

Hildigunnur Thorsteinsson

Managing Director for Research and Development, Reykjavik Energy

Hildigunnur Thorsteinsson is the Managing Director for Research and Development at Reykjavik Energy. In her role, she oversees natural resource management and R&D for the company.  Previously, she led the Hydrothermal and Resource Confirmation team at the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Geothermal Technologies Office at the U.S. Department of Energy. Prior to working for the U.S. Department of Energy, she was a project manager and engineer at geothermal developers in both the United States and Iceland. Currently, Mrs. Thorsteinsson serves on the boards of ON Power, Iceland School of Energy, the Icelandic Geothermal Association and Iceland Geothermal. She received a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from the University of Iceland in 2005, and a Master of Science in Technology and Policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2008.


In 2011, Reykjavik Energy was in dire straits because of Iceland’s financial crash which coincided with the company’s construction and commissioning of the Hellisheidi Power Plant, the largest power plant in Iceland. The company had to make significant cuts to investments and staff to maintain core operations. In the midst of this turmoil a commitment was made to invest in the future and to maintain research and development budgets. That decision has since paid off. Currently, approximately 30% of the CO2 and 70% of the H2S emissions from the Hellisheidi Power Plant are reinjected and mineralized through innovative methods developed in the year‘s following the financial crash. The success of the mineralization has saved the company approximately 170 million NZD compared to off-the shelf solutions. Reykjavik Energy is now working on pushing the technology further along with other initiatives to better utilize the geothermal resources entrusted to us.

Andrea ‘Andy’ Blair

Director, Upflow

Andy has been involved in the business of geothermal science for over ten years.  In her previous role as Business Development Manager at GNS Science she was responsible for leading and coordinating sub-surface geoscience contracts worldwide. She is now a Director for Upflow (NZ) and continues to match geothermal specialists with client’s specific needs to deliver successful geothermal development outcomes.

In 2013 Andy became the Global Chair for Women in Geothermal (WING) and has led the organisation from 83 members to now over 1200 members in 48 countries worldwide. A not-for-profit organisation, WING has grown into a global movement of people, both men and woman, supporting the empowerment and advancement of women within the industry.

Andy was awarded the role of Geothermal Business Development Lead for New Zealand in 2017, and is charged with driving and supporting commercial investment in geothermal industrial direct use projects. The desired outcome is the development of large projects with significant positive impacts on local economies and communities.


Equality between men and women in all aspects of life, from access to health and education to political power and earning potential is fundamental to how societies thrive.

As the Global Chair for Women in Geothermal (WING) the focus of this talk will be on the benefits of diverse thinking. The global movement of WING is having a positive impact on the geothermal industry. I will highlight how groups around the world are using geothermal energy to empower women, and how having more women in key roles is good for the whole industry.  In order to really catalyse change we need leaders to wade through the cacophony of voices, and add to the narrative of working towards gender equality. High profile leaders of industry will talk about their journey to leadership positions, and provide insights on the ups and downs along the way   – you won’t want to miss this!


Andy Bloomer

Geothermal Engineering Limited


The Wairakei geothermal power station started generating electricity for the national grid 60 years ago.  It became known internationally from then because it was the first large geothermal power station and the first using boiling water rather than dry steam.  It was the innovations that attracted the international interest.  The innovations came from the people who developed Wairakei and undertook the early geothermal investigations.  Some of the pioneers and innovators are discussed, along with their innovations.


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