Sounds fairly silly

The geothermal energy would be piped to Britain through the world\’s longest seabed power cable but would be no more expensive than the next generation of nuclear energy.

The man overseeing the project, Hörður Arnarson, the head of Iceland\’s state-owned power producer Landsvirkjun, said that it could be completed by 2020.

He told the Times: \”This is a technically challenging project, there\’s no doubt, but there is no doubt in our mind that it is doable.\”

\”Both the length and the depth [of the cable needed] has been tested.\”

He added: \”All our energy production is renewable, with hydro and geothermal production.

Electricity exports, like water exports or even natural gas, often seem fairly silly.

An often better solution is virtual \’leccie/gas/water exports. Grow the wheat where it rains and send it where it don\’t. Make the fertiliser with your gas and ship that. Or, with \’leccie, smelt your aluminium and ship that.

Which is what Iceland does indeed do at present. And perhaps they should be doing more of it rather than trying to build the world\’s longest undersea \’leccie cable.

15 comments on “Sounds fairly silly

  1. This seems like an option worth exploring, given that our coal-fired power stations are being taken offline in 2015 to comply with EU regs, and most of our nuclear power stations are reaching their end of life over the next decade. We need new power supplies. If we cut domestic electricity production and switch to importing virtual electricity, that means exporting real manufacturing jobs.

  2. Couldn’t we buy some of their “green” electricity from them, and sell them an equal amount of our “dirty” stuff?

    Then we can net the two off, without telling anyone, and each just use what we’ve produced ourself.

    That way we meet our green targets at the lowest cost. Obviously the Icelanders will make a profit, by charging more for their “green” energy than they pay for our “dirty” stuff.

    We’ll have a big ship pretending to lay a cable, preferably with a Blue Peter presenter on board, but it’ll just wind out of one end and back in the other.

  3. The geothermal energy would be piped to Britain through the world’s longest seabed power cable but would be no more expensive than the next generation of nuclear energy.

    You’re going to pipe geothermal energy – heat, as it is also known – through a subsea cable, the world’s longest at that?

    Good luck, but I’ll not be quitting the oil business just yet.

  4. Tim Newman

    I think its a use of the word piped that does not necessarily fit into the normal dictionary definition. They mean transmitted, but that was too big a word for a journalist.

  5. Power cables on the continental shelf, e.g. Britain-France, easy peasy. Has it been done before in the deep ocean? (Power, I mean, not phone lines.)

  6. OK, let’s depend on a form of electricity generation where one end of the system is in one of the most geologically active regions on the planet & relies on a vulnerable cable, laid in extremely hard to access ocean depths.
    Whatever can go wrong?

  7. Power cables on the continental shelf, e.g. Britain-France, easy peasy. Has it been done before in the deep ocean?

    Total’s Hild platform offshore Norway will be powered by a 170km undersea cable, which is the longest power line between shore and an offshore platform.

  8. Tim @ 11.
    WTF? They find it more economical to pipe in the leccy over 170Km than install a generator on a gas producing platform?!

  9. Green activists say that Icelend’s geothermal energy isn’t green. This is because it is used to power capitalism (the smelters). The same goes for hydro.

    If the undersea cable could be laid by volunteers from an autonomous community centre rather than planet-raping corporate shills like Arnarson, and if Britain promised to use Iceland’s electricity only for powering crofts, craft workshops and organic agricultural collectives, the energy could be made green again.

    Deprofessionalised intellectuals must take the lead in this. The sheeple are not ready for such radical restructuring. Solidarity with Iceland! No borders! Indigenous rights! Put the local in localism! Save the monkfish! Capitalism is a millenarian cult! We’re all doomed! Free herbal tea! (Pay what you can.) This chullo kills fascists! [Contd p.94]

  10. @AndrewM
    This seems like an option worth exploring, given that our coal-fired power stations are being taken offline in 2015 to comply with EU regs

    Some are going off line early in April next year. This is partly due to the unalloyed evil that is the EU, and partly to the stupidity of George Osbourne, and his carbon floor price that comes into force on April 1st next year.

    Plenty of stuff on the web about this, though strangely enough word doesn’t seem to have filtered through to the BBC yet, Still I’m sure it’s all the distractions they currently have that is preventing them from reporting this.

    http://www.radleyvillage.org.uk/news/news0110.htm

  11. bif @ 12:

    It’s done to reduce Total’s overall carbon footprint, as the onshore power comes from hydroelectric. The Norwegians like the gesture, and it is something Total can point to when waving its green credentials about. So economically it doesn’t make sense, but environmentally and from a PR perspective it does – and both are important in Norway.

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