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Iceland: Geothermal energy boosts year-round availability of fresh food

For half the year, the temperature on Pall Olafsson's remote farm in Iceland often dips below freezing and the sun barely makes an appearance.

Yet the heat and light in his greenhouses allow Olafsson to grow his juicy tomatoes and cucumbers even in the depths of winter - thanks largely to the geothermal energy that gives his tiny North Atlantic nation its title, the Land of Fire and Ice.

"When we started using the lights and growing all year round, then it changed a lot," said Olafsson as workers busily pruned plants behind him.

"(Before), you were picking the last tomatoes in November and next you pick in April. Maybe 20 years ago, it was like that."

Olafsson credits the hot springs that bubble up from the earth a short distance away with turning Hveravellir into one of Iceland's biggest vegetable farms, producing about 500 tonnes of tomatoes, cucumber and bell peppers a year.

Read more at the Thomson Reuters Foundation (Thin Lei Win)


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