How does Iceland utilize volcanic activity to its advantage?
The first reason why Iceland utilizes its volcanic activity to its advantage is by using geothermal energy.
Geothermal energy production works by the radioactive decay f several types of rocks containing radioactive substances (such as uranium) releasing heat energy. In the volcanic areas in Iceland, the rocks heat the water so that it then rises to the surface (naturally) as hot water and steam. The steam can then be used to drive turbines and electricity generators, thus creating the energy used to heat homes & greenhouses, and other reasons such as fish farming and other electricity in general.
By using geothermal energy, it will cost less to get electricity since it is both renewable, and the cheapest source of power generation, therefore saving Iceland money. The government believes that exploiting geothermal energy for space heating alone saves Iceland ÃÂ£50m in imported fossil fuels each year! Geothermal energy also means no harmful gases such as CO2 are being released into the atmosphere.
The demand for imported coal is also not very high since it is not needed for the production of geothermal energy. Geothermal water is used to heat around 90% of Iceland's homes, and also the water is purified and cooled for cold drinking water. Also Iceland is able to grow crops that would not normally grow since there are greenhouses heated with geothermal energy, making Iceland be able to grow crops such as potatoes, turnips, carrots and cabbage.
Geothermal energy in Iceland happened by accident! In 1907, a farmer in west Iceland took steam from a hot spring that ran below his farm through a concrete pipe and into his house several meters above. A few years later, another farmer became the first Icelander to use...