Enviro News - March 2011

Iceland’s Geothermal Energy Export Plan

Posted by Environmental News Energies Correspondent on 10/03/2011 - 17:00:00

Geothermal energy provides most of Iceland's electricity

Iceland, a highly active geothermal zone, has announced plans to export geothermal energy to other European nations by channelling it under the ocean.

Geothermal energy already supplies no less than 81 per cent of Iceland’s electricity and this use is set to expand to 100 per cent over the next forty years. The abundance of geothermal energy, in Iceland, has now led to thoughts that what’s not needed or used could be sent elsewhere.

In January 2010, Iceland was recognised as the most environmentally friendly country on Earth, in connection with its extensive use of renewable resources. This, in contrast to the nations that remained fossil-fuel reliant and, so, continued to release industrial greenhouse gas emissions that contributed to global warming.

Iceland achieved this status in the 2010 Environmental Performance Index, which was compiled by North American scientists.

Geothermal Energy Exports

Now, Landsvikjun – the dominant Icelandic utility firm – has put forward a geothermal energy export plan. It has proposed to construct a huge cable that would be laid on the seabed and feed electricity from Iceland outwards. Measuring over 1,000 miles in length, the undersea cable would transport as much as five billion Kilowatt-Hours of electricity per annum: sufficient to power up 1.25 million houses.

Iceland’s extent of available geothermal energy results from its position. It lies over the mid-Atlantic ridge and, here, the Eurasian and North American plates are drifting apart. To plug the gap that’s created, magma – molten rock and other substances - shoots up from deep within the Earth.

Icelandic Geothermal Energy

The installation costs of the Icelandic geothermal energy project would be substantial but it should be considered that that much electricity would have a multi-hundred million dollar value.

“The idea is to meet demand during peak hours in Europe, as well as some base load”, Ragna Sara Jonsdottir, representing Landsvikjun, explained to news agency AFP. “This project started last year and the current phase of research should be finished by the end of the year.”

Enviro News will revisit this project in future News coverage.

See also:

Companies supplying Geothermal Power

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