Akureyri: at the forefront of environmental practices in Iceland

Discover the main renewable resources that are available in our SMARCTIC partner region.

Akureyri. Image by Mariamichelle, Pixabay.

After discovering the regional situation in Västernorrland, Lapland and Derry & Strabane, let’s travel to another project partner region in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean.

SMARCTIC addresses the northern part of Iceland to focus on smart air quality and energy issues relating to school activities in the Eyjafjordur region, with special focus on Akureyri. The population of this city is 19,000 and it is the largest urban area outside the capital region.

All the houses (apart from 40 buildings on the Grimsey island, at North from Iceland, but which belongs to the municipality) are heated with geothermal energy. Other main sources of energy for light, heat and other essential public and domestic services are electric power, mostly from hydropower plants, but the grid is also connected to geothermal power stations.

Regarding renewable resources that are locally and regionally available, SMARCTIC partner Ragnar Asmundsson explains that hydropower is utilized along with both medium- and high temperature geothermal energy. Ca. 6 MW of hydropower is generated close or within Akureyri, while additional 7 MW are not far-off. “60 MW is generated onto the public grid some 60km east from Akureyri from high- temperature geothermal steam. Additional 90 MW is installed in that area, reserved for industry”.

As the rest of the SMARCTIC project partners, Iceland has policies and strategies for improved energy efficiency, to reduce CO2 emissions and increase the use of renewable energy. According to Ragnar, the town of Akureyri is at the forefront of environmental practices in Iceland. “Heating energy and electricity are almost 100% renewable. Compost is generated from all biological waste and methane is collected from a former dump site and used as transportation fuel”. Our partner adds that biofuel is produced from kitchen waste oil too.

In conclusion, we can affirm that the town of Akureyri wants to be ‘as green’ as possible and SMARCTIC will help them to achieve it! SMARCTIC takes a ‘whole-of-community’ approach to reducing total energy usage within particular geographic areas through an ‘Smart Energy Management Model’ (SEMM). Are you curious? Stay tuned!