Pete Rowley is Senior Scientific Officer, Earth Science, University of Portsmouth. The views expressed in this commentary are solely those of the writer. CNN is showcasing the work of The Conversation, a collaboration between journalists and academics to provide news analysis and commentary. The content is produced solely by The Conversation.
(CNN)Iceland is about to tap into water as hot as lava. Several kilometers below ground, a drilling rig named Thor will soon penetrate the area around a magma chamber, where molten rock from the inner Earth heats up water that has seeped through the seafloor. This water -- up to 1,000°C and saturated with corrosive chemicals -- will eventually be piped up to the surface and its heat turned into usable energy.