Econintersect: Almost exactly two years ago in April 2010 the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in southeast Iceland had a series of eruptions that shut down air traffic in the British Isles and wide areas of western and northern Europe due to airborne ash that interfered with the operation of jet engines. It turns out that there are two edges to the volcano blade: Iceland volcanos could supply electricity to Europe easing the dependency on fossil fuels. Geothermal energy is already a significant source of energy for Iceland itself. According to the BBC, geothermal generating plants supply about a fifth of the country’s electrical energy and 85% of all heating and hot water to buildings in the country.
For the UK the development of this new source of power could not come at a better time. Production of North Sea oil and gas – on which the UK has depended on for so long – is falling, and there is uncertainty over future investment in new nuclear capacity and renewable industries, according to the BBC.
Photo below is from Fox News. Click on photo to see additional Iceland volcano photos from Fox News.
Negotiations are starting between the UK and Iceland within the next month. From Fox News:
Energy minister Charles Hendry will visit Iceland in May to negotiate an agreement that would mean laying hundreds of miles of cables underwater to satisfy the UK’s energy needs.
The cables, known as interconnectors, would carry low-carbon energy harvested from Iceland’s geothermal sources such as volcanoes and geysers.
The plan could supply a third of the nation’s average electricity demand.
“We are looking to a low-carbon economy. I think the best way is to get a number of different interconnectors first,” Hendry said late Thursday.
The copper cables would need to be up to 932 miles (1,500 kilometers) long to reach Iceland — the longest in the world.
It is estimated that the project could have power flowing before the current decade is finished.
- Iceland Volcano Eruption Causes Air Traffic Chaos (Rosa Brynjolfsdottir, Discovery News, 15 April 2010)
- UK in talks with Iceland over ‘volcanic power link’ (BBC News, 13 April 2012)
- Icelandic volcanoes to power British homes (SkyNews, Fox News.com, 13 April 2012)
Notice: Powerful and prestigious non-geographical nationwide UK phone numbers are available. Click here: 0845 uk.