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Anorak | How do you export electricity like Iceland? you don’t

How do you export electricity like Iceland? you don’t

by | 21st, August 2012

YOU don’t export electricity. Or at least the country which is most successful at exporting electricity doesn’t in fact export electricity. Iceland has lots of luvverly cheap green ‘leccie. It’s also miles n’ miles from anywhere and trying to cable that stuff out would see most of it wasted before it could be used. So, Iceland exports electricity by not exporting electricity .

What they do instead is import stuff that needs electricity for the next stage of production, use their lovely green stuff to do that next stage, then export the result. For a couple of decades now it’s been aluminium. Turning alumina (the oxide of aluminium) into the metal itself costs around $900 in electricity per tonne of metal. When you plan these sorts of plants you work out where the energy is cheap first. Then you go build there. And that’s exactly what Iceland has been doing: import alumina, export aluminium.

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Posted: 21st, August 2012 | In: Money Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink