The UK and Iceland could soon be sharing geothermal energy sources, after the pair signed a memorandum of understanding to investigate opportunities for Icelandic volcanoes to supply power to the United Kingdom, according to Blue & Green Tomorrow.
The agreement follows UK energy minister Charles Hendry's visit to the Hellisheidi geothermal field earlier this week — the second biggest of its kind on the planet.
Hendry said, "[The] 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."
The partnership comes after a report from engineering consultancy firm, Sinclair Knight Merz, which said that geothermal energy could supply up to 20 percent of the UK's energy, and heat for millions of homes across the country.
Dr Ryan Law, chair of the Renewable Energy Association Deep Geothermal Group, wrote a preface for the report. He said, "We don't want to be left out of a global industry which is estimated to be worth £30 billion by 2020. We could be at the forefront of this industry given the strength of British engineering skills. If the UK wants to seize a share of this booming global market we must prove our competence at home. Clearly investment at home could also go a long way to meeting our future energy needs cleanly and safely."
It's estimated that the power source could provide 9.5 gigawatts (GW) of baseload electricity — the same as nine nuclear power stations — as well as over 100GW of heat.
Read more about geothermal.