Legislation Sparking Green Innovation in Iceland - By Tate Cantrell
Following my last blog on the expanding green movement comes some pretty big news surrounding carbon reduction legislation making its way through the US Congress. The U.S. climate bill just passed its first test in the Senate with an 11 to 1 vote by the Environment and Public Works Committee to move onto the full Senate for consideration with other bills. The proposed legislation would require U.S. industry to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases 20 percent by 2020, from 2005 levels. The progress is certainly opportune timing as the U.S. along with 190+ countries head to Copenhagen in December for the UN Climate Change Conference to try to build the framework for a global treaty on reducing carbon emissions.
With this legislation underway in countries around the world, a number of companies are taking this as a sign to develop projects that make better use of natural resources and Iceland is becoming an increasingly popular hot spot for research and development in this field. One particularly cool project breaking ground recently in the country is Carbon Recycling International’s (CRI) CO2-to-methanol plant, which will use emissions from a power generation plant owned by HS Orka to produce methanol for fueling cars. As part of an effort to utilize CO2 emissions and derive fuel sources without having to change current car technology, the CRI plant will be capable of producing approximately 4.2 million liters of methanol per year. This is the first time methanol has ever been generated in this way and could be adapted to other types of facilities in the future.
Its hydropower and geothermal energy certainly makes Iceland a one-of-a-kind breeding ground for eco-alternative projects such as this. In addition to Verne’s work in the country utilizing natural free cooling for data centers and projects like CRI’s, Iceland can reasonably expect to see more first-of-its-kind projects that look to make use of its uniquely efficient landscape. As the country itself moves further in this direction with plans to become fossil-fuel free by 2050, Iceland could become an even more ideal location for research and development in a worldwide clean technology movement.