Over 170 nations have committed to improving energy utilisation and further developing renewable energy solutions to achieve the objectives of the Paris agreement on climate change.
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.
We have generated renewable energy since the beginning
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.
Sustainable utilisation of energy resources
Landsvirkjun only generates energy using renewable energy sources and places an emphasis on sustainability. Sustainable development refers to long-term development, which focuses on increasing economic value, strengthening society and protecting the natural environment.
Landsvirkjun has therefore used the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol (HSAP) to further support the sustainable utilisation already practiced by the Company.
An assessment was carried out in 2017 at the Fljótsdalur Hydropower Station using the globally recognised Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol (HSAP). Seventeen categories were extensively analysed during the detailed assessment of the operational stage of the Fljótsdalur Hydropower Station and should give an accurate picture of how successfully operations comply with international standards on sustainable utilisation. The results showed that operations at the Fljótsdalur Hydropower Station are largely considered to be of highest standard with regard to the sustainable utilisation of hydroelectric power. Many of the other working practices at the station were considered to be exemplary.
The results also showed that the station fulfilled the requirements set out for ‘proven best practice’ (grade 5 out of 5 possible grades) in 11 categories of the 17 categories assessed.
An assessment carried out at the Fljótsdalur Hydropower Station using the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol
The success of the HSAP subsequently led to the decision to develop a corresponding Geothermal Sustainability Assessment Protocol (GSAP).
A consultative group led by the National Energy Authority with the participation of Landsvirkjun, Orkuveita Reykjavíkur, HS-Energy and the Environment Agency has been involved in developing the protocol. An assessment was conducted on the preparation stage of the Þeistareykir Geothermal Power Station at the beginning of 2017 using the draft version of the protocol.