Geothermal energy sources include a place as unusual as volcanoes. Striking, but not surprising, really, because geothermal energy is obtained by extracting heat stored in the inside of the Earth .
It is a constantly evolving extraction system, always in search of higher performance. Currently, for example, attempts are being made to take advantage of so-called supercritical water (at a greater depth) in order to take advantage of its higher productivity.
Not surprisingly, it can generate up to ten times more energy than an oil well . And it is an energy, more than renewable, eternal. In short, its characteristics are ideal for a greener future.
The power of magma
The most promising green energy may not be solar or wind, but rather that obtained several kilometers underground. But much deeper than what is being mined now.
The first steps in this direction are being taken. In this case, the holy grail of clean energy is nothing more than water as hot as lava. That supercritical water to which we allude, an engineering challenge whose positive results are getting closer and closer.
The Iceland Deep Drilling Project (IDDP) is after it, and everything indicates that it is about to achieve it. The adventure has little improvisation . Quite the contrary, as far as possible everything is millimetrically planned.
It cannot be otherwise, since the objective is to drill an Icelandic volcano to its heart, with the aim of drilling it to a depth of five kilometers .
The team of geologists in charge of this pilot test is about to achieve it. They have been drilling for several months, not magma, but hot rock. For now, thanks to a gigantic drill, it has already descended almost 4,500 meters, and it continues to advance, slowly but surely.
The goal is to revolutionize geothermal energy and thereby facilitate the abandonment of fossil fuels. The work, carried out in the Reykjanes area , could usher in a new era in geothermal production.
A pioneering project in Iceland
So far, the drilling of volcanoes does not exceed 3 kilometers deep. Thus, reaching five would be a great step, as long as the usable resources were what they imagine.
There is nothing to fear that this is not the case, which is why the Icelandic initiative hopes to be a pioneer not only in reaching that depth but also in extracting the energy necessary for the result to be a huge advance.
Basically, it would be shown that there are usable resources that are not being used. Opening, likewise, unprecedented possibilities in terms of obtaining geothermal energy from the heart of volcanoes. It would only be a first step, really, since in this project the rock is being drilled, not the magma.
The technologies necessary to take that next step are not yet available, as the colossal drill used drills the hot rock, requiring innovations that today are simple science fiction.
Even so, if the expected performance from the rock is obtained, the advance would mark a before and after. It is true, on the other hand, that these inexhaustible sources of energy are found in greater quantities in certain enclaves of the planet.
Iceland is a difficult example to improve as it is located close to plate tectonics. On the one hand, it is located in the Arctic Circle, hosting large glaciers , but on the other, the country is located on the edge of two tectonic plates that each year separate two centimeters.
The advantages of geothermal
The advantages are many, both in terms of costs and environmental impact, since it requires a smaller extractive area and a production of green energies that represent an important boost in order to achieve a low-carbon society.
Undoubtedly, fewer emissions and, in general, a reduction in air pollution would be a step forward in improving the health of the environment, since pollution causes disease and also kills millions of lives annually. Furthermore, geothermal energy has enough potential to meet our enormous energy needs.
How volcanoes work
As is known, this separation of the plates allows the lava to rise a little more each year, approaching the surface of the Earth. The consequence is the creation of volcanoes and geothermal fields, responsible for its famous hot groundwater and the steam generated.
Other countries could also benefit in particular from these advances. Among others, Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom in general, since energy can be transferred from one to another geographical points through the construction of the necessary infrastructures.
Be that as it may, whether it is more or less easy to extract and transport, geothermal is revealed as an inexhaustible source of energy that can still bring great joy to a world so in need of sustainable solutions.
Taking into account that we are a society highly dependent on energy, strongly dependent on dangerous energies at an environmental level, such as nuclear energy or that from fossil sources, geothermal energy constitutes a reality with a great future, not in vain, it is revealed as a very promising alternative to extend its use in countless places on the planet, while it could provide a much higher performance than the current one.
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