Research Projects and Publications

Feasibility study of utilizing surplus energy from Landsvirkjun for the production of Substitute Natural Gas

Economics, Policy and Business Show all

Author: Vignir Bjarnason

Year: 2013

Supervisor: Páll Jensson


Over 80% of the energy used in Iceland today comes from domestic renewable energy sources. Around 70% of the energy produced from domestic renewable energy comes from hydro power. The largest producer of renewable hydro power in Iceland is Landsvirkjun. At present there is a substantial part of that hydro power energy which goes to waste during parts of the years when water flows over the spillways of full reservoirs. This research thesis proposes a solution to utilizing this energy. The main idea is to utilize the surplus or unsecured energy generated by Landsvirkjun to produce a renewable synthetic fuel or Substitute Natural Gas. This is to be done using the Sabatier reaction process. The equipment that is referred to in this research is being developed by SolarFuel GmbH in Germany. The research focuses mainly on what is needed to make the production described work and whether it can be considered feasible, both technically and financially. In order to get a sense of any economies of scale three scenarios are set up of different sizes for the SNG plant. The conclusion to the research is that the project is technically possible but at best marginally financially feasible. Future development of the technology could change the outcome of the project as well as possibly higher fossil fuel prices.

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