Monday, November 23, 2015

Science & Technology: Hellisheiði Geothermal Power Plant Minimizes CO2 Emissions

Three diverse European companies with a handle on climate change (euronews)

Global climate change is one of humanity’s biggest problems, but what can we do with the CO2 that is emitted into the atmosphere? In Iceland, scientists are working on a solution.

Iceland largely relies on geothermal power, one of the greenest energy sources available. But the underground steam contains CO2 of volcanic origin which also ends up in the atmosphere.

Edda Sif Aradóttir, Reservoir Engineer, Reykjavik Energy, CARBFIX project coordinator: “Geothermal power plants do not emit a lot of CO2. For example, the Hellisheiði [pronounced Khedlis-kheidi] power plant which generates 300 megawatts of electricity emits about 40,000 tonnes per year, which is around 3% of what a fossil fuel-powered power plant of the same size would emit. So we do not emit a lot, but we’re still trying to reduce our emissions.”

Instead of emitting the carbon dioxide and other gases into the atmosphere, here it is captured, mixed with water that comes from the same steam, and then pumped deep into the ground. The technology involving the recycling of the CO2 tested at the plant can also be used by other industry.