Stunning Geothermal Area To Be Ruined For Geothermal Drilling - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Stunning Geothermal Area To Be Ruined For Geothermal Drilling

Published December 14, 2015

Photos by
Ellert Grétarsson

A beautiful thermal area in southwest Iceland will soon become no more, as geothermal drilling is to begin there.

Stundin reports that the geothermal area of Eldvörp, located on the Reykjanes peninsula of southwest Iceland, is living on borrowed time. This region, known for its stunning landscapes displaying geothermal activity, also happens to be slated for geothermal drilling by geothermal energy company HS Orka.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2FpfwxUf4M&w=560&h=315]

As can be seen, Eldvörp is characterised by rolling mists of steam, often replete with boiling waters being heated by activity not far below the surface, and a series of craters, one of which is about ten kilometres wide.

If HS Orka has its way, much or all of the area will be cordoned off from the general public. Drilling will commence, and with it, much of the currently visible geothermal activity – not to mention the landscape around it – will no longer be accessible to visitors and locals alike. That is, unless they happen to be geothermal energy workers for HS Orka.

The news is especially disturbing in light of the fact that the Icelandic National Planning Agency has strongly advised against drilling in the area because of the environmental damage caused. Even more confusing, Reykjanes Geopark – a joint venture of both HS Orka and the nearby town of Grindavík – have recently tasked themselves with marketing the area as a sight of natural wonder, but Grindavík has granted a permit to HS Orka for the drilling.

No formal date for the beginning of the geothermal drilling has yet been announced.


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