Regional Development and Food Security in the Arctic: The Role of Geothermal Energy
Event Type: Webinars and Virtual Events
When: 20 October 2020
Where: Online: 10:00 am - 12:00 pm AKDT, 2:00-4:00 pm EDT
Organiser: Icelandic Arctic Cooperation Network
Co-Organisers: Ministry for Foreign Affairs Iceland, Rannsóknamiðstöð Íslands RANNÍS, SSNE, Eimur
Globally, the use of geothermal energy has been growing steadily in the past years due to its renewable nature, low carbon- footprint and versatility of use. It‘s versatility lies primarily on the fact that it can both be used for the production of electricity or directly for domestic heating and industrial purposes. In the Arctic region, the utilisation of renewable energy sources has been a central topic as fossil-fuel based energy production is expensive, has a heavy carbon footprint, generates risk of pollution and is subject to fluctuations in the supply chain. This event aims to shed light on the current role of geothermal energy and its potential for the sustainable development of Arctic societies. In particular the emphasis is put on regional societal and industrial development and food security.
In Iceland, geothermal energy represents up to 66% of Iceland‘s primary energy use. It is most widely applied for district heating, but is also essential for local food production where, for example, fresh vegetables are grown in geothermally heated greenhouses. Icelandic greenhouse farmers all provide to the Icelandic food market, reducing its dependence on international imports. Currently there is a rising interest in Iceland for further utilisation of geothermal resources for food production on a larger scale.
The event draws on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the Icelandic Arctic Council Chairmanship (2019-2021) theme on Climate and Green Energy Solutions, and Iceland‘s Climate Action Plan for 2018 – 2030. The webinar brings together experts and stakeholders to discuss the role of geothermal energy in municipal and regional development, and its application for food production. Local food production can both stimulate regional economic and societal growth, and enhance the security of its inhabitants. The main objectives are to:
- Promote the importance of renewable sources in relation to food security, and share knowledge of sustainable food production in cold climates.
- Create an international network of experts and stakeholders, including communities, academics, and the public and private sectors, with the goal of exploring opportunities for future collaboration.
- Outline strategy for moving towards sustainable development and renewable energy solutions in northern communities. (The summary from the session would include ideas to that effect.)