Photographer's Note

Day 9 - Landmannahellir - Reykjavik

This photo is surely not the most spectacular in my travelogue about Iceland, but one of the aims of Trekearth is to discover the features of the countries all of us visit. So this photo was token near Hveragerdi, a small town on the Road 1, south east of Reykjavik towards Selfoss. The white smoke emerging from the lava fields is steam from hotsprings. And I posted this photo to talk you about geothermal energy in Iceland !

In Iceland 81% of total primary energy is produced from renewable energy sources (which is probably a world record !). The share of hydropower is 15%, but geothermal energy is the most important in Iceland with a share of 66%. Iceland is located on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and is one of the most tectonically active places in the world. Because of proximty of magma the subsoil of Iceland is hot. In a few places it is nearly burning, 250°C at 1 km deep ! The frequent rain penetrates the subsoil and is heated at contact with hot rocks. It then goes up back to the surface as geysers, mudpots or most of the time hotsprings (there are more than 600 such hotsprings all over Iceland !). Geothermal power is mainly used for heating and hot water production. It is also used for electricity production, industry, fish farms or greenhouses. This is the case near Hveragerdi : the town is known for its greenhouses that produce a big part of vegetables and fruits consumed in Iceland. So this is thanks to geothermal power that Iceland is the first european producer for ... bananas ! Quite surprising, isn't it ?

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Additional Photos by Olivier THIERRY (chawax) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1362 W: 21 N: 3240] (20760)
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