Sexy Green MegaProject #5 – Geothermal in Iceland

eruption.jpgSize = Up to 12 GW; Cost = ??

Completion Date: ??


Iceland has the unique geographical advantage of sitting on the mid-Atlantic ridge, which is the spot where two tectonic plates are splitting apart.  As you can imagine, it has many active volcanoes.  Geothermal power currently heats 89% of the houses in Iceland and makes up more over 54% of the country’s energy mix.  The plan (still in early stages) is to build more geothermal plants and lay an underwater cable to the UK that would export the excess energy.  Iceland got hit hard by 2008’s financial crash, and accepted a $10.9 billion bailout from the IMF and several European countries.  Included in this bailout is a $6.3 billion loan from the UK, the Netherlands, and Germany.  One proposal is for Iceland to repay their debt in megawatts of renewable energy through this high-voltage cable.  If capacity is maximized, Iceland’s geothermal plants could provide as much as 1/3 of the UK’s energy demand!

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