Renewable energy is an energy source, which is naturally and continually replenished and not depleted by utilisation. Energy generated by utilising natural resources such as hydropower, wind energy and geothermal energy are categorised as renewable.
Energy sources reliant on oil, coal and gas are considered non-renewable as they are available in limited quantities.
Renewable energy and sustainability
Landsvirkjun only generates energy using renewable energy sources.
Sustainability is a central part of Landsvirkjun’s role, which is to maximise the potential yield and value of the natural resources it has been entrusted with in a sustainable, responsible and efficient manner
Sustainability and renewability are two different things
Sustainable energy production describes how an energy resource is utilised and renewability describes the nature of the resource. A renewable resource can therefore be utilised in a sustainable or unsustainable manner.
We have a clear CSR Policy, which supports the sustainable utilisation of natural resources. We also use the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol (HSAP) to further support the sustainable utilisation already practiced by the Company.
Water year 2017/2018
The water year 2017/2018 started off well in October of this year, ensuring a satisfactory reservoir status at the end of the month. Inflow was below average at the beginning of the winter, in all water catchment areas, but increased at the beginning of the New Year and remained stable and at an average level. Inflow was below the mean value for water flow in March and April.
The spring arrived in mid-April, bringing favourable weather conditions in May and June and inflow was quite satisfactory. Glacial ablation and inflow was high in July. Reservoirs filled at the beginning of August, which was a poor water month and inflow was subsequently below average in September. The water year was therefore considered average overall.
The water levels at Landsvirkjun’s reservoirs (by month) can be seen here. Click on the different months above to access information on the power station and water levels.
The water year begins on the 1st of October every year. The reservoirs are generally at their highest level during this period due to spring weather, glacial ablation and autumn rains.
Geothermal resources 2018
One of Landsvirkjun’s guiding principles is the responsible and sustainable utilisation of geothermal resources. Landsvirkjun operates three geothermal stations at Krafla, Bjarnarflag and Þeistareykir. Extensive geothermal research is carried out in the area both in connection with current operations and in connection with potential future utilisation in other areas.
Geothermal fluid is composed of steam, water and the various gases present in the steam, and is extracted from the geothermal system at a depth of 2,000 metres during the utilisation process. Energy is generated by utilising the steam. Most of the water is then re-injected into the geothermal system (deep re-injection) or released into surface water. The gases are released into the atmosphere.
In 2017, approx. 7,755 thousand tonnes of steam were utilised to generate 1.1132 GWh of electricity in the Mývatn area (Krafla, Bjarnarflag and Þeistareykir). Steam production and electricity generation increased in 2018, which can be attributed to operations at Þeistareykir (turbine 2 came online this year).
The utilisation process produced 16,575 thousand tonnes of condensate water and separated water. Approximately 12,245 thousand tonnes of separated water was re-injected back into the geothermal reservoir.