New hope for geothermal heating in small community in Iceland

New hope for geothermal heating in small community in Iceland Höfn in Hornafjörður, Iceland (source: flickr/ Bernard McManus, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 11 Apr 2016

With nearly all of Iceland enjoying geothermal heating, there are still some communities that don't have that luxury. So with initial positive indications of a new drilling campaign for a small community in the East, there are big hopes that it will soon be able to enjoy geothermal heating.

“All Gaul is under Roman control, except for one small village, whose inhabitants are made invincible by magic potion” … so start the Asterix and Obelix comic books.

So or similar one could also talk about geothermal heating in Iceland. With about 90% of the country’s population with access to geothermal heating, there are today only a handful number of communities who have not been able to take advantage of this abundant source of energy.

For those communities, it has been a struggle … high – while subsidised – cost for electrical or oil heating, and now geothermal heated swimming pools, they have been lagging behind both in economic development and in the wellbeing of its population. Particularly with increasing tourism, year-round swimming pools are seen as a crucial element in the social life, wellbeing of its population and local tourism.

So when now news broke in Iceland that the exploration efforts in a community called Höfn have been providing some promising results, people are now quite hopeful they soon can enjoy geothermal heating.

Driven by company RARIK, drilling had started in February based on some studies by Icelandic GeoSurvey (ÍSOR).

RARIK reports that drilling was down by 1,100 meters depth and the temperature in the bottom of the hole accommodates 80 degrees. “When we came down for 850 meters veins found that most of the points to give some water, but it is not revealed until the drilling is completed and has been measured hole. It is anticipated that drilling stop soon and start measuring. The final performance of the hole will not be revealed until after blowing measurements carried out in the coming days and test pumping of the hole, which will take several weeks.

Today there are about 25 small communities in Iceland without geothermal heating.