Iceland volcano eruption and volcanic activity fuels geological research

Iceland - volcanic eruptionIceland’s recent volcanic activity at the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in the southern region of the country has drawn a lot of attention from geologists and volcanologists worldwide. In addition to the abundance of tourists flocking to see the volcano erupting, scientists and students from all around the world are coming to Iceland to examine, research and survey these enormous forces of nature in a country that is constantly being shaped by both fire and ice.

Icelanders, over the past century, have become world leaders in the use of renewable energy sources by learning to harness the forces that are present in Iceland as an indigenous and clean energy source. Over 80 percent of total energy use in Iceland comes from renewable energy sources. With only imported fossil fuels for the transportation sector and fishing fleet, this is by far the highest average of renewable energy use in the world.

Week long summer courses focusing on the utilisation of renewable energy and use of alternative fuels in Iceland are offered by Keilir, the Atlantic Center of Excellence. During the course, participants will learn about the harnessing and use of various renewable energy sources, as well as experiencing the awesome nature that fosters the energy, such as the surroundings of the recent and ongoing volcanic activities, glacier tours, excursions to the mid Atlantic drift zone and other natural sites.

Keilir’s courses focus on the effective use and harnessing of renewable energy in Iceland and include site visits to geothermal power plants in the Reykjanes peninsula, hydro power plants in South Iceland, the development and use of alternative fuels (biofuels, hydrogen, methane, methanol) for the transportation sector, and small scale use of renewable energy sources. In addition participants will get an introduction to energy policies, environmental aspects and energy efficiency. Focus will be on a broad overview of the field of renewable energy with emphasis on local expertise and experience in Iceland.

Further details about Keilir’s renewable energy courses can be found at http://en.keilir.net/courses-in-english/courses_2010

Further images of Iceland volcano site by Ólafur Kr. Ólafsson available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/olafur/sets/72157623713658930

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