Once again, welcome back to my blog!
Coming into week 2, I have begun to research hydropower, being the most common source of energy for Iceland. To start, I wanted to know how hydropower works specifically. With that, I found that to produce energy, water will flow through a pipe into a turbine where it will push against the blades, spinning the turbine, and producing energy received through the generator. One of the reasons hydropower is such an exceptional source of sustainable energy is because it relies on the everlasting system of the water cycle in order to produce electricity, in which the constituent (water) is not lessened in the process. Additionally it can simultaneously act as a device to control flooding, and support irrigation systems. I also wanted to know if hydropower had many cons, and fortunately, there were only a few genuine drawbacks. The two most prominent being that it can adversely affect the environment surrounding it –by, for example, obstructing fish migration– and the possibility of drought will pose an issue. Due to the fact that water goes through cycles of both abundance and drought, the productivity of hydroelectricity may lessen considerably with lower than normal water levels.
Due to Icelands abundance of water, they are able to rely on hydroelectricity for 70% of all energy used. With the first hydroelectric plant built in 1904 in Hafnarfiöräur, Iceland has now expanded greatly with the majority of their hydropower sourced from the meltwater rivers formed from glacial outlets. With six turbines and a total of 70 km of tunnels, the Fljótsdalur Area station is the largest hydropower station in Iceland (Landsvirkjun).
Next week I will begin researching the process of harnessing geothermal energy, the pros and cons, the difficulty of doing this compared to coal powered energy and other ways Iceland is fighting climate change.
Landsvirkjun. (n.d.). Hydropower – the National Power Company of Iceland. Landsvirkjun. Retrieved April 4, 2023, from https://www.landsvirkjun.com/hydropower.
Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. (n.d.). Benefits of hydropower. Energy.gov. Retrieved April 5, 2023, from https://www.energy.gov/eere/water/benefits-hydropower.
Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. (n.d.). How hydropower works. Energy.gov. Retrieved April 5, 2023, from https://www.energy.gov/eere/water/how-hydropower-works