More than 2,100 people have signed a petition, posted online by the Icelandic Environment Association (Landvernd).The petition challenges the company Landsnet to cancel plans to build a high voltage power line between North and South Iceland over Sprengisandur, RÚV reports. Landsnet has submitted a project plan, which the Icelandic National Planning Agency has under review. The last day to submit comments regarding the project is today.
The planned power line is meant to improve the country’s electrical transmission system, since the existing power line is unstable and delivery of electricity limited. Landsnet maintains this inhibits industrial as well as regional development in many places in the country. The company sees a power line over Sprengisandur as an important link to connect the electricity production in the southwest to the north.
The Icelandic Environment Association’s petition states that such a power line over Sprengisandur would divide the highlands and the wilderness in two, limit travelers’ experience and the possibilities of outdoor activities and tourism. The unspoiled highlands as we know them today, offering peace and solitude, would be a thing of the past. Therefore, other options than going through Sprengisandur should be examined.
If Landsnet doesn’t cancel its project, The Environment Association asks that the Icelandic Planning Agency reject Landsnet’s assessment of the project.
According to a Gallup poll conducted in March, 43 percent of Icelanders are opposed to the power line, while 25 percent support it.