Iceland Could Develop "Energy Fund"

30.11.2012
Words by Paul Fontaine
Iceland could develop an "energy fund" comparable to the revenue Norway has gained through oil.

The notion that Iceland could make use of its abundant hydropower and geothermal resources to export electricity is not a new one. Last April, UK energy minister Charles Hendry told reporters at the time that "We will be dependent on imported energy", and that the undersea cables providing the UK with electricity "are an absolutely critical part of energy security and for low carbon energy." He signed a willingness agreement with Iceland to that effect.

Last June, Odd Håkon Hoelsæter, the former director of Norwegian power company Statnett - which oversees and maintains the power cable between Norway and Holland - told attendees at an Arion Banki conference that the Iceland-UK cable idea was viable.

With these prospects and possibly others in the near future, RÚV reports, Hörður Arnarson - the director of the national power company Landsvirkjun - believes that Iceland could develop an "energy fund" comparable to Norway's oil fund.

This would mean possibly raising energy rates, but also depositing some or most of the revenue from energy exports into the national treasury, to be used at the discretion of the government.

For the moment, Iceland's energy export plans are still in the beginning stages of implementation.

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