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7 Renewable Energy Strategies We Can Learn From Iceland

  • Joan Michelson
| June 28, 2022

“My favorite part of Iceland's renewable energy story is that it started small. It started with innovation, entrepreneurship,” Halla Hrund Logadottir, the Director-General of Iceland’s National Energy Authority (INEA), said in an extensive interview for my Electric Ladies Podcast during my whirlwind tour of their clean energy technologies recently. “In terms of how has this developed, originally organically and then supported by the government and by policies and funding, which is essential for any development.”

Like any entrepreneurial venture, it started with one inspired person who bucked convention to find another way. “In the case of geothermal, there was a farmer who found a way in the early 1900s to connect his farm to a neighboring hot spring. And then, his municipality, (and) a few other farmers did the same. And then from there, it took off to politics….and became a part of government strategy to enhance Iceland's energy security.”

Iceland began switching to renewable energy in the 1960’s, Logadottir said, and today runs on 85% renewable energy. Hydropower provides 72% of its electricity and geothermal energy provides 25%, with wind power projects in development. It was the first country to propose to run on 100% renewable energy, in 1998.

A small country, about the size of Kentucky, with a population of about 370,000 people, and a young one, having only gained independence in 1944, Iceland can serve the rest of the world by being the proverbial early stage innovation hub. That’s how all innovation starts: with someone taking the first steps on a small scale. Apple started with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak selling a few clunky computers, for example, before anyone really knew what computers could do.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Michelson, Joan.“7 Renewable Energy Strategies We Can Learn From Iceland.” Forbes, June 28, 2022.

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