It seems that pan-continent grids are in our future, with the mammoth Desertec project moving ahead in North Africa, and now talks about laying a cable between Iceland and the UK to carry excess geothermal energy to Europe.
There's enthusiasm for an eventual pan-Europe supergrid across the continent, which would feed in geothermal from Iceland, wind and wave energy from Northern Europe, solar from the south and from Desertec in North Africa.
France and the Nerherlands already have connectors and another will be completed this year to carry wind energy from Ireland to the UK. There are plans for nine more within Europe, with Norway at the center of of many of them, where renewable energy would flow both ways.
Last month, 20 companies signed onto the "Norstec" partnership, to turn the North Sea into an offshore wind hub and link countries together in a super grid.
By connecting renewable energy sources through such an extensive grid, it would be available for peak power and back-up power when local resources didn't produce enough. That would eliminate the need for fossil fuels in those situations. And it would make surplus renewable energy big business.
"Providing sustainable energy to Europe through a submarine power cable offers an interesting business opportunity for the nation of Iceland and at the same time presents a partial solution to Europe where they are looking for an increased supply of renewable energy. Numerous countries in Europe have already expressed interest in the possibility to connect with Iceland's clean energy resources," says Hörður Arnarson, CEO of Landsvirkjun, Iceland's biggest geothermal producer.
To make the Iceland project work, the world's longest electrical cable would run along the sea floor, about 950 miles.
Landsvirkjun wants to export five billion kilowatt-hours of energy a year for an estimated $350-$448 million return.
UK's energy minister Charles Hendry is visiting Iceland this month to discuss how the ambitious plans could become a reality by the end of the next decade. "We are in active discussions with the Icelandic government and they are very keen," he told the Guardian.