The Best of Iceland: Renewable Energy

Dr. Fridrik Larsen

Fridrik Larsen, CHARGE Founder and CEO

If you like statistics (and who doesn’t), you might know that almost 100% of Iceland’s electricity and 85% of the country’s total energy comes from renewable sources.

And now there is a new generation of Icelandic visionaries and engineers, taking this renewable energy expertise world-wide. They are proposing to modify and scale up some of our domestic technologies, in the fight against climate change. This year’s Ruggero Bertani European Geothermal Innovation Award to Carbfix, proves that these experts are on the right track.

Carbfix was formed in 2007 by, amongst others, Reykjavík Energy and the University of Iceland. It has since developed a carbon capture and storage (CCS) solution, which injects CO2 into deep rock formations, returning it to where it was extracted from, rather than freeing it into the atmosphere.

It is worth noting, however, that it was not always like this. Iceland was at one point a massive energy importer. At the start of the 1960s around three quarters, or almost 75%, of the nation’s energy, came from abroad. In the last 50 years, this has gone down to 15%. Can this example be replicated globally? Can other countries also achieve the double whammy of greater energy independence and more renewables?

My answer would be “come and have a look.” If you attended CHARGE in the past you know that the conference programme includes visits to notable local renewable energy projects, and opportunities to speak to Icelandic energy experts. We feel this is part of our knowledge-sharing mission: highlighting the “Best of Iceland”, while also inviting to CHARGE some of the world’s most forward-looking energy professionals.

When choosing a conference destination one of the key criteria, in addition to business networking, is “what can I learn there.” I believe both Iceland and CHARGE offer insights that will surprise you and delight you. In a word, insights that you will want to build on. And I also believe that as soon as you leave “the land of fire and ice”, you will be planning your return journey!