Hydro and geothermal country
Electricity production in Iceland is 100% from renewable sources (hydro and geothermal).
And more than 85% of total primary energy supply in Iceland is derived from domestically produced renewable energy sources. Of that total, 20% comes from hydropower- and 65% from geothermal sources. This is the world’s highest share of renewable energy in any national total energy budget.
Hydropower is the main source of the electricity production in Iceland, accounting for approximately three-quarters of all electricity generated and consumed in the country. The total annual production now is around 17,000 GWh, where almost 12,600 GWh is generated by hydropower stations.
The remaining quarter is generated in geothermal power stations. Actually, geothermal heat is the main energy source in Iceland. This great natural resource accounts for about 90% of space heating, thanks to the country’s geophysical conditions and extensive district heating system. As mentioned above, geothermal energy makes up around 65% of all primary energy use in Iceland.
Geothermal- and hydropower utilization in Iceland has increased fast in the last few years. However, so far only half of the best options have been utilized. Construction is under way for both new geothermal and hydropower projects. In addition, Iceland has interesting potentials for harnessing the wind as a power source.
Icelandic transportation is still mainly powered by fossil fuels. The government and private businesses are working towards changing this. Green solutions in the transport sector include electric cars powered by electricity from renewable sources and green fuels like bio-methane and methanol.
KEY FACTS ABOUT ICELAND’S HYDROPOWER UTILIZATION: *
- Total hydro generating capacity: 1,879 MW
- Total annual hydroelectric production: 12,592 GWh
- Share of hydroelectricity in total generation: 73.81%
KEY FACTS ABOUT ICELAND’S GEOTHERMAL POWER:
- Total geothermal generating capacity: 575 MW *
- Total annual geothermal electricity production: 4,466 GWh *
- Share of geothermal in all electricity production: 26,18% *
- Geothermal heat production (electricity production not included): 22,020 GWh **
* Numbers from 2010, published by the Icelandic National Energy Authority in December 2011.
** Numbers from 2006, published by the Icelandic National Energy Authority in December 2007.
The charts above are from the website of Iceland’s National Energy Authority.