Iceland: Geothermal Energy Has Saved Massive Amount of CO2 Emissions

The national energy agency of Iceland, Orkustofnun, has evaluated CO2 savings by using geothermal instead of oil from 1914 through 2014. The accumulated savings are 140 million tons by utilizing geothermal instead of using oil for heating and production of electricity; last year the annual savings amounted to 7.5 million tons of CO2, 57% for electrical production and 43% for heating. Iceland’s choice to utilize geothermal offset the cost of emissions by 4.5 million tons CO2, which would have amounted to 12 million tons if the country had chosen to use oil.  An act approved by the State in 1953 is responsible for these savings, making Iceland an important case study as policy makers look for successful examples of alternatives to fossil fuel consumption in countries around the world. The decision to move away from coal heating in Iceland 62 years ago has today, has been able to reduce the emission of anthropogenic CO2  by more than one-third.

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