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Iceland featured in recent UN Chronicle, the magazine of the United Nations

Geothermal District Heating hot water tanks at Perlan, Iceland
Alexander Richter 14 Jan 2016

A guest article in the UN Chronicle describes how Iceland was able to transition its energy market from coal and oil to renewable energy, with an emphasis on geothermal and what other nations can learn from the experience of Iceland.

In a guest article in the UN Chronicle, the magazine of the United Nations, Director of the Iceland School of Energy, Reykjavík University, Halla Hrund Logadóttir provides an overview of “Iceland’s Sustainable Energy Story”.

The article describes Iceland’s transition from coal and oil to renewable energy and gives some insight into the development in Iceland.

A particularly interesting part are some of the lessons learned in the transition to and implementation of renewable energy.

  • Establish cohesion and collaboration between municipalities, government and the public during early stages of transition. In Iceland, this dialogue fostered trust and a solution-based mindset in overcoming the aforementioned barriers.
  • Local empowerment and public engagement is key for success. The way in which municipalities in Iceland engaged and learned from innovative entrepreneurs helped both the geothermal and hydro concept to take off and prove its value.
  • A favourable legal and regulatory framework, along with government incentives and support, speeds developments. The Icelandic drilling mitigation fund accelerated the transition by decreasing municipalities’ risks in undertaking geothermal projects.
  • Long-term planning for renewable energy implementation, as with any industrial development, is important. Iceland’s later-stage power developments raised questions on how much of its nature should be developed for energy projects. A stakeholder inclusive master plan process around future developments was therefore undertaken.
  • Showcasing every step of success is influential. The public participates in a transition that they understand and want. In Iceland, the municipalities that had gained steady access to geothermal hot water became powerful role models for others to do the same. Politicians also used “before and after” photos of the capital area to attract voter’s attention to the cleaner air that was the result of utilizing geothermal resources instead of fossil fuels.

For the full article see link below.

Source: UN Chronicle