Geothermal Heated Greenhouses in Iceland: Fresh Produce Near the Arctic Circle

At BTL, We’re pretty intrigued by greenhouses and the different uses for greenhouse cover material. We recently learned that in Iceland, the country uses geothermal heated greenhouses to grow fresh produce. Geothermal heated greenhouses in Iceland allow the country to produce it’s own produce despite being as close as they are to the Arctic Circle. Because the climate isn’t conducive to traditional growing and agriculture methods, geothermal heated greenhouses in Iceland are used instead of importing from growing regions like Italy or England.

History of Geothermal Heated Greenhouse in Iceland

Using geothermal energy to heat greenhouses started in Iceland in 1924. Around this same time people started using geothermal heat for space heating and swimming pools. The first geothermal power plant was build in Iceland in 1969, today there are seven. Geothermal energy is utilized in Iceland for snow melting, aquaculture, greenhouse heating, industrial drying, the manufacture of skin care products and more. Most of the geothermal heated greenhouses in Iceland and located in the southern region of the country.

What Grows in Geothermal Heated Greenhouses in Iceland?

Geothermal heated greenhouses in Iceland are used to produce a variety of fruits and vegetables from tomatoes and cucumbers all the way to bananas and strawberries. Additionally, flowers are grown for the domestic market including roses and potted plants. Approximately 50% of geothermal heated greenhouses in Iceland are used to grow fruits and vegetables, 24% for cut flowers and potted plants and 24% are nurseries for bedding and forest plants.

How Does it Work?

Greenhouses in Iceland commonly use inert media such as volcanic scoria and rhyolite on concrete floors with individual plant watering. Geothermal steam is used to boil and infect the soil. The growing season in Iceland has been extended recently due to the increased use of electric lighting. Because the hours of sunlight in Iceland vary so drastically, it’s important to have this artificial form of light for improved greenhouse utilization. The lights also give off heat in addition to the geothermal energy. Whether you’re planning on covering a geothermal heated greenhouse in Iceland, or a more traditional one back here in the States, BTL Liners has a high quality, durable material perfect for your growing needs, even in extreme climates.


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