Nov 17 2009
4 Comments

Development of Iceland’s Geothermal Energy Potential for Aluminium Production – A Critical Analysis

By Jaap Krater and Miriam Rose
In: Abrahamsky, K. (ed.) (2010) Sparking a World-wide Energy Revolution: Social Struggles in the Transition to a Post-Petrol World. AK Press, Edinburgh. p. 319-333

Iceland is developing its hydro and geothermal resources in the context of an energy master plan, mainly to provide power for expansion of the aluminium industry. This paper tests perceptions of geothermal energy as low-carbon, renewable and environmentally benign, using Icelandic geothermal industry as a case study.
The application of geothermal energy for aluminium smelting is discussed as well as environmental and human rights record of the aluminium industry in general. Despite application of renewable energy technologies, emission of greenhouse gases by aluminium production is set to increase.
Our analysis further shows that carbon emissions of geothermal installations can approximate those of gas-powered plants. In intensely exploited reservoirs, life of boreholes is limited and reservoirs need extensive recovery time after exploitation, making geothermal exploitation at these sites not renewable in the short to medium term. Pollution and landscape impacts are extensive when geothermal technology is applied on a large scale.

Krater and Rose – Development of Iceland’s Geothermal Energy – Download as PDF
The full publication will be available from Jan. 15, 2010. ISBN 9781849350051.

4 Responses to “Development of Iceland’s Geothermal Energy Potential for Aluminium Production – A Critical Analysis”

  1. […] (2) Development of Iceland’s geothermal energy potential for aluminium production – a critical analysis by Jaap Krater and Miriam Rose In: Abrahamsky, K. (ed.) (2010) Sparking a World-wide Energy Revolution: Social Struggles in the Transition to a Post-Petrol World. AK Press, Edinburgh. p. 319-333 http://www.savingiceland.org/2009/11/development-of-iceland%e2%80%99s-geothermal-energy-potential-fo… […]

  2. […] [19] Jaap Krater and Miriam Rose, 2010. ‘Development of Iceland’s geothermal energy potential for aluminium production – a critical analysis’ In: Abrahamsky, K. (ed.) (2010) Sparking a World-wide Energy Revolution: Social Struggles in the Transition to a Post-Petrol World. AK Press, Edinburgh. p. 319-333. See http://www.savingiceland.org/2009/11/dev… […]

  3. Julia Favorito says:

    Hi, I’m a student doing a study abroad program in Iceland. For this SIT program each student is doing an independent study. I’ve decided to do a critical analysis, similar to your paper, on Iceland’s development of geothermal energy. I specifically would like the paper to use Iceland as somewhat of a guinea pig for countries in East Africa to learn from. I think the potential for geothermal energy is very exciting in some East African countries like Uganda because the access to electricity could seriously stimulate their economy. Iceland made a lot of mistakes, however, when developing their geothermal industry, so I think a critical analysis of their geothermal development regarding their impact on the environment, how they included the public, and where the energy they produce is going, would be very wise. I was wondering if I could maybe have your email or phone number so I could discuss this further with you.

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