Friday, March 7, 2014

Iceland's Energy Resources

One of my favorite things about Iceland is the fact that it is such a green country. Iceland is making a huge conscious effort to become as eco-friendly as possible with plans to become a one-hundred percent fossil-free nation in the near future. With Iceland being situated on top of a volcano, much of the country's energy comes from geothermal resources; however, the most energy is supplied through hydro power. As of 2010, 26.2% of Iceland's energy was produced by the five major geothermal power plants located in the country. There are at least twenty-five active volcanoes in Iceland as well as numerous geysers and hot springs. Because of this, many buildings, swimming pools, and even sidewalks are heated in Iceland by harnessing this energy. The sidewalks are heated through geothermal energy in order to melt the snow. 73.8% of Iceland's energy was hydro power with only .1% coming from fossil fuels! Hydro power is the process of harnessing energy from the gravitational force of flowing or falling water. This method is the most widely used process for creating renewable energy across the world, renewable meaning the source is not one which will be depleted in a time span. The source is one of which is naturally replenished. In 2010, hydroelectricity was responsible for sixteen percent of the world's electricity. This number was projected to increase by 3.1% every year for the next twenty-five years. Of course every source of gathering energy comes at a price. By building plants to harness hydro energy, we cause a displacement of eco systems by temporarily disturbing the flow of natural waters. Geothermal energy is found to pose a risk through the release of hydrogen sulfide as well as the disposal of some geothermal liquids which may contain toxic materials.

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