Researchers investigating the feasibility of volcano-powered electricity successfully drilled into the core of one in Iceland, reaching a record-breaking depth of nearly 3 miles (4.8 kilometers). Geothermal energy uses the heat trapped beneath the Earth’s surface to generate electricity via steam from natural sources such as geysers, or by drawing water from the hot, high-pressure depths of the Earth. These hot vapors are then used to drive electric turbines.
When it comes to volcanic geothermal energy, the extreme heat and pressure generated when molten rock and water meet can bring water to a “supercritical” state, which can create up to 10 times the power output of other geothermal sources. Researchers continue to explore how the volcano’s thermal energy can be used as a form of alternative power.
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