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Geothermal energy in Iceland

by Eva Amsen

Last month I spent a week in Iceland. I only managed to see the South during the time I was there, but this is already such an interesting place. One of the most fascinating things about Iceland is that the country is effectively carbon neutral, and uses geothermal energy as a source for 90% of its heating.

Iceland is right on the border of two continental plates, and the gradual separation of these plates created a landscape full of volcanoes and hot springs. These produce a natural source of underground heat, and this geothermal energy can be diverted to heat homes, and even be converted into electricity.

Below is a video I made about the use of geothermal energy in Iceland. It also includes a visit to Friðheimar farm.   This farm uses natural heat to warm their greenhouses and grow tomatoes. I didn’t show it in the video, but they also have bumblebees flying around to pollinate the plants. The greenhouse microclimate was very different from the rainy and chilly Iceland air!

I didn’t get a chance to visit the power stations that divert the hot water to people’s homes. We saw the pipes from the bus, on the way to the farm and Geysir. They run through the volcanic landscape in a zigzag shape, to allow for expansion without breaking.

I was pleasantly surprised by how cosy all the homes were in Iceland.  But it was even better when I learned that  the landscape itself played such a big role in keeping everyone warm indoors.




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