Utah delegation studies future geothermal potential in Iceland

Jun 10, 2024, 4:42 PM | Updated: 6:38 pm

REYKJAVÍK, Iceland — More than a dozen Utah leaders visited Iceland to understand better how the country uses geothermal and renewable energy, intending to bring that knowledge to the Beehive State.

“Iceland is the capital of geothermal. It’s everything on the island is pretty much revolves around geothermal energy,” said Jim Goddard, the geothermal program manager for Utah’s Division of Water Rights.

Goddard and the other Utahns listened and networked with a number of experts in the industry and in government on Monday.

“We have a great capacity where we can certainly increase our power production and other geothermal uses by 10, 20%, easily in the next decade,” Goddard said.

Utah delegates meeting with an Icelandic official about geothermal energy.

Utah delegates meeting with an Icelandic official about geothermal energy. (Mike Anderson, KSL TV)

He said witnessing a geothermal well and compression station that gets heat to about 2,000 homes a year is encouraging for what Utah could do with its geothermal energy.

“As we look at expansion, whether it’s residential or commercial in the state. There’s a real demand for energy,” said Ryan Starks, the executive director of Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity.

Starks said Iceland often shares its knowledge with other governments, as 100% of its energy comes from renewable sources.

“I think geologically, Utah is obviously ready for a geothermal revolution. I think you have the know-how; you have the drilling expertise,” said Steinar Jonsson, a legal advisor for Iceland’s energy team.

A geothermal well in Iceland that the Utah delegation visited. (Mike Anderson, KSL TV)

Utah already produces a small amount of geothermal power, said Goddard, with two plants looking to expand in the near future. And the Utah delegation is looking for answers on how to take that further as growth and changing federal regulations demand it.

“They’re energy-independent from the rest of the world. I think that’s an enviable position to have,” said Utah state Sen. Scott Sandall, R-Tremonton. “So I want to obviously look for those items, those opportunities that we have in Utah to become more energy independent.”

The delegation is spending the week taking a broad look at why geothermal plays a central role in Iceland’s culture and where it could play a bigger role in Utah’s everyday lives, from power to the economy to even growing produce year-round.

A view of Iceland's capital city, Reykjavík, where the Utah delegation visited to learn more about geothermal and renewable energy.

A view of Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavík, where the Utah delegation visited to learn more about geothermal and renewable energy. (Mike Anderson, KSL TV)

KSL 5 TV Live


Delegates from Utah listen to an employee of Carbfix on Wednesday, June 12, 2024. (Mike Anderson, K...

Mike Anderson

Utah delegation explores Iceland’s example in carbon capture to reduce emissions

A Utah delegation is looking to Iceland to help pave the way for a cleaner energy future for the state. 

21 hours ago

A horde of grasshoppers is invading several homes and lawns of Springville residents on June 12, 20...

Shelby Lofton

‘We need birds:’ Grasshoppers invade parts of Springville

Some Springville residents are being overwhelmed by a recent invasion of grasshoppers that are eating gardens and lawns.

21 hours ago

The 8th largest geothermal plant in the world, Hellisheidi, located in Iceland....

Mike Anderson

Utah is looking to Iceland to map the state’s geothermal potential

A Utah delegation is visiting Iceland to see if the country could help the Beehive State achieve cleaner energy through geothermal energy. 

2 days ago

Gov. Spencer Cox and other officials gather to bring awareness to the potential of fires during a p...

Shara Park

State fire officials concerned as they consider wildfire season outlook

State fire experts say Utah is at risk of having a devastating wildfire season this summer and pleading with Utahns to be proactive.

3 days ago

Deer Creek Reservoir is pictured at Deer Creek State Park in Wallsburg on May 10. Utah's reservoir ...

Carter Williams, KSL.com

Utah’s reservoirs at highest levels in 13 years as last of snowpack melts

Utah's reservoir system has officially reached its highest point in 13 years after falling to 42% less than two years ago.

6 days ago

One of the many wetlands in Davis County that could hold several thousand mosquitos and larvae....

Mike Anderson

High heat, water levels could bring busy mosquito season

The near-record heat and high water levels from the snowpack could mean tons more mosquitos will bug Utahns across the state this summer. 

7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Utah delegation studies future geothermal potential in Iceland