UK energy minister Charles Hendry will be visiting Iceland in May to explore the possibility of receiving electricity from Iceland.
Iceland’s geothermal power is well known to much of the world, and the country has exported its technology to other countries. However, the idea of exporting the electricity generated by geothermal power has been only recently raised.
Last year, the Ministry of Industry concluded that the country could produce up to 50 terawatts of electricity through hydropower and geothermal energy. By comparison, the country’s total electricity consumption is at 17 terawatts. Some amount of the unused potential could, the ministry said, be exported to other countries via undersea cable.
The idea was raised again earlier this year, when the national power company Landsvirkjun issued a public statement advising that Iceland explore this path.
The Guardian now reports that Charles Hendry is coming to Iceland in May to get a better look at the actual logistics of the idea. Hörður Arnarson, the director of Landsvirkjun, confirmed as much for RÚV.
As it is now, nothing is set in stone, including how much power the UK would want from Iceland, how much power Iceland could export, or when the project would start. However, Hendry told reporters that “We will be dependent on imported energy.” The cables “are an absolutely critical part of energy security and for low carbon energy.”
There are power cables connecting Ireland and the UK, and mainland Europe and the UK. Other cables connecting European countries have been proposed or are in progress.