Icelanders are fortunate enough to have an abundance of water. We use this water to generate electricity that drives most of what we do in our modern society. Water is a renewable energy source, meaning that its utilisation does not deplete the resource. Its use is green and clean because it does not release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Water cycle and energy production

Sunlight causes continuous evaporation of water from the Earth’s surface. The sun heats the surface, and water in the oceans and on the land changes to vapour, which rises into the sky. The higher the water vapour is carried the colder the air, and the water vapour cools, condenses and forms clouds.

Precipitation forms in the clouds and falls back to earth as rain or snow. Rainwater and snowmelt collect together in rivers and streams. The water loses energy as it flows from the mountains down to the sea. It can be harnessed to generate electricity in a hydropower station, by channelling the water through the turbines.

After the energy has been used, the water continues to the sea and the cycle begins again.

Generating energy in harmony with nature

We place great emphasis on using energy resources in a sustainable manner, regarding impact on the economy, society and environment. In our hydropower stations we seek to maximise resource utilisation, while taking into account environmental considerations aimed at minimising environmental impact.

Fifteen hydropower stations

Hydropower is by far the largest part of our electricity production, about 92%. We operate fifteen hydropower stations in four operational areas across Iceland.

In the Þjórsá Area are seven hydropower stations, with a total of 19 generating units and many conveyance structures, spanning the area from Hofsjökull glacier down to the Búrfell Power Station.

The Sog Area has three hydropower stations, with a total of eight generating units plus conveyance structures, by the Þingvallavatn and Úlfljótsvatn lakes.

In North Iceland there are three hydropower stations, with five generating units and associated conveyance structures. Called the Blanda Area, this includes Blanda Power Station and the three Laxá Stations.

The fourth operational area is Fljótsdalur Area with Iceland’s largest hydropower station. Fljótsdalur Power Station has six turbines and extensive conveyance structures, including tunnels totalling 70 km in length.