Environmental and Climate Innovations

Promotes UN‘s
Sustainable Development Goals
Life on land Partnerships for the goals

Reykjavik Energy Group has been at the forefront of innovation and development on climate and environmental issues for the past decade. Among successful projects are:

  • Reducing carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide emissions at the Hellisheidi Geothermal Power Plant by sequestrating these geothermal gases into basaltic rock. A similar project, on a pilot stage, will begin at the Nesjavallir Geothermal Power Plant in 2023
  • Collaboration with the Swiss company Climeworks regarding direct air capture and sequestration of carbon dioxide at Hellisheidi.
  • Preparing the energy change in transportation by installing charging stations for electric vehicles (EV).

Many of these successful projects have led to further developments and innovations. This work is being conducted in accordance with multiple collaboration agreements and programmes with universities, in the field of science and technology, domestically and internationally. Indeed, collaboration between the business sector, municipalities and academia has often been a platform for turning ideas into concrete projects, useful for the economy.

Examples of promising projects, already launched by Reykjavik Energy Group:

  • Zero carbon footprint from geothermal energy.
  • Development of carbon sequestration using seawater to dissolve CO2, prior to injection, thus expanding the applicability of the technology to water scarce regions.
  • Improved EV charging. How EV owners charge and use their EVs and electrical load management on a large scale.
  • Improved resource utilisation in high-temperature fields by mixing heated groundwater from geothermal power plants with hot water from low-temperature fields.
  • Improved resource utilisation in low-temperature fields.
  • Hydrogen production at Hellisheidi.
  • Deep drilling.
  • Managing induced seismicity.
  • Water quality and better overview of water distribution.
  • Development of the utilisation of sewage waste.

Please see appendices.

Turning point

At the end of 2022, a new regulation on the storage of carbon dioxide came into force. The website of the Ministry of the Environment, Energy and Climate states that with the regulation, the directive on the storage of carbon dioxide in the ground has been fully implemented into Icelandic law. It is of great importance to Carbfix, ON Power, and other companies that work on CO2 mineralization.

In 2022, Carbfix received a grant of ISK 16 billion from the European Union's Innovation Fund for the development of the carbon reception and storage hub Coda Terminal in Straumsvík, in the the south-west corner of Iceland. The hub will be the first of its kind in the world and is scheduled to begin operations in mid-2026 and reach full capacity in 2031. In connection with this, a memorandum of understanding was signed in December 2022 on the development of the Coda Terminal between Carbfix, Coda Terminal, Hafnarfjörður Municipality, and Rio Tinto in Iceland.

Research on the integration of the capital region's heating utility system, to enable the mixing of geothermal water from low-temperature fields with heated groundwater from geothermal power plants without the formation of scaling, is promising. The results have already been used for water exchange and summer rest in low temperature fields in the capital area. The benefit of unifying the district heating system in the Reykjavík capital area will be immense; it will completely change the operating system of the heat supply and the heat production of power plants towards a more sustainable manner.

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Reykjavik Energy’s Science Fund

In the year 2022, close to ISK 100 million was spent on scientific research through the newly established Science Fund, VOR. The purpose of the fund is threefold:

  • To support Reykjavik Energy's vision of the future, which is to increase the quality of life with social responsibility as a guiding principle.
  • To support master's and doctoral students' research related to Reykjavik Energy Group's field of work and priorities.
  • To promote and strengthen research in Reykjavik Energy Group's field of activity with special emphasis on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that are a priority at any given time in accordance with Reykjavik Energy's policy.

Reykjavik Energy places special emphasis on five of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Affordable and Clean Energy, Gender Equality, Clean Water and Sanitation, Responsible Consumption and Production and Climate Action.

Here you can see (IS) which projects received funding in 2022.

Veitur Utility's smart meters

One of Veitur Utility's most extensive investment projects is the implementation of smart meters that measure customers' energy consumption at regular intervals and automatically send the information to the company. The smart meters can also detect faults and the state of the system.

The project will be running through 2022-2025. The environmental benefits consist of, among other things, the fact that Veitur Utility staff's visits to customers will be greatly reduced, customers will have an easier time managing their use and in light of more frequent usage information. Furthermore, Veitur Utility will have an opportunity to a more targeted control of the electricity and heat supply.