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article imageIceland-U.K. geothermal energy power cable link still a reality

By Karen Graham     Apr 11, 2017 in Environment
Scientists are studying the feasibility of using geothermal energy from magma for the first time in a $100 million project in Iceland. If it is successful, we could see 10 times more energy produced from a single well than from conventional wells.
The volcanic island nation of Iceland is already a world leader in the use of renewable energy sources, with all of the nation's electricity provided by hydropower and geothermal energy.
But in a new project, coordinated by Iceland's Geothermal Research Group (GEORG) and the British Geological Survey, with the participation of 38 institutes and companies from 11 countries including the United States, Canada, and Russia, scientists are studying the possibility of using magma to produce geothermal energy, something that has never been attempted before, according to Reuters.
The 120-MWe Nesjavellir power station in southwest Iceland.
The 120-MWe Nesjavellir power station in southwest Iceland.
Gretar Ívarsson
Projects like The Iceland Deep Drilling Project(IDDP), detailed in Digital Journal in January 2017, have proved to be promising, renewing interest in the construction of Icelink, an undersea power cable from Iceland to the UK, a project that has been in development since 2012.
The Icelink, a 1,500 kilometer (932 miles) subsea High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) cable would bring 1.2GW of baseload geothermal and hydro-electrical power to the UK, providing electricity to about two million British homes.
The Reykjanes Volcano is a large volcano covering the Reykjanes Peninsula in Iceland
The Reykjanes Volcano is a large volcano covering the Reykjanes Peninsula in Iceland
Vincent van Zeijst
And once the wells prove to be successful, they will be able to produce up to ten times more energy than conventional geothermal wells. In the IDDP-2 report, issued on February 1, the team states: "Potential utilization will not be known until the end of year 2018 when all research, including substantial well stimulation, and flow testing, is completed but first indications are positive."
The report concludes: “If deep supercritical wells, here and elsewhere in the world, can produce more power than conventional geothermal wells, fewer wells would be needed to produce the same power output, leading to less environmental impact and improved economics”
The first phase of the magma project, aptly named Krafla Magma Testbed, is set to start by 2020 and will cost $30 million, the British Geological Survey said in a statement on Friday. "In a country like Iceland with frequent volcanic eruptions, capable of disrupting Europe's aviation system, the project's security is a priority," said Hjalti Pall Ingolfsson, head of the project for GEORG. So the project begins, along with safety and security always a priority.
Krafla Magma Testbed
More about Iceland, geothermal power, volcanic magma, IceLink, iceland to uk
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