Geysir and Gullfoss Considered Energy Resources Skip to content

Geysir and Gullfoss Considered Energy Resources

The Geysir hot spring area and Hvítá river, which forms Gullfoss waterfall—two of the biggest tourist attractions in Iceland—will be part of a new framework program on options for energy harnessing to be completed next year.

According to the government resolution, the framework program based on 50 potential areas for harnessing energy should be completed by the end of 2009, but Minister of Industry Össur Skarphédinsson wants it to finish by July next year, Fréttabladid reports.

The official purpose with the framework program on harnessing hydropower and geothermal energy is to create “professional prerequisites for decision-making on preservation and the harnessing of natural areas.”

“Although an option for energy harnessing is included in the framework program, it does not necessarily mean that it will be harnessed,” said project manager Svanfrídur Inga Jónasdóttir.

Jónasdóttir explained that when the project was launched in 1999 it was decided that every possibility would be registered, including Geysir, Hvítá and also Landmannalaugar, another popular tourist destination.

“This methodology is something that we have inherited from the first phase [of the project]. It can be disputed, but […] if you’re going to leave one option out, where are you going to stop?” Jónasdóttir asks.

“You first have to decide which options are desirable for [energy] harnessing and which are not,” Jónasdóttir said, adding that certain areas are “clearly sacred,” in her opinion.

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