Researchers in Nevada and Italy will start working together to solve problems that both areas face, like ways to mitigate urban flooding and better ways to find geothermal energy.
Kristopher Sanchez, director of international trade for the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, signed a five-year agreement Thursday with Francesco La Camera, director general of the Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea of the Republic of Italy.
“In Italy, the primary focus in this agreement for them is climate science,” Sanchez told the Review-Journal. Researchers at the Desert Research Institute have “off-the-shelf know-how” to offer Italian researchers in that area, he said.
Alan Gertler, vice present of research at the institute, said Italian researchers have much to share with Nevada when it comes to geothermal energy sourcing.
“The first use of geothermal energy was in Italy. They’re the pioneers of geothermal energy,” Gertler said.
One of Italy’s largest geothermal plant complexes has a 770-megawatt capacity and produces 10 percent of the world’s geothermal energy, according to worldatlas.com.
“We have about 450 megawatts installed here in Nevada,” Gertler said.
The agreement is accompanied by a list of action items, outlining that groups will be up and running by this summer to share information on subjects including urban flood issues, geothermal resource potential, river stream flow, and using drones for more efficient agriculture methods.
La Camera said Nevada is the only state the ministry is working with so far.
“Nevada chose us,” he said, adding that he is looking forward to working with the Desert Research Institute to “act very quickly” to address climate problems in Africa, which is causing a flood of migration into Europe.