Iceland closer to sending green power to European homes

Iceland is getting ever closer to using its geothermal and hydropower reserves to power European homes via what stands to be the longest cable power in the world, said its largest energy producer.

Landsvirkjun CEO Hordur Arnarson said they are seriously considering the project and are receiving extremely positive feedback. He revealed that in the last two years the company, which produces over 70 per cent of the North Atlantic island’s power, has moved closer to the idea becoming a reality.

Landsvirkjun and Iceland’s government are looking into pushing on with the project, which estimates indicate could cost up to two billion euros. The 1,170-kilometre underwater cable would require a bilateral deal with the UK before construction work could begin; agreements on the buying and selling of electricity would also need to be wrapped up.

Iceland’s government believes that 75 per cent of the country’s energy is not being utilised to its maximum potential. Hydropower from its glaciers provides around 73 per cent of the total electricity produced, while the remainder comes from geothermal sources. Of the geothermal energy available in Iceland, less than 40 per cent is used to produce electricity.

Iceland is looking to diversify its economy as it continues its recovery from its financial crash in 2008. At present, it produces 17 terawatt hours of electricity, but Arnarson said this could be doubled. He added that if the project is to be worth the investment, it must sell five terawatt hours through the cable.