What is the future of Icelandic energy export?

VÍB, Íslandsbanki‘s wealth management division, provided in September a venue for a very interesting debate about the future of energy export from Iceland. 180 guests attended the meeting in Harpa conference center in Reykjavík, and over 2.000 viewed it online.

Ola Borten Moe, Norway‘s minister of petroleum and Energy in 2011-2013 shared Norways experience regarding interconnectors and his views on how Iceland should proceed. According to Mr. Borten Moe, the debate on the merits of interconnectors and energy export has largely seized in Norway, with none of the political parties opposing the strategy. Not only do interconnectors provide the option of exporting energy at profitable prices but also increase stability in the local energy market, with the option of import when necessary. 

Iceland‘s minister of industry, Ragnheiður Elín Árnadóttir addressed the meeting with an update on the work currently being done in the ministry. Regarding a possible interconnector between Iceland and the British Isles the minister said: „We know that there is interest from the UK towards such a project but at the same time there is a clear understanding on their behalf that, given the size of the project, Iceland will need time to consider carefully all aspects on this before making any sort of commitment“.

In the latter part of the 90 minute meeting, a panel discussed the merits of an interconnector from Iceland. Mr. Borten Moe and Mrs. Árnadóttir were joined by Ketill Sigurjónsson, managing director of Askja energy partners and a writer on energy issues, Hörður Árnason, CEO of Landsvirkjun, the national power company and Hjörtur Þór Steindórsson at Islandsbanki‘s renewable energy division, who moderated the talks.

The panel addressed issues such as the possible effects on the local industries, the potential price structure, ownership and the involvement of the Icelandic government.

VÍB puts great emphasis on financial education in its operation with the aim to increase discussion on economical issues and financial skills of the Icelandic public. Since 2011 VÍB has received over 10.000 guests at 190 events, which 48.000 people have viewed online.

A recording of the meeting can be viewed below.


Arðsemi orkuútflutnings from Íslandsbanki on Vimeo.

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