2013 Iceland Policy Tour
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2013 Iceland Policy Tour. 2012 Iceland Policy Tour: Organized by the Institute of the North –November, 2012. Karanhukar Powerhouse . Presentation Organization. Policy Tour Overview – Gwen Holdmann Details from experience – Jason Meyer Student policy paper Dominique Pride Josh Miller

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2013 Iceland Policy Tour

2012 Iceland Policy Tour: Organized by the Institute of the North –November, 2012

Karanhukar Powerhouse


Presentation Organization

  • Policy Tour Overview – Gwen Holdmann

  • Details from experience – Jason Meyer

  • Student policy paper

    • Dominique Pride

    • Josh Miller

    • Julie Emslie

    • Chris Pike (via podcast)

  • Lessons learned (all)



Why Iceland?

  • A chance for focused learning about a country with similar challenges and take them back to Alaska

  • Why are things done differently in other places?

  • Builds on Norway policy tour in 2012


Student Involvement Opportunity

  • 4 students selected – range of backgrounds

  • Sponsored by Institute of the North, ACEP and UAF

  • Developed 4 policy questions during and after visits, resulting in papers


Alaska’s Energy Challenges

  • High energy costs

  • Fragmented electric grid

  • Harsh climate

  • End of supply lines

  • Stranded resources

  • Dispersed population

  • Centralized economy

  • Diverse culturally


Alaska’s Energy Challenges

  • High energy costs

  • Fragmented electric grid

  • Diverse culturally

  • Harsh climate

  • End of supply lines

  • Stranded resources

  • Dispersed population

  • Centralized economy

Similarities with Iceland


Alaska’s Energy Challenges

  • High energy costs

  • Fragmented electric grid

  • Diverse culturally

  • Harsh climate

  • End of supply lines

  • Stranded resources

  • Dispersed population

  • Centralized economy

Dissimilarities with Iceland


Iceland in 1901

  • Per capita national output was the same at today’s Ghana ($2500).

  • Dependent on one major industry (fishing).

  • Imported coal for heating.

  • Island environmentally decimated (all trees cut down, significant erosion of soil and stress on native vegetation due to overgrazing).


Reykjavik in 1932
Reykjavik in 1932

All buildings heated using fossil fuels


Iceland Today

  • Estimated GDP per capita was $58,005 in 2008

  • Ranks 3rd in the world in United Nation’s Human Development index

  • Only 18% of its total energy needs imported.

  • It took Iceland just 100 years (3 generations) to become one of the world’s most affluent countries.


Reykjavik today

One of the cleanest cities in the world


Iceland policy tour an overview
Iceland Policy Tour - An Overview

  • Policy Meetings

    • Parliament

    • President

    • Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    • Ministry of Industries and Innovation

    • Renewable Energy Industry Visits to

    • LandsvikjunFljótsdalur power station

    • Reykjavik Geothermal

    • Municipality of Arborg/Selfoss District Heating

    • Hellisheidi Geothermal Plant

    • Mannvit Engineering

    • Verkis Consulting

  • Economic Development: Energy Intensive Industries

    • Alcoa Fjardaál aluminum smelter

    • Verne Global data center

    • FludaSveppir mushroom plant

  • Research/Education

    • University of Iceland

    • Gekon Consulting (cluster management)




Iceland energy themes
Iceland Energy Themes

  • Identifying comparative advantages

  • Strategic, long-term planning

  • Investment

    • People

    • Institutions

    • Infrastructure


Iceland energy mix
Iceland Energy Mix

  • 80% of primary energy supply comes from renewable resources (hydro, geothermal)

  • 99.9% of electricity production

  • 99% of space heating

  • Remaining 20% comes from imported fossil fuels, used mainly in transportation and fisheries

  • Source Iceland National Energy Authority


    Geothermal energy in iceland
    Geothermal Energy in Iceland

    Space Heating

    Geothermal Utilization

    Source Iceland National Energy Authority


    Hellisheidi Geothermal Plant

    2nd largest geothermal plant

    303 MW electricity

    133 MW hot water


    Electricity profile 2010
    Electricity Profile (2010)

    Installed Capacity

    Electricity Production

    Electricity Consumption

    Source Iceland National Energy Authority


    Kárahnjúkar Hydropower Plant

    4,6000 GWh annually

    690 MW installed capacity


    FjardaálAluminum Smelter

    940 tons of aluminum a day

    ~1% of world aluminum production


    Iceland exports 2011
    Iceland Exports (2011)

    Positive Trade Balance, 14%



    Iceland energy planning
    Iceland Energy Planning

    • Comprehensive Energy Strategy for Iceland

      • Having renewable energy sources replace imported energy

      • Support diversified industry

      • Precautionary and protective approach in energy production

    • Master Plan for Utilization of Renewable Energy Resources

      • 80 different possibilities for hydropower and geothermal power plants have been listed and analyzed

        • Sustainability issues, preservation of natural environments and historic sites, tourism and alternative land use, regional development and economy

      • Sites put in three categories:

        • Green – Proceed with utilization process (apply for licenses etc.) – 8.5 TWh

        • Yellow – Site subject to further research – 12.5 TWh

        • Red – Site shall be preserved and not utilized for energy purposes – 11.3 TWh


    Uaf energy policy research
    UAF Energy Policy Research

    • 4 graduate students conducting targeted policy analysis papers for legislators

    • Overcoming barriers to transformation

      • District heating in Reykjavik

      • Geothermal development and knowledge economy

      • Kárahnjúkar project

      • Food security




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