Steamland: Geothermal energy in Iceland

by Pep Bonet, Photographer, Filmmakersteam.
13 August 2020.

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Due to the unique geological location of Iceland, the high concentration of volcanoes in the area is often an advantage for generating geothermal energy, heating and electricity. 100% of Iceland’s electricity comes from clean sources and the government plans within 30 years to become the first country to abandon the use of fossil fuels.

Geothermal energy is heat energy that occurs naturally in the earth, and is recovered from the Earth’s core. In nature, geothermal heat shows up in the form of volcanoes, hot springs and geysers. When this energy is higher than 150°C/302°F, it is considered hot enough to be used to generate electricity and heat in Iceland.

Gullfoss Geysir hot spring area. Geothermal energy is the heat energy that occurs naturally in the earth. The energy is recovered from the heat of the earth’s core. In nature, geothermal heat shows up in the form of volcanoes, hot springs and geysers. The heat itself is derived from radioactive decay beneath the earth’s surface.
View of Hellisheidi Geothermal plant. The geothermal heat is mostly used to heat fresh water which, when hot, can be utilized directly for central heating. 89% of all the houses in Iceland are heated this way. But the geothermal water is also used in many other ways. It is used in swimming pools, for soil warming, fish farming, drying of timber and wool, animal husbandry, green houses, etc…
Nesjavellir geothermal plant generates electricity and hot water by utilizing geothermal water and steam.
Svartsengi Geothermal Combined Heat & Power Plant is located next to the Blue Lagoon.
Svartsengi Geothermal Combined Heat & Power Plant is located next to the Blue Lagoon.
Reykjanes Power Plant.
The Blue Lagoon is known as a therapeutic bathing pool. The lagoon has proven health benefits. Scientists say bathing in the lagoon has positive effects on psoriasis and eczema. The lagoon is a very popular tourist attraction, mainly because of the many health benefits.
Green houses in Hveragerdi that use geothermal energy to heat water for central heating.
View of Hellisheidi Geothermal plant.
Hot springs near the Nesjavellir Geothermal Plant, which generates electricity and hot water by utilizing geothermal water and steam.
On the road from Hellisheidi Power plant to Reykjavik, city pipes carry hot water to be used for heating.
Reykjanes Power Plant.
The Blue Lagoon is known as a therapeutic bathing pool. The lagoon has proven health benefits. Scientists say bathing in the lagoon has positive effects on psoriasis and eczema. The lagoon is a very popular tourist attraction, mainly because of the many health benefits.