A path to renewable energy in Grímsey, Iceland

Grímsey is trying to reduce its carbon footprint by turning to the more sustainable use of energy. In order to reduce the use of fossil fuel for electricity production and house heating in Grímsey, Government, municipalities, industry, and homes started collaboration. The project is being assessed by the Icelandic Energy Center (Orkusetur). It has the objective to advocate increased energy efficiency, the potential for energy savings and raise public awareness on the subject.

Grímsey is an island on the Arctic Circle with a population of 100 people. Since the community is small but 100% dependent on electricity generated from diesel generators, every small step in reducing power consumption is important. This electricity is used for homes and industries and to heat water. Annually they use between 250-300 thousand liters of diesel. Therefore, ways to reduce this consumption of fuel are constantly being considered.

Biodiesel, produced at the nearby Akureyri, has been used and good results have been achieved leading to less use of fossil fuels. So, now an assessment of building a small windfarm along with putting up solar cells is being made. Such a small community could produce enough electricity with a small wind farm, backed up by diesel generators. So, steps to add solar and wind power are also being considered.

Keywords: wind park, solar cells, sustainability, reducing fossil fuel, Grímsey, Iceland