Getting ready for the World Geothermal Congress 2020+1 starting Oct. 24, 2021 in Reykjavik, Iceland, ThinkGeoEnergy is collaborating with Green by Iceland and Iceland Geothermal, a cluster initiative by the Iceland geothermal energy sector on a short interview series.
Today, meet Ásdís Benediktsdóttir, geophysicist at Iceland GeoSurvey/ ÍSOR. The company has been the trusted partner to the Icelandic power industry and the Icelandic government and to numerous foreign companies and governments all over the world. The company is focused on geothermal exploration, development, and utilization, yet its experience covers many other geoscience-related fields as well, including groundwater studies, marine geology, and environmental monitoring.
1. Any suggestions for WGC attendees that are “must-see” while they are in Iceland?
- See the eruption at Fagradalsfjall — if it is still erupting and if the weather is okay!
- Go to a swimming pool in the suburbs and eat a hot dog afterward for an authentic Icelandic experience.
- Check out the view from the top of Hallgrímskirkja
2. How did you come to work for Iceland GeoSurvey (ÍSOR), and how has this changed your view on sustainable energy?
I came to work at ÍSOR while still working on my Ph.D., and they advertised a position. I wanted to put my skills to use for the greater good of humanity and found that geothermal energy was precisely that. Working at ÍSOR has given me more appreciation for sustainable geothermal energy and has shown me the wonders of a long hot shower!
3. Talk about your company’s area of expertise?
ÍSOR’s expertise is its vast knowledge of geothermal fields accumulated in one place. Within the walls of ÍSOR, you can find experts on surface exploration, drilling, and monitoring of geothermal areas. It is this cross-field knowledge that is golden.
4. How many countries have you worked in with geothermal?
I have worked on fields in Iceland, Mexico, Chile, Indonesia, Turkey, and other places.
5. What is one of your favourite projects, and why?
One of my favourite projects is collaborating with Mexican colleagues at the National Autonomous University of Mexico within the EU-funded GeMEX project. We visited the Los Humeros and Acoculco geothermal fields, did fieldwork with some exceptional colleagues, and got to learn about their culture and geothermal fields.
6. How do you see the long-term future for geothermal energy?
I see geothermal energy playing a prominent role in the world of sustainable energy alongside solar and wind power. We need to be more innovative in exploiting our fields, using injection and responsible drilling, and learning how to better use the wastewater from high-temperature areas. I also think that low-temperature fields will become ever more relevant for local direct use, such as district heating, dehydrating food, greenhouses, etc. I believe that it is important for remote populations to be energy self-reliant if the land has the potential.
Meet ÍSOR at the World Geothermal Congress 2020+1, Oct. 24-27, 2021 at the Iceland Pavilion on the exhibition floors.