Iceland To Drill Hottest Hole Ever to Tap Magma for Energy Production

New Scientist has an interesting article which reports on a project Iceland to drill the hottest hole on earth. See: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2109872-iceland-drills-hottest-hole-to-tap-into-energy-of-molten-magma/

Iceland lies over a rift in continental plates and this provides the nation with access to vast amounts geothermal energy which it is seeking to exploit for the benefit of its people.

The Iceland Deep Drilling Project has built a drilling rig named Thor in the southwest of the country, with the goal of reaching directly in to magma layers 3 miles below the earth’s surface.

IDDP hopes that in drilling into magma they will find reservoirs of naturally occurring supercritical steam that can be used to drive turbines to generate electricity with much greater efficiency than conventional geothermal wells.

You have to admire the Icelandic efforts to exploit their rather unique geographical features for energy production. The country is located just below the Artic circle, yet Icelanders are able to grow produce such as tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers year-round in greenhouses from geothermal heat.

If we finally see commercial LENR, I expect that it would not be long before similar projects in the colder and more inhospitable parts of the world using LENR, rather than geothermal as a source of heat.

  • TVulgaris

    The upside is this is geothermal, the most dependable and ultimately cheap alternative energy.
    The downside is these large projects are only amenable to national-agency or very-large-corporate funding for their execution, so they do nothing to democratize power production.

  • cashmemorz

    Of course those drilling have to be careful. Lots of drill holes like that around the world. No apocolyptics as yet. Wonder why. Maybe that kind of stuff happens in movies. Where it is meant to happen, for fun. Are you having fun?

    • TVulgaris

      It’s quite possible catastrophic failure of several parts of the system simultaneously could trigger the formation of a volcano…a very tiny volcano (the fissure is a few square feet in cross section at most), and one that would likely last not long at all before self-sealing.

      Nothing worse than the real world harshing our movie-drama buzz, man.

      • TVulgaris

        Locally, it would be quite disastrous, like a major pipeline failure or oil-train wreck.

  • sam
    • sam
      • clovis ray

        Hi, Sam,
        I worked in the geothermal field in southern calif, there are many of these plants generating electric in and around the salton sea in southern calif. toshiba owned the last one i worked on, huge plant, and they work very well. they would drill down,on a hot spot, where magma was present or very close, then they would drill down somewhere else, for an extraction point, water from the salton sea would be injected in one hole and steam would come out of the other, simple and worked very well.