Monday, November 25, 2019

POTD: Geothermal Energy in Iceland

From 2019 03 01 Iceland

Today's photo-of-the-day is from a geothermal power plant in Iceland. Hot water is pumped into the ground, where it is heated by geothermal energy. Steam is used to drive turbines to generate electricity. When the water has cooled too much to drive the turbines, it is piped all the way to Reykjavik, where it is used to heat homes and businesses and even pavement to keep the city ice-free in winter.

Geothermal power plants provide Iceland with some of the cheapest electricity in the world. A New York Times story explains how Iceland captured American aluminum smelters, an electricity intensive industry. Ore is shipped to Iceland from as far away as Australia, to be smelted into ingots which are re-exported for things like auto manufacturing in Japan. Bitcoin mining, another hugely electricity intensive activity, now consumes more electricity in Iceland than homes do. BBC has that story. This photo shows where it all comes from.

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