Hydropower: Generating clean economic growth in Greenland
Hydropower creates clean energy, jobs and economic growth in Greenland. In the past, energy in Greenland was generated in diesel-driven power plants, which require costly imports of fossil fuel and at the same time are the biggest single contributor to the island’s greenhouse gas emissions. Like in several other OCTs involved in OCTA Innovation, a strong push away from fossil fuels is needed.
Greenland has been replacing its diesel power plants with hydropower plants – using its vast resources of glacial meltwater to generate lower cost hydropower and reduce the country’s fuel imports and greenhouse gas emissions.
The latest of these renewable energy projects is a 22.5 megawatt (MW) hydropower plant for the town of Ilulissat on the west coast, the third largest community in Greenland with a population of 4,541 as of 2013. The plant replaces an existing diesel-driven power plant and will provide electricity for the town and the local district heating network.
As a result of this and other hydropower projects, 70% of Greenland’s electricity is now generated by emission-free hydropower. According to Mr Palle Christiansen, Greenland’s Minister of Finance. “It is unrealistic that we will ever reach 100%, but our aim is that wherever it is possible to produce renewable energy, we should rely on that for electricity.”
In addition, Greenland is introducing small wind power parks in order to supply energy to those areas inaccessible by electricity cables.
It is great news that an OCT has such significant sustainable energy capacity.