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Renewable Sources

In this section we provide information about all the renewable energy sources in Iceland. This includes an overview of all the main hydro- and geothermal power stations in Iceland and a short version of the Icelandic geothermal and hydropower history. Also we describe the hydro- and geothermal power projects that are currently being constructed or planned and give you an introduction on how the Icelandic geothermal resources are utilized in numerous different ways. In addition, we cover the potentials of Icelandic wind power and marine energy.

Hydropower is the main source of electricity production in Iceland. Today, hydroelectric plants account for approximately three-quarters of all electricity generated and consumed in Iceland. The remaining quarter comes from geothermal power stations.

The largest hydroelectric stations utilize the flow of Iceland’s glacial rivers, while numerous smaller hydropower plants are located in clear-water streams and rivers all around the country. All the major hydroelectric stations get their water from reservoirs, ensuring that these stations offer stable production year-round.

In total, all the hydropower stations in Iceland have a capacity of just under 1,900 MW and generate around 12,600 GWh annually. Due to new hydropower projects the capacity and generation will increase substantially in the next few years.

Iceland’s largest hydropower station is Fjótsdalsstöð (Fljotsdalur Station) in Northeast Iceland, with a capacity of 690 MW. It generates close to 4,700 GWh annually. This is almost three times more than the power plant that comes in second place, which is Búrfellsstöð (Burfell Station) in the highlands of South Iceland. The powerful glacial rivers of South Iceland are the main source of Iceland’s hydropower generation; numerous reservoirs and power stations in this area now generate more than 5,000 GWh annually.

Due to geophysical conditions, Icelandic geothermal power is a reliable base load and a low cost option for electricity generation. Geothermal plants now account for approximately one-quarter of all electricity generated and consumed in Iceland. As new geothermal power stations are being built and with many more in the pipelines, the share of geothermal electricity in Iceland’s overall energy production is expected to grow substantially.

Today, geothermal power plants in Iceland have a total capacity of 575 MW and generate approximately 4,500 GWh annually. In addition to renewable electricity production, Icelandic geothermal water is harnessed directly for central heating and used for value creation  in several industries. Even geothermal wastewater has practical uses such as running through pipes under the streets of Reykjavik to melt off ice and snow during winter.

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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%
* Numbers from 2010, published by the Icelandic National Energy Authority in December 2011.

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.

 

For the most recent information on energy capacity and production, please note our newest statistics update.

 

MORE INFORMATION:

Hydro- and geothermal power plants      ›››    All major hydro- and geothermal power plants in Iceland.

Other geothermal utilization                      ›››    How geothermal water is harnessed for heating, aquaculture etc.

Upcoming power projects                           ›››    Check out ongoing or planned power projects.

Wind energy potentials                                ›››    Icelandic wind power explained.

Marine energy in Iceland                             ›››    Description of Icelandic marine technology

Hydro and geothermal history                   ›››    Read about how Icelanders have utilized their energy resources.

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