Iceland’s renewable energy boom

Iceland is an interesting country. It has a population of 340,000 people, about the same as the population of Mackay and Townsville combined. Its land area is just more than the Mackay-Isaac-Whitsunday Region.

The Global Financial Crisis saw Iceland’s banking system collapse and the Icelandic economy went into free fall. Economic output slowed rapidly and the unemployment rate doubled. Ten years later Iceland has the world’s highest average income. While Australia’s GDP has stagnated, Iceland’s has been on a rapid growth trajectory. 

According to the CIA’s World Factbook, Iceland’s abundant renewable energy has led to a boom in investment by power hungry industries such as aluminium smelting and information technology. In addition to industry, Iceland has built a thriving tourism economy. All that has happened in a sparsely populated place, isolated from other countries by hostile oceans and on the edge of the arctic circle. 

Our region has fantastic resources that we can turn to our advantage. We have more sunny days than most parts of the world. The wind blows consistently and we produce renewable power from sugar cane waste.

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