Iceland to develop one of the world’s largest geothermal energy systemsJanuary 25, 2017
New geothermal energy project is being developed in Iceland
Iceland has begun development on what may become the world’s deepest geothermal borehole. The country is drilling the borehole into the heart of a volcano. The borehole will be at a depth of 3.10 miles, significantly deeper than other geothermal boreholes in the country. Iceland is currently one of the leading producers of geothermal energy and the country is eager to embrace this form of power more aggressively in an effort to reduce reliance on fossil-fuels.
New project could generate up to 50 MW of energy
The pressure and heat that is found within the borehole’s depths could potentially produce as much as 50 megawatts of electricity. Currently, the project is developing smoothly. Ásgeir Margeirsson, CEO of HS Orka, which is helping develop the geothermal energy project, notes that there are no guarantees that this will continue to be the case. Geothermal projects are sometimes volatile due to the logistics associated with drilling boreholes into the earth. One potential problem would be unexpectedly drilling into magma, which would effectively halt the project.
Similar projects have encountered problems in the past
Six years ago, a similar geothermal energy project was taking form in Iceland. The project aimed to tap into the vast geothermal potential of a local volcano, but the endeavor was met with disaster. At a depth of 1.3 miles, the project hit magma, which destroyed the drilling equipment that was being used. This put an end to the project, but current developers have hope that they will avoid similar problems. If all goes according to plan, Iceland will soon have a new geothermal energy system up and running in the near future.
Geothermal energy continues to gain momentum
Geothermal energy has been gaining popularity throughout the world. Many countries do not have access to vast geothermal potential, however, so these types of projects are typically found in the region known as the Ring of Fire. This is a region surrounding the Pacific Ocean which is notorious for its geothermal activity. Iceland is one of the few countries outside of this region that can tap into geothermal energy in an effective manner.