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08 June 2012

UK to import Icelandic deep geothermal energy
The UK has signed an energy agreement with Iceland, which will enable Iceland's volcanoes to supply deep geothermal energy to the UK.

As part of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed last week, the two countries have pledged to share information on the development of the UK's deep geothermal sector and explore potential electricity interconnection between Iceland and the UK.

It will also see the pair share information of the development of its oil and gas industries, including offshore drilling.

It is hoped that the MoU, signed by energy minister Charles Hendry and his Icelandic minister Oddn£ G. Har£ard£ttir, will strengthen the two countries' relationship on energy issues, including the development of geothermal power, greater use of interconnectors to transport energy under the sea, and developing oil and gas resources.

Mr Hendry said: "This sort of approach can both enhance our energy security and deliver low carbon electricity in an affordable way."
However, the Renewable Energy Association (REA) said while it welcomes greater collaboration on renewable energy that the MoU must not "derail" the UK's deep geothermal industry.

REA head of external affairs Leonie Greene, said: "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."

As a result, the REA is calling on the Government to back British engineering and ensure UK deep geothermal is supported and that it doesn't rely on imports alone.

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