The BBC features Iceland’s “‘green’ energy dilemma” Skip to content

The BBC features Iceland’s “‘green’ energy dilemma”

An article appeared on the BBC’s news website this week, featuring the dilemma Iceland is facing regarding whether it should harness its energy sources at the cost of its “pristine” wilderness.

The article discusses the controversial dam at Kárahnjúkar, in Iceland’s eastern highland, which is being constructed by Landsvirkjun, the national power company.

The dam will provide energy for an aluminum smelter in Reydarfjördur, which is operated by the international aluminum company Alcoa.

Sigurdur Arnalds, an engineer at Kárahnjúkar, told the BBC that the purpose with the dam is to sell electrical power to foreign industries in the form of clean energy.

Iceland has more “green” energy than a population of 300,000 would ever need. Still the dam at Kárahnjúkar has been heavily criticized.

Ómar Ragnarsson, a journalist who has openly protested against the dam construction, told the BBC that it is “the greatest irreversible environmental impact possible in Iceland.”

Ragnarsson has now founded a new political party in time for the parliamentary elections in May, to put a stop to further smelter projects and protect Iceland’s wilderness.

The BBC’s online article is part of Radio 4’s Crossing Continents program, which was broadcast on Friday and will be repeated on March 26.

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