Although rocks are a good source of geothermal energy, magma may redefine the meaning of renewable energy
- and the IDDP will help fulfill this.
Geothermal energy is producing heat in the energy industry - both literally and figuratively. The immense heat
of magma oozing from volcanoes have a potential to generate a lot more energy than we thought.
Iceland's new Iceland Deep Drilling Project (IDDP) will try to create the hottest hole on earth. If successful, they have hit temperatures from 400 to 1,000 degrees Celsius.
It will be five kilometers deep into the Reykjanes Volcano in Icceland.
The drill will be able to penetrate an extension
of the Mid-Atlantic Range. This is a major boundary between Earth's tectonic plates. At this depth, magma will meet and heat seawater that penetrated beneath the ocean bed.
Hot water from these springs will have rich minerals such as gold, silver and lithium. However, it will also have 200 times more pressure than atmospheric level. It will be "supercritical steam," generating more energy than liquid or gas.
If wells get this kind of power, they have a 50MW capacity. A typical geothermal well can only tap into 5MW of power. This means 50,000 homes will benefit from this instead of the typical 5,000.
The Reykjanes hole will be the IDDP's second well. Its first victory is in the Krafla geothermal field in Iceland. It unexpected struck magma at just over 2KM in 2009.
However, the IDDP plans to tap into more sources to generate more power. Hopefully, this can further support Iceland's stance towards fossil fuel-free sources.
The country is currently powered by geothermal and hydroelectric power plants. The benefits this could have around the world are tremendous as well.
Source: New Scientist