Monday, January 4, 2016

Iceland: Geothermal Power Plants as Tourist Destinations

How Iceland Drilled For Renewable Energy And Struck Tourists (Forbes)

Iceland’s engineers have begun to design power plants to accommodate tourists, who come to see what a clean-energy economy looks like.

The president of Iceland credits renewable energy for reviving the tiny island nation’s economy after financial collapse.

Geothermal energy provided the baseload Iceland needed to recover, said President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, and engendered unforeseen new industries, including data storage, greenhouse agriculture and eco-tourism.

“For most people a clean energy economy or a clean energy society is a concept, it’s a mission, it’s not part of their practical everyday experience,” Grímsson said last month at the Sustainable Innovation Forum, a side event to the COP21 Paris Climate Conference.

“That is why for example this power station in Iceland receives every year about 20 percent of all the tourists who come to Iceland, who pay an entry fee to see a power plant.”

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