Britain keen to tap Iceland's energy reserves: minister

April 12, 2012
View of a power station in Iceland. Britain is in talks to exploit Iceland's huge geothermal resources and has drawn up plans to lay submarine cables between the two countries, Britain's energy secretary told AFP on Thursday.

Britain is in talks to exploit Iceland's huge geothermal resources and has drawn up plans to lay submarine cables between the two countries, Britain's energy secretary told AFP on Thursday.

"Without doubt, this is something we should be exploring," Charles Hendry, the Minister of State for Energy and , said.

"Iceland is full of geothermal energy and there's a significant potential for exporting it," he explained. "We are very keen to be at the front of that queue but there's a lot of work still to be done."

Hendry said he was due in Iceland next month to continue the negotiations.

"This is not a done deal but there's a willingness and interest on both sides to take it forward," he revealed.

Volcanic Iceland sits on huge heat reservoirs, which could be tapped to generate large amounts of low-carbon electricity.

This could then be routed to Britain via thousands of kilometres of cables running under the .

Britain has historically been energy self-sufficient, but its fossil-fuel resources are dwindling and there is now a pressing need to rebuild its , the Conservative minister said.

Britain has already installed cables connecting it to the Netherlands and France and is seeking to expand its network.

"We certainly recognise that we are going to be more dependent on imported energy," he stressed. "The key is to have diverse supply sources so we're never overly dependent on one."

Negotiations are also underway to link the British mainland with the Channel Island of Alderney.

If successful, the scheme would enable Britain to exploit the island's huge tidal-power potential.

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not rated yet Apr 12, 2012
WE need to be doing this in Yellowstone. Tap that Super-Volcano and do something useful with all that power.

Unfortunately, the fact it's a protected national park maybe ultimately lead to the destruction of the environment.

Tapping that volcano would allow countless gigawatts, maybe even terawatts, of low-carbon power.

You could supplement solar with Geothermal, and shut the coal and oil goons up.
not rated yet Apr 13, 2012
i wonder if you extract countless gigawatts from a supervolcano like yellowstone, can you postpone eruption, stop it from boiling over? I hate to sacfrifice a beutiful national park for shortterm commerce, but if it can be made to save the globe from huge disaster (big IF) than i feel we should not only consider it, but we really must do it. but buyer beware: having to much water contact the caldera at once is exactly what causes the steam explosion, make the roof collapse and then things go craze, so this have to be very carefully figured out, this is one hot potatoe.
3 / 5 (2) Apr 13, 2012
We can practise on smaller vulcanos that have erupted recently. (and that do not endanger any human lifes).

This idea was in my head quite a while though, and my idea also does not use any turbine or water.
0.1 / 5 (35) Apr 13, 2012
Geothermal generation - the way it is normally practiced - generates substantial amounts of toxic byproducts.

The usual process involves cracking hot rock and then pushing in water which then turns to steam to drive a turbine.

The water is exposed directly to the rock and as a result dissolves substantial amounts of rock which then is carried out with the steam.

This rock is no different than mining tailings in terms of it's toxicity.

Like fraking, the process is also can cause earthquakes.

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