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Landvirkjun’s projects are varied and call for open communication with its owners, clients and stakeholders across the country.

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Landsvirkjun held two open meetings on climate change this year where Company employees and experts gave presentations. The meetings were well attended and included many interesting lectures on climate change, the impact of global warming and climate change in Iceland and the action that must be taken.

Section #Futureimplicationsofclimatechange
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Future implications of climate change – a time for action

Landsvirkjun held an open meeting in May entitled “Future Implications of Climate Change – A time for Action". The meeting focused on global climate change and how business can contribute to counteracting its effects.

The speakers at the meeting agreed that the responsibility of companies and governments around the world is great, especially in light of the fact that global warming has never been greater. Among the speakers at the meeting was Halldor Þorgeirsson, Director for Strategy at the UN Climate Change Secretariat (UNFCCC).

His presentation was entitled "Responsibility, Solidarity and Cooperation in Solving the Problem" and he emphasised the positive developments on climate change including the reduction in the price of environmentally friendly energy sources, the initiative of cities, a change in the attitude of developing countries and increased awareness amongst long-term investors.

He also spoke of the Paris Climate Change Summit and the purpose of the agreement that would be signed there: The prevention of dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. The use of the best technology available and the application of prudent management measures could meet all the needs of the world's population before the effects become too extensive. Iceland could make a great contribution to changing the current situation, via the renewable energy that it has access to and by sharing the knowledge and experience acquired so far.

Section #Businessandclimatechange
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Business and climate change: What are our responsibilities?

Landsvirkjun held an open meeting in March on how companies can work against greenhouse gases and climate change. A number of experts from both inside and outside Landsvirkjun spoke at the meeting. The topics discussed included carbon sequestration via re-forestation in Iceland, wetland restoration and the reclamation of land. Various opportunities and the future vision of Icelandic companies were also discussed as well as how companies could become part of the solution.

Section #Environmentalmonitoring
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Environmental monitoring

Landsvirkjun owns and operates two geothermal power stations in the Mývatn area: The Krafla and Bjarnarflag Stations. Construction work began on a third geothermal station (Þeistareykir) in May, 2015. The Þeistareykir Geothermal Power Station is expected to have a capacity of 90 MW and will be built in two phases. This marks the first step in the development of sustainable geothermal utilisation in the northeast. Environmental monitoring has been conducted in the Bjarnarflag and Krafla area for years and includes monitoring on the ecosystem, water and air quality and noise. The effects of geothermal utilisation in the area are well documented and the necessary mitigation measures are implemented when needed. Landsvirkjun cooperates with the Northeast Iceland Nature Research Center, Iceland Geosurvey and a number of other organisations who visit sites on a regular basis to assess the progress of monitoring. The results are published annually in Landsvirkjun’s Environmental Report and expert reports (mostly in Icelandic) can be accessed at www.gegnir.is.

The regular monitoring of environmental aspects began at Þeistareykir before construction began. The baseline status of the environment in the region is therefore well known and the same environmental aspects will be monitored once the station becomes operational. Landsvirkjun will closely monitor the impact of geothermal energy on the environment and respond by implementing additional mitigation measures if any negative impacts are identified.

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Environmental Monitoring of Geothermal Areas

Section #BurfellWindFarm
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Búrfell Wind Farm

An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was completed this year for the Búrfell Wind Farm located in the Hafið area. The evaluation was published electronically as part of the Company’s new communication drive. Landsvirkjun has introduced this new mode of presentation to give stakeholders better access to its projects at the preparation stage in an easily accessible and visual format. The Company hopes that this will make it easier for the public to submit their questions and provide feedback on projects at an early stage which could lead to a better final design.

Wind energy is a new option in Iceland and the work carried out in connection with assessing the environmental impact of the project was therefore the first of its kind in the country.

The electronic presentation of the EIA made it possible to present the effects of the wind farm in a more visual manner than before by using videos, animation and interactive maps.

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The website became live in October, 2015. The response to this new presentation form was positive and the public showed great interest. The webpage was nominated for the Icelandic SVEF Award in the public website category. 

The feedback mainly focused on the extensive visual impacts on nearby tourist spots. Landsvirkjun therefore investigated the possibility of alternative options in defining the wind farm area in order to cater to these comments. The conclusion of this work has now been presented in the final EIA report and can be accessed here.