The UK and Iceland sign cooperation agreement on the development of deep geothermal resources in the UK and a potential electricity transmission connection between the countries.
Following the visit of UK’s minister for Energy, Iceland and the UK signed a Memorandum of Understanding that entails a collaboration on developing the deep geothermal sector in the UK and explore the possibility of an electricity interconnection between the both countries.
In the same agreement both countries also agreed on cooperation developing oil and gas resources. There are big hopes of Iceland on an offshore oil field at the northeastern edge of the territorial waters of Iceland.
This follows a report published by engineering group and one of the preeminent geothermal consultancies Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM) on the deep geothermal resource potential of the UK. According to the report about 20 percent of UK’s electricity demand could be derived from deep geothermal resources in the country.
There are – to the best of my knowledge – three companies looking at geothermal development of EGS projects in the UK, EGS Energy, Geothermal Engineering and Cluff Geothermal. These companies are currently worried that it won´t receive sufficient support to be able to harness those resources for providing clean and renewable baseload power from geothermal energy in the UK.
UK Energy Minister Charles Hendry said on signing the MoU with his Icelandic counterpart Oddný G. Harðardóttir, 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.”
Currently the UK government is proposing a freeze on subsidies for deep geothermal development in the UK and – so the UK sector – mean that the subsidies remain too low for stimulating investment into the sector in the UK.
“We don’t want to be left out of a global industry which is estimated to be worth GBP 30 billion ($46 billion) by 2020. We could be at the forefront of this industry given the strength of British engineering skills,” Dr Ryan Law, chair of the Renewable Energy Association Deep Geothermal Group said.”
Source: Green Wise Business