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Can we use the power of lava?

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While the weather in Iceland is often cold, wet, and windy, a nearly endless supply of heat bubbles away below the surface. In fact, almost every building in the country is heated by geothermal energy in a process with virtually no carbon emissions. So how exactly does this renewable energy work?

Learn how “the land of fire and ice” harnesses planet Earth’s natural heat in this TED-Ed lesson by geologist and researcher Jean-Baptiste P. Koehl, directed by Charlotte Arene: Iceland’s superpowered underground volcanoes.

iceland

Plus, no pun intended, Dig Deeper at TEDEd.com below:

The Earth is constantly radiating gigantic amounts of heat. Earth’s total surface heat flux is estimated to be in the range of 47 terawatts, which is three times higher than the total energy consumption of the whole world population in 2019. This heat comes from the heat accumulated during the formation of the Earth (Primordial Heat), from radioactive decay in the mantle, and from the absorption of heat generated by incoming sunrays. Heat from the first two deep sources is slowly transferred towards the surface of the Earth through convection movements and conduction. At present, only a small part of this energy is used by geothermal plants to produce electricity.

geothermal energy
geothermal energy
Learn more about geothermal energy in Iceland with this excellent Greg Foot video.

Plus: Volcano Bread and more Iceland.

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