The Land of Fire and Ice!
Many countries, regions, and corporations have renewable energy targets of some type, and these targets vary from 25% by 2025 to 100% by 2050. So, is 100% renewable energy feasible for an entire nation? There is one country that has been producing nearly 100% of its electricity from renewable energy for some time.
What is Renewable Energy?
Renewable energy is simply energy that can be quickly replenished. Geothermal, solar (the earth receives a massive amount of solar energy), hydropower (waterpower), and wind are all forms of renewable energy–as they will not run out any time soon.
Iceland’s Success Story!
Photo Courtesy of Robert Bye
Iceland is the world’s 18th-largest Island and Europe’s second-largest island after Great Britain. The island is known for its mesmerizing landscape, with volcanoes, geysers, hot springs, waterfalls, lava fields, and massive glaciers. Hence the name “the land of fire and ice”! Iceland is not just a filming location for the Game of Throne series; it is a country where electricity production relies primarily on renewable energy. Iceland, a pioneer in geothermal energy, is home to more than 200 volcanoes and many hot springs and therefore has an abundant source of hot, easily accessible underground water. This water is converted to energy for power generation and direct use applications. Hydropower is harnessed through glacial rivers and waterfalls! According to the Iceland National Energy Authority, nearly all electrical energy is produced by renewable energy resources, namely hydropower (75.5%) or geothermal (24.5%).
Major Take Away
Iceland is celebrating its success, spreading its knowledge, and inspiring other countries. Together with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Iceland has been working to spark a similar energy revolution in Eastern Africa for the last decade. Iceland has done everything from financing exploration projects to training future geothermal engineers.
We can all play a role in inspiring others, starting with our home, school, company, municipality, town, city, county, and country. We all can be shining stars in the energy-efficiency and renewable energy sky, inspiring the rest of the world. Spread the knowledge, be 1% better every day and increase awareness to make a difference!
By Elie Touma, PE, PMP, CEM
Director of Client Solutions at Energy Sciences.