Grímsey, Iceland’s northernmost populated island, will soon be powered almost entirely by wind and solar energy, Vísir reports. Construction is expected to begin this summer.
While most of Iceland receives heat and electricity due to geothermal and hydropower, Grímsey’s isolation from the mainland—some 40 kilometres away from the nearest shore—means that they have had to rely on oil for their needs. It is estimated that the island’s 61 inhabitants burn through some 400,000 litres of oil each year, resulting in about 1,000 tonnes of CO2 emitted annually.
To remedy this, the Town of Akureyri, the municipality which includes Grímsey, and the Icelandic government have aimed to completely re-do Grímsey’s method of power generation.
This will include the construction of two windmills capable of generating 30,000 kilowatt hours each year, and to set up a solar power centre that could generate up to 10,000 kilowatt hours each year. From this, the possibility of providing residents with solar cells for their homes, cost free, will be explored.
If the first steps go well, it is expected that oil consumption on the island will decrease by 20,000 litres, reducing CO2 emissions by 50 tonnes, every year.
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