Iceland is drilling a massive geothermal power hole into a volcano to boost its renewable energy capacity. Known as the Iceland Deep Drilling Project (IDDP), this hole is said to be the largest of its kind in the world.
By drilling more than three miles deep in the Reykjanes Peninsula, scientists believe that they can take advantage of the extreme heat and pressure, and then harness 30 to 50 megaWatts of power from this single geothermal well. At this depth, there will be a mixture of molten rock and water. And with enough heat and pressure, the water will turn into “supercritical steam”. This steam carries far more potential energy that is key to producing more geothermal power.
Compared to most of the country’s wells that only extend 1.5 miles into the crust of the Earth, this new well is expected to generate up to 10 times more energy.
Giving what he thinks about this project, CEO of IDDP Asgeir Margeirsson stated:
“We hope that this will open new doors for the geothermal industry globally to step into an era of more production.
“If this works, in the future we would need to drill fewer wells to produce the same amount of energy, meaning we would touch less surface, which means less environmental impact and hopefully lower costs.”
However, this is not the first attempt to undergo such an ambitious project. Six years ago, a similar effort was taken but ended in a disaster. But this time, the future seems very promising for the current drilling team, as they have already gone further without an incident.