Climate change is one of the major challenges facing the world. Global business has a responsibility to do everything it can to prevent climate change.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number 13 on Climate Change (SDG-13) focuses on global action against climate change.
In October 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPCC) issued a special report on the impact of climate change, highlighting a number of climate change impacts that could be avoided by limiting the temperature rise.
The effects of heat waves, droughts, floods and biodiversity impacts would be greatly decreased if global warming is limited to 1.5 °C. Global net human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) would need to fall by about 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching ‘net zero’ around 2050 to achieve the 1.5 °C target.
The development of renewable electricity sources is a fundamental part of this plan. The report states that almost 85% of the world’s electricity must be produced from renewable sources by 2050.
Katowice Climate Change Conference (COP 24)
Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, invited Landsvirkjun‘s Deputy CEO, Ragna Árnadóttir, to take part in the Katowice Climate Change Conference, the 24th United Nations Climate Change Conference, held in Poland in December 2018.
Ragna gave a presentation on Iceland’s electricity history and the country‘s initiative of utilising geothermal energy for domestic heating. Other panel members included Poland‘s Minister for the Environment, Henryk Kowalczyk, Prime Minister of Fiji, Frank Bainimarama and Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, coordinator of the Association of Indigenous Women and People of Chad. Ragna participated in both the panel discussion and in an event organised by IRENA (the International Renewable Energy Agency).
Implementation of the Paris Summit Agreement
The United Nations Climate Change Conference is one of the UN‘s largest annual conferences. An estimated 10-20,000 people attended the conference, including the many member states and chosen representatives from various companies and NGO‘s. The main focus of the conference was the implementation of the Paris Summit Agreement, which was approved in 2015.
Member states agreed on a deadline to complete the implementation guidelines in 2018 at COP24. The Katowice Climate Package, agreed at COP24, provides the details needed to make the Paris Agreement operational in preparation for its full implementation at the national level. The conference also encouraged world leaders to increase efforts to decrease emissions before the next conference in 2020.
Landsvirkjun takes action
Landsvirkjun signed the Declaration "Caring for Climate" after the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference and committed to, among other things, becoming a carbon-neutral company no later than 2030.
Landsvirkjun submitted its third report on its carbon emissions and climate action measures to the international association, CDP in 2018. The process of collecting and submitting the data has given Landsvirkjun the knowledge required to implement necessary improvements and facilitates a better comparison with other international power companies.
Landsvirkjun mainly focuses its operations on generating energy from renewable energy sources but also contributes to various projects on climate action in Iceland and abroad.
Exporting expertise - Landsvirkjun Power
Landsvirkjun Power is a subsidiary of Landsvirkjun, established 10 years ago to manage Landsvirkjun's projects abroad.
Landsvirkjun Power provides international consultancy services and works in co-operation with other organisations on the development of hydropower and geothermal power station projects. We offer advice on all aspects of the value chain of these projects - from initial design and feasibility studies to tenders, construction and, finally, operations.
Recent projects include development and feasibility studies on hydropower stations in Georgia, the preparation and execution of the tendering process in connection with steam extraction for a hydropower station in Ethiopia, assistance with the preparation and review of tender documents for a hydropower station in Australia, and operations and maintenance support for hydropower stations in Greenland, including educational projects.
The Dariali Hydropower Station in Georgia was commissioned in 2018. Landsvirkjun Power and the Icelandic engineering consultancy Verkís were involved in the construction stage of the project. Source: http://darialienergy.ge.
Report on the macroeconomic effects of electrifying Iceland’s car fleet.
The Icelandic federation of energy and utility companies in Iceland, Samorka commissioned a report in 2018 on the macroeconomic effects of electric cars in Iceland, in cooperation with the Ministry of Employment and Innovation, Orkusetrið, Íslensk Nýorka and Græna Orkan. The University of Iceland and the Reykjavik University supervised the report, which was published at the end of October.
The report concluded that electric cars are an economically viable option for Iceland in the long term and that they are an important factor in achieving the goals set out at the Paris Summit with regard to the reduction of GHG emissions by 2030. Electrifying the car fleet will also have other, indirect, positive effects on the national economy, such as reduced air pollution and increased energy security.
Report on the macroeconomic effects of electrifying Iceland’s car fleet (In Icelandic only)
A twelve-month study on the ‘charging behaviour’ of electric car owners began in September 2018. Landsvirkjun and various member companies of Samorka are participants of the study. Researchers were provided with facilities at the Landsvirkjun´s offices to support the project. Two hundred owners of electrical and hybrid vehicles were invited to participate in the study, which explores how they charge their cars. The results of the study will provide important information for continued energy exchange action in Iceland.
More information can be accessed on Samorka‘s website
Energy transition in transport
We introduced our first hydrogen vehicle this year as a part of our energy transition policy. Hydrogen vehicles cover more distance than traditional electric vehicles (500-600 km) and they do not produce any emissions. We intend to introduce more of these vehicles in the next few years.
Preparations for the development of an international geothermal and volcanic research centre in the Krafla area or "Krafla Magma Testbed" (KMT) have been underway for the past two years.
The leader of the project is GEORG – the Icelandic geothermal research cluster. The KMPT project GEORG collaborates with KPMG, GeoEnergy Consulting and Intellecon LLC. So far, 38 research institutes and companies from 11 countries have signed up to the project.
The project's history can be traced back to 2009 when Landsvirkjun and the Icelandic deep drilling project (IDDP), unexpectedly drilled into the magma layer in the Krafla geothermal field. One of KMT’s first projects will entail drilling back into the magma in Krafla, taking core samples and conducting various parallel studies. This should enable the project to gather unique data on the behaviour of the earth's crust and the subsequent effect on volcanic activity and geothermal energy.
Letter of intent signed in October 2018
Representatives from 13 Icelandic institutions, companies and universities signed a letter of intent to formally launch the KMT project In October 2018. Over 70 international scientists met at an international conference in Reykjavík in mid-November to discuss the importance of the KMT project. There was clear interest in the project and participants highlighted the importance of gaining the necessary institutional and financial support for the KMT project.
The KMT project team plans to approach research funding agencies and foundations to raise the initial $30m required to deliver the research infrastructure.
EIMUR is a public-private partnership/cluster in the field of energy, increased utilisation of geothermal resources and innovation in Northeast Iceland.
EIMUR is a public-private partnership/cluster in the field of energy, increased utilisation of geothermal resources and innovation in Northeast Iceland. The cluster has four founding members; Landsvirkjun, Norðurorka, Orkuveita Húsavíkur and Eyþing and the Association of municipalities in Northeast Iceland. The Iceland Geothermal Cluster and the Icelandic Tourism Cluster are also members of the project, as well as various regional employment development agencies. Eimur was established in 2017 and will continue its work for a period of three years.
The focus in 2018 was the development of a tourism package called the "Green Tour", which involves working with the travel and energy sector to develop package tours based on the sustainable use of energy resources in the Northeast. A focus group completed a test drive of the Green Tour in October and collected data and experience to further develop the project.
Eimur launched an Employment and Innovation accelerator this year, supported by the investment company Tækifæri, Innovation Centre Iceland, business development organisations in the North East, the University of Akureyri and the business sector. The accelerator embeds an entrepreneurial competition in Northeast Iceland, which awarded three projects this year. The Innovation award was awarded to an idea which involves the breeding of insects for feed production.
The special prize, Eimurinn, was awarded for the best sustainability concept in connection with increased resource utilisation, and / or environmental and community interaction. The exhibition "Living on a Volcano", where geothermal energy, volcanoes and the interaction between man and nature are central themes, received the award this year. Special incentive awards were awarded for the processing of lanolin from Icelandic wool, which can then be used in high quality products.
In March 2018, Landsvirkjun became the first Icelandic company to issue green bonds. The issuer of green bonds receives loans from investors and a third party certifies that the proceeds of the bond will be allocated to projects that have a positive environmental impact, such as renewable and sustainable energy production.
The green bonds were issued in the US private placement market and were very well received. Bids were received for over USD 700 million, which is equivalent to seven times the demand tothe original target of USD 100 million.