Climate Issues

In 2022, media headlines seemed dominated by climate disaster. In Iceland, extremes in weather continued to surprise; stormy weather in February, which affected energy production and energy distribution so the employees of ON Power and Veitur Utilities had to work fast to maintain infrastructure services. November was among the warmest since the beginning of measurements while December was unusually cold, challenging the heating utility services. Never, have as many households been served by Veitur Utilities’s district heating in as extreme cold.

In late 2022, it became clear that the temporary reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, had unfortunately not reduced their concentration in the atmosphere. However, 2022 also saw turning points in terms of climate action. In 2022, Reykjavik Energy (OR) and its subsidiaries, for example, mapped and identified up to 50 climate risks and vulnerabilities in the operation, and in 2023 a climate risk action plan will be developed by the Reykjavik Energy Group, regarding the risks that that are likely to have an effect on the community's basic infrastructure, please see here.

Reykjavik Energy Group's climate issue priorities:

  • Achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, thereof a zero footprint for Hellisheiði geothermal power plant by 2025, and Nesjavellir geothermal power plant by 2030.
  • Increase capture and sequestration of carbon dioxide, domestically and globally.
  • Motivate energy exchange in the transport sector.
  • Develop measures and strengthen the resilience of utility systems and power plants. to adapt to climate change.

In essence, adaptation can be understood as the process of adjusting to the current and future effects of climate change. Mitigation means reducing the impacts of climate change by preventing or reducing the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Adaptation to changing conditions happens when lightning arresters are installed in the power and utility system due to the increased frequency of lightnings. A mitigation measure is taken when carbon emissions are captured at ON Power's geothermal power plants and the Carbfix technology is used to mineralize them and prevent them from entering the atmosphere.

The chapters on climate issues address greenhouse gas emissions from operations, as well as projects implemented to ensure that the target of carbon neutrality is met by 2030.