How Is Geothermal Energy Harnessed In Iceland?
Most people don’t really know what vast potential geothermal energy really has. Iceland is one of the few countries in the world that really has tapped into this source. In this article I’m going to explain how Iceland is harnessing these energy reservoirs and what benefits this comes with.
Firstly, I want to give you a quick overlook over what geothermal energy really is. The basic gist is this: Geothermal energy is heat stored in the earth from two sources, sun-rays absorbed by the Earth and the Earth’s internal heat. There are various ways we can harness these resources. For a complete article on this subject you should read Pros and Cons of Geothermal Heating.
Most common is geothermal heating and cooling systems used in many residential and industrial buildings, which will not be discussed further in this article.
Some countries, especially those with volcanic activity, have large natural reserves under the surface, where the heat energy is concentrated in large quantities. Iceland is one of those countries.
This is an excellent source of energy for various purposes such as geothermal electricity power generation, transportation of hot water that can either be used directly as hot water or indirectly as heating. Iceland combine these three methods, which has resulted in the following astonishing numbers: Geothermal energy provides 90% of the country’s heating of houses as well as 25% of the electricity generation.
On top of this, another 70% of the electricity generation comes from hydropower. Iceland is the world’s greenest country by far, with as little as 0.2% of the power coming from polluting fossil fuels. Other countries need to follow in Iceland’s footsteps when it comes to lowering their carbon footprint, not necessarily only by the use of geothermal energy, but other renewable energy resources as well. We are facing a global climate crisis and things need to change if we are to preserve this Earth for future generations.