Survey of Energy Resources 2007
Hydropower Country Notes
Apart from its geothermal resources, Iceland's hydropower potential represents virtually its only indigenous source of commercial primary energy. Its gross theoretical potential of 184 TWh/yr includes 40 TWh of economically exploitable output. Hydroelectricity production in 2005 was just over 7 TWh, implying that 17-18% of this economic potential has been developed. Hydropower provided 16% of Iceland's primary energy consumption and 81% of its electricity generation in 2005, but owing to a considerably higher contribution from geothermal power generation, hydro's share fell to 73% in 2006.
The Kárahnjúkar hydro project in eastern Iceland, presently nearing completion, will add 690 MW to the existing installed capacity of 1 160 MW. A further 100 MW of hydro capacity is planned.
The technically exploitable capability of small-scale hydro plants is reported to be 12.3 TWh/yr, equivalent to about 19% of the level for total hydro. Installed capacity of small hydro at end-2005 was 53 MW, or 4.6% of total hydro capacity.