Homes Use Only Five Percent of Iceland’s Electricity

Vala Hafstað

Large users purchase 78 percent of all electricity produced in Iceland, Morgunblaðið reports. The bulk of energy used by large users, or 94 percent, goes to metal production, such as aluminum. The rest, or 6 percent of energy used by large users, goes to data centers.

Information regarding the use of energy was provided by the National Energy Authority (Orkustofnun). Total electricity use in Iceland in 2020 amounted to 19,127 GWh.

Less than five percent of electricity produced is used by the country’s homes, or 879 GWh. By comparison, roughly 5 percent (1,010 GWh) of the electricity produced is lost during power transmission (3 percent) and due to offtake from processing companies (2 percent).

Some loss of energy is inescapable in most energy distribution systems, according to the Ministry for the Environment, Energy and Climate. The loss ratio rises the closer the system gets to maximum capacity.

When asked about what can be done to minimize energy lost, the answer provided is to invest in additional capacity for energy in the distribution system. Landsnet, the transmission system operator of the Icelandic high-voltage power grid, is working on renewing the grid with a new and more powerful power line.

Another way to control the transmission and distribution systems in the most economical way is to apply higher prices to the transmission and distribution during peak hours. 

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