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Iceland Hopes Cheap, 100% Renewable Electricity will Attract Foreign Business

Iceland is the only country in the world which can boast 100% renewable electricity, a fact that it is trying to exploit in attempts to attract foreign investment to help boost its economy which is still recovering from the collapse of its banks in 2008.

This is not the first time that Icelanders have tried to entice foreign business, but it has previously had little success with diversifying away from its three main industries of fishing, aluminium, and tourism; hopefully its hydro and geothermal power plants will prove to be sufficiently tempting.

Hordur Arnarson, CEO of the state owned utility Landsvirkjun, has said that the price of the electricity is also very appealing to investors, calling it “the most competitive price in Europe.” Investors have the opportunity in their contracts to lock the favourable rates for a dozen years or more, very appealing with the current price volatility, and the uncertainty of future prices.

Foreign Minister Össur Skarpherdinsson, noted that “this is the beginning of a new chapter in the industrial life of Iceland.”

One of the first foreign firms to invest in the nation is the British data hosting company Verne Global. CEO Jeff Monroe has explains that his company is now “able to serve the international community from our 100 percent renewably powered data center. What we have done as a first mover here in Iceland is we have secured a long-term power contract with Landsvirkjun that is substantially better than what you’ll see as the published rate — and you get green without paying the premium.”

By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com



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