Geothermal Heat in Iceland


Thermal and Electricity Production in Iceland is relatively easy to provide as Icelanders take advantage of their geological situation. Iceland is located where there is a high concentration of volcanoes that is responsible in the generation of geothermal energy. The pavements in Reykjavík and Akureyri are warmed up and lighted up during the winter time, even the roads going to the International Airport at Keflavík are being lighted for security reasons the entire night due to the geothermal energy provided by the Geothermal Plants and each by the use of the convergence of heat from the volcanoes.

Geothermal Power Plants


There are five major geothermal power plants in Iceland and each of them has an important role; heating up the cold place of Iceland. The plants can produce about 26.2% of energy for the entire country, approximately 87% of heated water for all the establishments and houses, and 73.8% of the electricity provided from hydro power. That is really a very great deal for the locals. Imagine without the geothermal plants, Iceland would be as cold as Ice (literally) and no human being would ever tolerate to stay in such a place especially now when the climate is constantly changing and abruptly increasing or extremely decreasing. With the geothermal power plants in Iceland, it could be a huge change for the future to come in terms of energy supply. We are in great danger from the soot spray that is produced from the fossil fuel plants, since geothermal plants only produce harmless vapor, and its excess is being utilized in Iceland’s pools and tubs, therefore it is much safer for the future to be introduced in such method of energy produce. Although there is some downfall with such, the so called side- effect; earthquake is the major disadvantage of these plants but can also be prevented only if the plant is engineered well.

Earthquakes and holes


Earthquakes are being generated due to deep digging in Earth’s surface going down and hitting the Lithosphere. This can be prevented as mentioned earlier, as long as the system is keenly planned. The first holes were dug in 1965, before greenhouses were generating heat in the area. The deepest hole that was ever dug was 2265 m. It now provides 20-50 kg of steam and liquid per second. The hottest hole is about 2 km in depth but since it was way too hot for plant to handle, the 1/3 of it was covered up with gravel getting still as far down as 1580 m, thus still making it the most powerful hole. There are at least 18 holes that were drilled but only 13 of them are being used. Each of them produces 50MW of heat and is being utilized in Reykjavik and other part of Iceland.

Svartsengi & Nesjavellir


Two of the major geothermal plants in Iceland provide hot water as well as electricity. The Svartsengi Power-Plant, that provides 39 MWe of electric current and of 90 °C of water in 315 liters per second and the Nesjavellir Power-Plant that produces 120MW of electrical power and 83°C water in 1,800 liters per second.
The three other major geothermal plants are Krafla Power Station which is planned to produce 60MW of electricity, Hellisheiði Power Station the largest geothermal plant which can produce 300 MWe and 400 MWth and Reykjanes Power Station which generates 100 MWe.
Although geothermal power plants are being introduced all over the world in cure for the known global warming, experts are still in deep consideration of the side-effect as well as the budget to replace the existing fossil based power plants. In Iceland, however, the geothermal power plants are the way of heating up the cold nation. Their plan of having 100% fossil-free nation is on the way for the future which is very helpful in preserving the nature as well as recycling the energy being produced by it. This is a very intelligent approach of the Icelanders in terms of electricity and warm water for the whole nation.