Iceland’s Geothermal Focus
Iceland is a country in the middle geographically between North America and mainland Europe, but there is nothing in the middle about the country’s leadership in renewable energy.
Rich KellerGenetically modified barley grows from seedling to maturity in Orf Genetics’ greenhouses. Its political leadership and business investors see the United States using biomass for generating electric energy or producing biofuels as completely contrary to the approach that should be emphasized. They contend using “non-biological sources of renewable power,” such as wind, solar, geothermal, hydro, ocean movement and industrial byproducts, should be the focus going forward.
Justification for a non-biological energy focus comes from a strong belief that the world’s climate is changing and that land needs to be used for producing food rather than energy. And Iceland-based engineers and researchers have proven that geothermal is a form of energy that can be utilized to displace using biomass and fossil fuels energy.
“I see it as my fundamental moral duty to demonstrate to other countries that we can, in fact, execute a fundamental change and this is not just a pipe dream or empty geology…It is an extraordinarily good business,” said Iceland President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, during a 1 ½ hour meeting at his official residence talking with business-to-business media from Europe and the U.S.
Iceland is a country courting both European and U.S. business investment. Although Iceland sides with European Union nations on drastically changing the focus away from using plants for energy, Iceland does not, without scientific reason, reject agricultural advances such as genetically modified crop production, which makes it different than most European Union nations.
ENERGY WITHOUT VOLCANOES
Iceland is famous for volcanic activity, which gives the country an advantage over other countries for geothermal energy, but this energy source should not be ignored by any country of the world, according to President Grimsson. Iceland’s volcanic activity only means that geothermal energy is easy to tap near the surface of the island for use to heat nearly every home and business on the island. Geothermal energy also is used to produce low-cost electricity.
President Grimsson referred to a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) study analysis for total capacity for geothermal energy production. “It (geothermal) could provide twice the energy consumption of the United States, that was the conclusion of MIT about the geothermal potential of the U.S.,” he said.