Upcoming Power Projects
So far only a portion of Iceland’s renewable hydro- and geothermal energy resources have been harnessed (approx. 20–25% of the total and probably around 40-50% when environmental concerns have been taken into account). In addition, Iceland may offer interesting possibilities for large-scale wind power generation.
Further development of new major energy projects in Iceland is under way. Plans for the construction of new power stations take into account not only energy issues, but also the impact on nature, regional development, tourism and outdoor activities, employment, and on society at large. A long-term Master Plan for Hydro and Geothermal Energy Resources was prepared prepared by the Icelandic government and agreed by the parliament (Alþing) in January 2013. The Master Plan ranks energy projects and divides them into three categories: appropriate for development, under consideration, and protected, based upon the environmental legislation. With regard to the Master Plan and increased demand for the competitive green electricity Iceland is able to produce, it is likely we will see numerous new power stations being constructed in the forthcoming years, with an installed power capacity of some hundreds of MW.
In addition, the national power company Landsvirkjun has started research on harnessing the wind power in Iceland. Iceland is not only the largest electricity producer in the world per capita, but also has excellent potential for becoming a substantially large wind power generator. This may be especially productive in conjunction with a submarine electric cable connecting Iceland and Europe.