Hydropower Plants in Thjórsá River Greenlighted Skip to content

Hydropower Plants in Thjórsá River Greenlighted

By Iceland Review

According to the draft of a parliamentary resolution presented by Minister for the Environment Svandís Svavarsdóttir and Minister of Industry Katrín Júlíusdóttir on Friday, the lower part of the river Thjórsá can be used for hydropower plants.


Thjórsá. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

In the proposal, 69 areas that have been discussed for either geothermal or hydropower harnessing are sorted into three categories: harnessing, preservation and on hold, visir.is reports.

The categorization is based on the report of a project task management appointed by the Minister of Industry in consultation with the Minister for the Environment in 2007.

Twenty-two areas fall into the harnessing category, including three disputed hydropower projects in the lower Thjórsá: Hvammsvirkjun, Holtavirkjun and Urridafossvirkjun.

Orri Vigfússon, chairman of the North Atlantic Salmon Fund (NASF), told Fréttabladid that salmon stocks in the river will collapse if the plans are carried through and does not believe the counteractive measures that Landsvirkjun, the National Power Company, has promised to conduct will be successful.

Areas that will be preserved include the Thjórsárver wetlands in the central highlands as Nordlingaölduveita was rejected, as well as the geothermal area Gjástykki in the northeast.

Now that the proposal has been made public, people have 12 weeks to submit remarks before it is submitted to the Althingi parliament.

Click here to read other recent stories of energy harnessing in Iceland.


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