Because of the country’s geographic position on the junction of two tectonic plates, Iceland is rich in geothermal energy.
Because of the country’s geographic position on the junction of two tectonic plates, Iceland is rich in geothermal energy. It is said that Reykjavik derives its name from the steam that rose off the hot spring area in Laugardalur. Just east of the capital there is also an active volcanic belt which is used by the Nesjavellir and Hellisheiði power stations.
Geothermal energy is a renewable resource. However, care must be taken to ensure that its utilisation in each place is not too aggressive in relation to how rapidly it renews itself. The processing of geothermal energy comes with the responsibility of minimising its effect on the environment and biosphere. For this reason we work in consultation with many stakeholders in power plant operations.
For the heat to be extracted from the bedrock, water is needed. Most district heating utilities around the country use geothermal fluids straight from the earth. Thus water from the Laugardalur laundry baths was first used to heat houses in Reykjavík in 1930. Within the active volcanic belt there is geothermal steam which is used to heat up cold water for district heating. The steam is also used to generate electricity.
Reykjavik Energy has secured geothermal energy rights in many areas to be able to fulfil its function, but district heating utilities are the largest utility operations run by the company.
The development and management of district heating is handled by Veitur ohf. Click here to learn more about Veitur Utilities’ district heating.
ON Power ohf. utilised geothermal energy in the Hengill area through two plants. Click here to learn more about ON Power plants.
The utilisation of geothermal energy here in Iceland will be increasingly more varied. The objective of this cascade utilisation is to both make better use of the energy from these geothermal production fields and utilise the elements that come up with the geothermal steam. ON Power runs a special development area at the Hellisheidi Geothermal Power Plant for this purpose.