Iceland Deep Drilling Project covered in Popular Science

Alexander Richter Alexander Richter 20 Jun 2009

Iceland's Deep Drilling Project (IDDP) is covered in a recent article by Popular Science, which describes the project nicely and in some depth putting this also into the context of the economic situation of Iceland.

In a recent article by Christpher Mims for Popular Science, Iceland’s Deep Drilling project is given some prime online space. Mims has already written several stories on geothermal and geothermal energy in Iceland, and this now latest piece of him is excellent.

It gives a fantastic overview on the project and the progress made by Icelanders, putting the project also in perspective to the overall economic situation in the country since the collapse of its financial sector in October 2008.

To read the full article use the link provided below.

The main purpose of the Iceland Deep Drilling Project is, so the website for the project, “is to find out if it is economically feasible to extract energy and chemicals out of hydrothermal systems at supercritical conditions. To study the supercritical hydrous fluid, an advanced drilling technology needs to be applied and a novel fluid handling and evaluation system designed.”

The consortium is “drilling of a 4-5 km deep drillhole into one of its high-temperature hydrothermal system to reach 400-600°C hot supercritical hydrous fluid at a rifted plate margin on a mid-ocean ridge.”

In the article it is described that “Iceland’s high-pressure geology and volcanic activity make its geothermal plan a model for countries with a similar landscape. Japan and Italy are talking openly about the potential of their own supercritical water. But Iceland is the first country forced to bet everything on green energy, and its combination of desperation and expertise means it could finally make geothermal a viable alternative to oil and gas. As other nations run out of fossil fuels, they will face the same impetus. But you won’t hear that from Fridleifsson. Perhaps it takes his kind of patience and modesty to make geothermal work. Gudmundur Omar Fridleifsson (the main contact for the project) insists that Krafla is just like hundreds of geothermal wells that he has drilled over the years. “There’s no magic in this,” he says. “It’s just a natural process.”

Source: “Iceland’s Geothermal Bailout” by Christopher Mims for Popular Science