UK households could get their electricity supplied from Iceland’s volcanoes following an agreement signed yesterday between the two countries. This follows Energy Minister Charles Hendry’s visit to a power station in Iceland’s south west region earlier this week.
The Memorandum of Understanding between the UK and Iceland could make way for geothermal power from the volcanoes to supply electricity to the nation. This involves drilling holes and pumping cold water into the hot surface and using the steam produced to drive electric generators.
Mr Hendry said: “Today’s agreement will help pave the way for a closer relationship with Iceland, which I hope can yield significant benefits for the UK, including the development of geothermal power, greater use of interconnectors to transport energy under the sea, and developing oil and gas resources.
However, Leonie Greene, Head of External Affairs at the Renewable Energy Association (REA) said the Government should not ignore the UK’s own potential for geothermal power: “While we welcome greater collaboration on renewable energy, it is important that the UK Government doesn’t overlook the UK’s own deep geothermal resource, which could supply up to 20% of electricity needs and the majority of our heat needs.
“Not only is it cost effective to develop our own capacity, it provides energy security by protecting us from instability in international energy markets, and it keeps jobs and revenues in the UK economy.”