The Ministry of Industry and Innovation announced yesterday that the government had attained an important milestone in the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. Renewable energy accounted for 11.4% of the fuel used for road transport in 2020, according to a report from the National Energy Authority.
The first milestone
Ten years ago, the government confirmed a parliamentary resolution entrusting the Minister of Industry (now the Minister of Industry and Innovation) to decrease the share of fossil fuels in the transportation sector. The aim was to “replace fossil fuels with local, renewable energy.”
The legislation established a timeline for the creation of policy, goal-setting, and a comprehensive plan of action regarding energy transition in the transportation sector until 2020. Its primary purpose was for Iceland to become a leader in sustainable transportation. “The percentage of renewable energy within the transportation sector is currently lower in Iceland when compared to other countries, or less than 1%. The goal of EU member states is 10% by 2020,” the resolution stated.
Renewable energy 11.4% of total fuel in road transport
In a statement released yesterday, the Ministry of Industry and Innovation stated that renewable energy had accounted for 11.4% of the fuel in the transportation sector in 2020, marking a significant milestone on the way to sustainability. The figure – which refers solely to road transport – reflects “all of the renewable energy that is used to power vehicles in Iceland, including electricity, biodiesel, methane, and hydrogen.” The statement enumerated some of the benefits of the transition:
“Energy Transition, where fossil fuels are replaced by sustainable sources of energy, are necessary to combat the threat of climate change, which is one of the greatest challenges facing mankind. The transition to cleaner energy will lead to energy savings, increased energy security, currency savings, and lower CO2 emissions.”
The communique also included a link to an article published by the World Economic Forum in February. In collaboration with Statista, the World Economic Forum gathered global data on new passenger car sales in 2020. According to the results, plug-in electric vehicles – including plug-in hybrids and light vehicles but excluding commercial vehicles – accounted for 45% of new car sales in Iceland, second only to Norway (nearly 75% of new cars sales in Norway are plug-in electric vehicles).
New goals set
The Ministry also announced new goals had been established for 2030, wherein the government aims to increase the percentage of renewable energy within the road transportation sector to 40%. The Ministry hopes to make Iceland completely carbon neutral by 2050 (100% renewable energy for road transport).