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Iceland Drills Deep Into Volcanoes For New Clean Energy Source

By Brian Spaen

Iceland is using volcanoes as a new sustainable source for their energy. No, they won’t be trying to make the volcano erupt to use the lava to create electricity, but the process is something similar. Dubbed as “Thor,” engineers are hoping they’ll find enough hot steam to power their big cities.

The Iceland Deep Drilling Project (IDDP) is fairly straightforward. People will drill into these volcanoes to the point where they can find “supercritical” steam. The water the steam comes from is described as an enhanced fluid, but it doesn’t really take the form of gas or a liquid. That’s because the temperature of this suppressed water is roughly 800 degrees Fahrenheit.

Drilling took roughly six months to complete, from last August to January 2017, and it goes a record three miles into the surface. HS Orka, an energy company in Iceland, has been behind the project. While it is only in the experimental stage, this isn’t the first idea to drill into the Earth to get energy. Known as “geothermal energy,” the steam from the hot water in the Earth’s surface is able to move turbines to create power.