Climate Progrss has a post on a new technique for creating geothermal power in Iceland - In Iceland, Magma Used To Create Geothermal Power For First Time.
After accidentally drilling into a chamber of molten lava more than a mile underground in 2009, researchers in Iceland have now found a way to use the magma to create geothermal energy.
This new method of producing geothermal energy could be especially valuable in Iceland, where geothermal power already makes up about two-thirds of the energy use and around 90 percent of homes are heated using geothermal.
Researchers from the Iceland Deep Drilling Project (IDDP) used the magma to generate high-pressure steam at temperatures over 450 degrees Celsius, beating the world record for hottest geothermal heat. According to the measured output, the magma generated about 36 megawatts of electricity.
Normal geothermal energy is generated by pumping water into heated ground, boiling it and then using the steam to generate electricity. This experiment in Iceland is the first time molten magma instead of solid rock has been used to create the steam.
“This could lead to a revolution in the energy efficiency of high-temperature geothermal projects in the future,” Wilfred Elders, professor emeritus of geology at the University of California, Riverside, who’s written about the Icelandic innovation, told The Conversation.