Landsvirkjun is an energy company owned by the Icelandic state and generates electricity by utilising natural resources such as water, geothermal energy and wind energy.
The water supply
Landsvirkjun operates 14 hydroelectric power stations across the country. Electricity generation involves the collection of meltwater during the spring period and glacial meltwater during the summer in Landsvirkjun’s reservoirs and then regulating the water flow from the Company’s main reservoirs to the power stations.
The energy system in Iceland is isolated and the optimum utilisation of the water supply is essential in fulfilling the Company’s energy contracts
Electricity generation at the power stations is reliant on the water cycle which is inherently subject to weather conditions at any given time.
Landsvirkjun seeks to reduce fluctuation and rapid changes in water levels below the power stations, in cooperation with experts and local residents, within the various operational areas of the Company. Flow regulation at all of Landsvirkjun’s power stations is subject to the framework outlined in working procedures pertaining to restrictions on water flow. Temporary restrictions are also placed on water flow levels in the case of salmon fishing or waterfall water flow levels.
More detailed information on the last water year can be found in Landsvirkjun’s Annual report as well as the estimated water budget for 2015 and real values for 2015. This shows the accuracy of the Company’s water budget estimate.
One of Landsvirkjun’s guiding principles is the responsible and sustainable utilisation of geothermal resources. Landsvirkjun operates two geothermal power stations in the Mývatn area, the Krafla and Bjarnarflag Stations and construction work began on a third geothermal station (Þeistareykir) in May, 2015. Landsvirkjun conducts extensive research on the utilisation of geothermal energy in these areas. This includes research on current utilisation and future utilisation in other areas.
Landsvirkjun is committed to ensuring safe and sustainable geothermal utilisation and to reducing any environmental impact
Geothermal fluid is extracted from the geothermal system at a depth of 2000 metres during the utilisation process. The fluid is composed of steam, water and the various gases present in the steam. Energy is generated by utilising the steam. Most of the water is then re-injected into the geothermal system or released into surface water. The gases are released into the atmosphere.
In 2015, approx. 5,099 thousand tonnes of steam were utilised to generate 497 GWh of electricity in the Mývatn area. The quantity of steam utilised for electricity generation has decreased between 2011 and 2015 which can mostly be attributed to less output of wells. The utilisation process produced 5,471 thousand tonnes of condensate water and separated water and the quantity of water in geothermal fluid has remained quite stable throughout the last five years. Approximately 4,300 thousand tonnes of separated water was re-injected back into the geothermal reservoir.
Landsvirkjun intends to become a carbon neutral company by 2030. Part of this objective can be achieved by systematically reducing fossil fuel consumption in its operations.
Landsvirkjun uses fossil fuels to operate vehicles, machinery and equipment. In 2015, Landsvirkjun’s total consumption of fossil fuels (diesel and petrol) was approx. 265 thousand litres or an increase of 4% when compared with the previous year. Diesel consumption accounted for 95% of consumption whereas petrol accounted for 5%. Over 13 thousand litres of biodiesel were used to operate vehicles in the Þjórsá area.
The benefits of using biodiesel include the fact that biodiesel releases 60% less GHG emissions than normally released by fossil fuels
Research on the condition of the resources utilised by Landsvirkjun for electricity generation is conducted and presented annually. Monitoring and understanding the state of resources shows the effects of utilisation on the environment and how best to manage the process so that it is carried out in the most sustainable manner possible. The studies are carried out in collaboration with universities, research institutes and independent experts.
|Utilisation of water resources||Number|
|Afkomu- og hraðamælingar á Langjökli jökulárið 2013-2014.||LV-2015-008|
|Norðausturland endurskoðun rennslislíkans.||LV-2015-058|
|Afkomu- og hraðamælingar á Langjökli : jökulárið 2012-2013.||LV-2015-076|
|Bjarnarflag - holur BJ-13, BJ-14 og BJ-15 : þunnsneiðagreining og úrvinnsla.||LV-2015-094|