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Renewable energy in Iceland

February 15, 2010

I’m fascinated by Iceland. Only by looking at it with the ‘satellite view’ in your google maps you can tell there’s something going on there..! There’s really a tremendous range of colors, which I found nowhere else in such a small area. A green, blue, white, brown, purple and bright turquoise landscape. There are fjord-like notches and a weird protrusion at the northwest.

Only 320.000 people are living there, making a population density of 3.1/km2. Three people per square kilometer! Knowing that most people live in Reykjavik and surrounding villages, they have huge desolate fields.

The country is relatively young and took shape from volcanic explosions. It is located right on the Mid-Atlantic ridge, and nowadays there are over 200 volcanos and around 600 hot springs. You see, feel and even smell the activity and energy in the ground, under the surface. In the rough landscape, the geysers and the slight smell of sulphur all over the country.

The heat in the ground is the base of geothermic power. The idea is that we use that heat for our own heating systems and energy needs. There are several options, which are clearly explained at this website.

In the Netherlands we use the warmth of the earth as well. But only for our heating system, because if want to make energy out of it, you need to have much higher temperatures then we here have at a depth of 5 to 10 meters. At that depth the temperature always has the local average. It’s almost everywhere the same, except for in Iceland, where the temperatures are much higher and they can make energy out of it.

Because of the heat that is in Iceland, thanks to al volcanos and geysers, so close to the surface, they are leader in the use of geothermic and hydro power. About 81% of all primary energy is renewable energy and they plan to make it a 100% by 2050. Watch what Icelands president Olafur Grimsson has to say about it!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 3, 2010 11:43 pm

    Great info!

  2. March 20, 2010 8:58 am

    Bookmarked for future reference :)

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