CERAWeek: Arctic energy should include renewables, foreign leader says

HOUSTON — The president of Iceland thinks renewables should be getting more attention at the top of the globe as talk of Arctic energy development centers mostly on oil.

There is big potential for geothermal energy and wind power across the region, said Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, president of the Republic of Iceland. But developing it requires finding a way to send all that power to demand centers in Europe, possibly with subsea cables.

“This is one of the under-explored territories: Given advancing cable technologies, how these considerable renewable resources of hydro, geothermal and wind across the Arctic can be an important player in the future energy policies of Europe and maybe the United States,” Grimsson said.

Grimsson said the wind patterns in the northern part of the world make wind power more attractive than near the shores of European countries. Windmills run at night in Iceland spin more than half the time, he said, and are more profitable than the turbines in Denmark and Germany.”

Grimsson’s comments came during a panel discussion at IHS Energy CERAWeek, a five-day summit in Houston.

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