- Geothermal power from Icelandic volcanoes could supply electricity to the UK under new Memorandum of Understanding
The UK and Iceland today signed an agreement that could pave the way for geothermal power from Iceland’s volcanoes to supply electricity to the UK. This came as UK Energy Minister Charles Hendry visited the Hellisheidi geothermal field, located on an active volcanic ridge in the south west of the country.
The MoU, signed by Charles Hendry and his Icelandic counterpart Oddný G. Harðardottir, will strengthen the two countries’ relationship on energy issues.
Charles Hendry said:
“Today’s agreement will help pave the way for a closer relationship with Iceland, which I hope can yield significant benefits for the UK, including the development of geothermal power, greater use of interconnectors to transport energy under the sea, and developing oil and gas resources.
“This sort of approach can both enhance our energy security and deliver low carbon electricity in an affordable way.”
In particular, the two countries pledged to:
- Exchange information on the development of the deep geothermal sector in the UK, including in the supply of heat to district heating networks;
- Explore the possibility of developing electricity interconnection between Iceland and the UK, including relevant legal and regulatory issues;
- Work with their respective Ministries for International Development on renewable energy projects in developing countries with a special focus on East Africa; and
- Exchange information regarding the development of oil and gas industries, including offshore drilling.
Notes for editors:
- The full Memorandum of Understanding is below at Annex A.
Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism in Iceland and the Department for Energy and Climate Change in the United Kingdom on cooperation in the energy sector
The Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism in Iceland (MIET) and the Department for Energy and Climate Change in the UK (DECC) (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Participants’), affirm their commitment to a strong partnership between their two countries on energy and climate issues;
**Recalling **the shared vision of the two countries to promote a sustainable use of low carbon renewable energy resources,
**Acknowledging **the importance of promoting low emission growth at home and abroad by promoting the development of renewable energy,
**Desiring **to promote energy co-operation between the two countries with the aim to develop new science, technology and business opportunities in the field of energy,
**Desiring **to further strengthen friendly relations between Iceland and UK in the field of energy,
**Building **on these common goals, the Participants have reached the following understanding:
- The Participants decide to exchange information and co-operate to support the development of the deep geothermal sector in the UK, including in the supply of heat to district heating networks,
- The Participants express their willingness to explore the possibility of developing an electricity interconnection between Iceland and the UK, including the legal and regulatory issues,
- The Participants express their willingness to encourage their respective Ministries for International Development to work together on renewable energy projects in developing countries with a special focus on East Africa,
- The Participants decide to exchange information regarding the development of oil and gas industries, including offshore drilling.
Signed in Reykjavik, this 30th day of May 2012, in duplicate.
For the Department of Energy and Climate Change in the UK
For the Ministry of Industry and Tourism in Iceland
Oddný G. Harðardottir