Iceland is a small country which recently came into “prominence” when one of its volcanoes caused a huge volcanic ash cloud to ground commercial airline flights for nearly a month last spring. But all this potential energy is also resulting in Iceland being almost completely energy independent, due to the use of geothermal energy, as well as other forms of renewable energy to create electricity and heat homes and businesses in this island nation.
At this year’s 2011 Future Energy Summit, now underway in the UAE capital of Abu Dhabi, Iceland’s President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson is making an enthusiastic push towards the use of renewable energy for the countries whose delegates are now attending the 4 day conference in which past Green prophet articles have featured sustainable environmental projects such as Masdar City, still under construction.
President Grimsson, when interviewed Tuesday on CNN’s “Prism” features program, spoke very highly on the use of renewable energy, particularly solar, wind, and geothermal energy as the way of the future over fossil fuels.
“Countries which have ample wind and solar energy resources should put more efforts into using these energy resources for both homes and business,” he was quoted as saying.
Grimsson went on to say that his country is using all three forms of renewable energy, especially wind and geothermal. “We make good use of geothermal energy, which is very plentiful in my country. Geo-thermal is used to provide power and heating, and is used also in agriculture and in the tourism industry (for heating hotels, indoor swimming pools, etc).”
Iceland Geothermal Plant
This year’s summit is dealing with a number of environmental issues, including renewable energy innovations, green cities, alternative energy sources such as bio-fuels and hydrogen, energy storage and “smart grids”.
Iceland, like Indonesia, has an abundance of geo-thermal energy, which is enabling it to find solutions for much of its energy needs.
Geo-thermal energy, being developed by companies such as Ormat Industries, involves making use of the tremendous energy potential of both volcanoes and hot springs, both of which are plentiful in Iceland.
In an earlier Green Prophet article, the geo-thermal energy potential of Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, also dealt with a project involving Ormat Industries to “tap into” Indonesia’s potential geo-thermal energy potential.
Climate change, often attributed to global warming, and also to other natural phenomena such as volcanic eruptions is another important topic of this years summit, making the use of renewable energy resources even more important. As an outspoken advocate of renewable energy projects, President Grimmson has also spoken at previous WFES conferences.
Other high-level speakers at the first day of the conference were Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari, Bangladeshi Premier Sheikh Hasina Wajid, Prince Guillaume, Crown Prince of Luxembourg, Nikoloz Gilauri Prime Minister of Georgia, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, Spain’s Basque President Patxi Lopez, in addition to a host of representatives and officials of relevant regional and international organisations and about 40 ministers of energy and environment from various countries.
Read more on the World Future Energy Summit and on geothermal energy:
WFES: Wean UAE and Other Countries Off Fossil Fuel Reliance
Ormat Industries Taps Into Indonesia’s Geo-Thermal Energy
Worries About Geothermal Energy Exploration and Volcanic Activity in Indonesia Unfounded