Energy: Boiling Point

THORVALDUR ORN KRISTMUNDSSON

POWER CENTER: Krafla, which opened in the early 1970s, was the country's first major geothermal power station. After the initial borehole was drilled, volcanic eruptions rocked the area for years

On a chilly morning outside the hamlet of Reykjahlid in northern Iceland, Hallgrimur Jonasson lifts the edge of a soggy plank of wood lying in the clay to expose a small hole in the ground. "This is the rye-bread bakery," he says, yanking his hand back from a waft of scalding, sulfurous steam. A chef in a nearby hotel, Jonasson estimates his kitchen staff bake roughly three tons of the sweet, dense rye bread in the hole every summer to meet the growing demand, mostly from tourists, for the exotic carb. The bread's price tag — up nearly 20% from last...

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