About 85% of the total primary energy supply in Iceland is derived from domestically produced renewable energy sources. This is the highest share of renewable energy in any national total energy budget.
In 2016 geothermal energy provided about 65% of primary energy, the share of hydropower was 20%, and the share of fossil fuels (mainly oil products for the transport sector) was 15%. In 2013 Iceland also became a producer of wind energy. The main use of geothermal energy is for space heating, with the heat being distributed to buildings through extensive district-heating systems. About 85% of all houses in Iceland are heated with geothermal energy.
In 2015, the total electricity consumption in Iceland was 18,798 GWh. Renewable energy provided almost 100% of electricity production, with about 73% coming from hydropower and 27% from geothermal power. Most of the hydropower plants are owned by Landsvirkjun (the National Power Company) which is the main supplier of electricity in Iceland. Iceland is the world's largest green energy producer per capita and largest electricity producer per capita, with approximately 55,000 kWh per person per year. In comparison, the EU average is less than 6,000 kWh.
A master plan comparing the economic feasibility and the environmental impact of the proposed power development projects is being prepared. It is hoped that this comparison will aid in the selection of the most feasible projects to develop, considering both the economic and environmental impact of such decisions.
As a result of rapid expansion in Iceland's energy intensive industry, the demand for electricity has increased considerably during the last decade.
A licence issued by the National Energy Authority is required to construct and operate an electric power plant. The National Energy Authority is responsible for monitoring as well as to regulate the compliance of companies operating under issued licences.
Legislation on Energy:
- Act amending the Electricity Act, No 65/2003.
- Reglulation on disclosure of information regarding Guarantees of origin.
- Regulation No. 38/2009
- Regulation on the Hydrocarbon Research Fund
- Rules on prospecting, exploation and production of Hydrocarbons 2009