“Strengthening the electricity transmission network provides the foundation for energy exchange”
There has been an increased emphasis on climate change and energy exchange matters this year. The international community has begun its efforts to fulfil the Paris agreement and to achieve the goals set out therein. Iceland is not excluded from this process and there is much work ahead.
We introduced a new network development plan at the end of the year, where four scenarios were introduced, outlining potential developments in the demand and utilisation of electricity by 2030.
We only have to look back on the last 15 years to see the extensive changes that have occurred, both in the development of renewable energy sources and the changes within society. These developments have called for an increase in electricity supply.
The total share of renewable energy in the country's energy budget is 71%, while the share of renewable energy in transport is only 6% and 0.1% for domestic fishing vessels. A parliamentary resolution introduced by the last government stated that the ratio would be 30% for land transport and 10% for marine related operations by 2030.
Icelanders have achieved effective results in energy exchange matters in the last few decades by utilising renewable energy sources for the country's heating and power supply. However, we are far away from achieving the same results in transport, although we have moved forward with the use of a small number of electric and environmentally friendly vehicles. Shipping and aviation, be it in connection with tourism, transport or processing, are still at the starting point of this process. There are opportunities to achieve great success in these areas.
Achieving progress in these areas will be difficult without strengthening the electricity transmission network. The system plan offers two options. The first option involves strengthening the regional network which runs alongside some of south Iceland´s natural wonders and main tourism areas and the second involves the construction of an overhead line across the Sprengisandur highland area. Both options need to be extensively assessed and effective communication between the public and the government will be essential as they will make the final decision.
Landsnet operates a closely knit and powerful team of employees who are dedicated to their work and to considering the overall interests of society. I would like to extend my thanks to this team.
Guðmundur Ingi Ásmundsson CEO:
“It is important to us that the process chosen is transparent.”
Iceland is rich in renewable energy, and modern society is increasingly dependent on a secure electricity supply. Our mission is to ensure that energy reaches the customer, both in the quantity and of the quality necessary for the community to run smoothly.
A major transition was made in Landsnet's operating environment last year including new decisions on the Company's revenue cap and the introduction of the USD as Landsnet’s reporting and functional currency. We took large steps in refinancing the Company via a bond issue and were very pleased to see investors show us great interest and trust. The bond issue yielded more favourable terms, as well as a reduction of exchange rate risk. We can expect much greater stability in the Company's finances in the coming years.
The most urgent tasks ahead include the strengthening of the main transmission system for the future. We have not been able to ensure a secure electricity supply nation-wide and have been forced to resort to curtailments, which have undoubtedly led to the use of oil instead of renewable clean energy. There has been a great deal of discussion on our projects in Northeast Iceland as well as the new Suðurnesjalína line. The process chosen needs to be transparent but the fact that these projects have been in progress for over a decade needs to be taken into consideration.
Questions have been raised as to whether the process being used is sufficiently transparent and whether changes can be made after the fact. The process has been simplified in most European countries to respond to similar issues that have arisen. A simple and effective process, where disputes and litigation are resolved before construction commences, is beneficial to all parties.
A good relationship and effective communication with stakeholders is an important aspect in all our projects, in all stages of the process. We have recently focused more on information dissemination and consultation. This has been achieved by factors including increased activity and visibility on social media, but also via changes to the network development plan and the dialogue and consensus surrounding this. This has increased the number of options available to communicate information more quickly as well as creating opportunities for dialogue.
We are nothing without our team. Our employees have a diverse educational background, are dedicated to professionalism and are committed to fulfilling the promises we have made.