1706407708 VIDEO Bananas and tomatoes grow in Iceland thanks to

VIDEO – Bananas and tomatoes grow in Iceland… thanks to geothermal energy – TF1 INFO

Iceland is currently testing new exotic fruit crops in greenhouses heated by geothermal energy. Although banana production is still minimal, many other fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes, already provide the country with this energy source. “Green Energy”.

Surprising, but very real. The University of South Island (FSU) is currently testing the cultivation of various varieties, including bananas, in geothermal greenhouses heated to 20°C. This energy is generated by volcanic activity on the island.

“Because there isn’t a lot of light, they grow a little slower. It takes about 18 months for a plant to produce a bunch of bananas,” explains production manager Elias Oskarsson, who nevertheless says: “We can grow whatever we want.”

This production remains experimental and not profitable enough to be commercialized. On the other hand, the cultivation of other fruits and vegetables in greenhouses heated by geothermal energy is widespread and is being promoted by the government, which wants to improve the country's food independence. More than 40% of the vegetables consumed by Icelanders are grown locally.

Electricity is four to six times cheaper than in France

No problem, for example growing tomatoes in Reykholt, a town in western Iceland, 100 km north of the capital. “The water is at a temperature of around 100°C when it arrives and we circulate it through the pipes on the walls and in the ceiling,” which heats the 11,000 m² greenhouse without any other energy source, explains owner Knutur Rafn Armann , which met us in the report at the top of the article. “We harvest 6,000 to 7,000 tonnes per year. The tomatoes that are picked here in the morning can be in the supermarket in the afternoon or the next morning.”

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With seven geothermal power plants connected to 130 active volcanoes on the island, Iceland is self-sufficient in its energy production and electricity costs are four to six times lower than in France. “Each kilowatt hour costs five cents (euro), the price does not fluctuate from one month to the next or from one season to the next,” emphasizes the communications manager of the Hellisheidi power plant near the capital.

JB | TF1 report: Elise Stern, Loeiza Larvor, Clément Dubrul