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  #1  
Old Posted Jul 19, 2010, 3:10 AM
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Geothermal Power Thread

Digging deep for future power


July 18th, 2010

By Pamela Medlen

Read More: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2...19/2957433.htm

Quote:
It reads like a science-fiction story... a team of scientists drilling through the surface of the earth, plundering its depths and harnessing the heat from within to bring light and warmth to the city above. While geothermal power has been used since pre-Roman times for warming and bathing, the use of the technology is just starting to heat up in Western Australia.

Since 2004, Challenge Stadium in the Perth suburb of Mt Claremont has used geothermal technology to heat its swimming pools. The stadium uses a geothermal supply about 700 to 1000 metres below the ground. Now, one Perth company plans to take the concept a whole lot further, or deeper, and use the energy for cooling. Richard Beresford is GreenRock Energy's managing director and says the geothermal energy below the city of Perth is potentially a huge resource.

"We're planning on drilling deeper than has currently been drilled in the metropolitan area to get higher temperatures, around 3,000 metres." In the process, water is pumped below the earth's surface, and when it returns it's very hot. If the temperature is high enough, the heat energy can be transferred into electricity and the water is recycled back into the ground. The company has teamed up with the Geothermal Centre of Excellence at the University of WA.

Mr Beresford says the temperature of the water in the UWA project will not be hot enough to produce electricity but he believes it will be sufficient to drive technology called an absorption chiller, which produces cold water. "The absorption chiller is not new technology, but it is relatively new to think about using geothermal energy as the heat source for them. "That chilled water at UWA would then be circulated into their existing system which goes around the campus feeding the various air conditioning units."

Professor Hui Hui Tong Chua, from UWA's Geothermal Centre, is excited about the project. "This is talking about a world-first application of geothermal air conditioning on such a campus." Mr Beresford says the two wells will be drilled on the Crawley campus. "The site is right next to their existing plant room where they have the existing electricity and chillers. "The absorption chillers will be plumbed in to the same system and controlled by the same system they've already got."



The temperature of underground rocks varies across Australia with drilling planned beneath UWA (Hot Dry Rocks)

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Old Posted Jul 19, 2010, 4:24 AM
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'the geysers' geothermal plant right here in sonoma and lake counties is the largest geothermal complex in the world, with 22 power plants. the plants inject waste-water deep into the earth where the heat turns it into steam that generate electricity. not kidding you:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Geysers

oh, and it create earthquakes.
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Old Posted Jul 19, 2010, 4:57 PM
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From http://www.chrismartenson.com/forum/...-nuclear/40272

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In 2006, an MIT report on geothermal energy found that 13,000 zettajoules of power are currently available in the earth, with the possibility of 2000 zj being easily tap-able with improved technology.

The total energy consumption of all the countries on the planet is about half of a zettajoule a year.

This means about 4000 years of planetary power could be harnessed in this medium alone.
What happens after 4,000 years? Does extended use of geothermal energy cause Earth's core to cool to the point where we no longer have a magnetosphere?

Maybe this isn't such a good idea after all....
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Old Posted Jul 20, 2010, 5:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Bootstrap Bill View Post
From http://www.chrismartenson.com/forum/...-nuclear/40272



What happens after 4,000 years? Does extended use of geothermal energy cause Earth's core to cool to the point where we no longer have a magnetosphere?

Maybe this isn't such a good idea after all....
not all the earth's heat is tap-able, and were not going to use geothermal for all our energy needs. (and even if we did we would FOUR THOUSAND years to come up with something better). the fact that we could 'suck out' all the earth's heat at our current rates is utterly ridiculous.

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Sustainability

Geothermal power is considered to be sustainable because any projected heat extraction is small compared to the Earth's heat content. The Earth has an internal heat content of 1031 joules (3·1015 TW·hr).[8] About 20% of this is residual heat from planetary accretion, and the remainder is attributed to higher radioactive decay rates that existed in the past.[27] Natural heat flows are not in equilibrium, and the planet is slowly cooling down on geologic timescales. Human extraction taps a minute fraction of the natural outflow, often without accelerating it.

Even though geothermal power is globally sustainable, extraction must still be monitored to avoid local depletion.[24] Over the course of decades, individual wells draw down local temperatures and water levels until a new equilibrium is reached with natural flows. The three oldest sites, at Larderello, Wairakei, and the Geysers have experienced reduced output because of local depletion. Heat and water, in uncertain proportions, were extracted faster than they were replenished. If production is reduced and water is reinjected, these wells could theoretically recover their full potential. Such mitigation strategies have already been implemented at some sites. The long-term sustainability of geothermal energy has been demonstrated at the Lardarello field in Italy since 1913, at the Wairakei field in New Zealand since 1958,[28] and at The Geysers field in California since 1960.[29]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geothermal_power

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  #5  
Old Posted Jul 30, 2010, 4:03 PM
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Nevada’s Big Bet on Geothermal


July 30, 2010

Herman K. Trabish



Read More: http://www.greentechmedia.com/articl...-on-geothermal

Quote:
Most of Nevada remains sparsely populated, but the state now generates more geothermal power than all but eight of the world's nations, according to the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA). And that's only an indication of geothermal's potential as a player at the renewables table. "It was only five or six years ago that people had no idea what geothermal could be," Karl Gawell, the Executive Director of the GEA, said. "There was tremendous uncertainty and utilities were totally skeptical." During the renewables expansion that has taken place from 2005 to 2010, geothermal's installed capacity in Nevada doubled from 200 megawatts to over 400 megawatts. Projects currently in development could add as much as 3,000 megawatts to Nevada's grid.

"Some of the major utilities, like NV Energy, have become real believers," Gawell said. "A few years ago, geothermal was in just four states: Utah, Nevada, California and Hawaii. Now every state from Alaska to Texas has geothermal projects." A lot of money is being bet on geothermal, particularly in the upfront equity financing of test wells. Though the science of identifying geothermal's deep pockets of hot water is improving, a geothermal exploration well remains a bet of as much as half the project cost, made on the presence or evidence of a hot spring.

But large and small companies alike are making that bet. Calpine, a veteran independent power producer in the natural gas industry, is active. So is CalEnergy Generation, a part of Warren Buffett's MidAmerican Energy. Nevada Geothermal Power, a company on the Canadian stock exchange, is playing. So are startups U.S. Geothermal and Ram Power. The recession slowed, but did not stop, development. A developer cannot get bank financing today until 80 percent of the work to prove the resource has been done. Just a few years ago, Gawell said, bank financing came with as little as 30 percent of the work done.
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Old Posted Jun 9, 2011, 3:04 PM
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Best Of Both Worlds: Geothermal Energy That Sucks CO2 From The Atmosphere


Jun 8, 2011

By Kit Eaton

Read More: http://www.fastcompany.com/1758277/c...same-time-want

Quote:
Work by scientists at the University of Minnesota could result in a new way to capture heat from underground geothermal sources, which lets us generate clean electrical energy for our own uses while simultaneously disposing of some of the CO2 that's responsible for global warming. Though it sounds implausibly positive, it actually all lines up in terms of science, and best of all, this piece of lateral thinking was achieved in a flash of inspiration during a road trip--the best type of idea.

The way geothermal energy is usually tapped for power generation is by drilling a couple of shafts deep into the earth, and pumping high-pressure water down one shaft. This makes its way through a hot rock layer (which gets its heat from the essentially inexhaustible energy of nearby plumes of hot lava) to the second shaft, picking up heat en route. The resulting steam is used to push a turbine, and generate power.

Except that two scientists pondered: What if the water in this equation was replaced with high-pressure carbon dioxide? Because it's a gas rather than a liquid, CO2 can ferret its way into more and tinier cracks in the sub-surface hot rocks than water--making the new system more feasible in areas water-based geothermal sources aren't deemed practical.

Water-based geothermal plants also suffer from blockages, where the water dissolves the rocks (or parts of them, like the mineral content) around it and prevents reliable flow of water through the loop. Water can also be hard to truck in to where the geothermal power plants are located. CO2 systems don't suffer the same issues. And if your geothermal system is also an oil well--as some of them are--the pumping in of CO2 can help push out the crude you're trying to extract.

.....



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Old Posted Aug 10, 2011, 11:45 PM
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Generating Electricity From Buried Carbon


Read More: http://www.fastcompany.com/1772405/a...thermal-energy

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Geothermal power production and CO2 storage are both well-known practices in the energy world: one generates power from thermal energy that is generated and stored in the Earth, and the other is used to store CO2 from coal-fired power plants (or other dirty industrial plants) to prevent the greenhouse gas from entering the atmosphere. Now researchers are combining the practices by creating an entirely new way to produce clean energy--by converting geothermally heated CO2 into electricity.

Here's how the project works: CO2 is injected three kilometers into the ground. The sedimentary layer located in that space is 125 degrees Celsius--hot enough for the CO2 to enter a supercritical state, where it has both gas and liquid properties. The CO2 is then brought up to the surface and placed in a turbine that turns heat into electricity. Afterward, the CO2 goes back underground, and the cycle continues (more CO2 is continually added to ensure that the turbines keep spinning). Eventually, some of the CO2 will get permanently stuck in the sediment, while the rest continues to make power.

.....



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Old Posted Aug 11, 2011, 12:48 AM
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CO2 still costs around $80/ton to compress to a pressure that is acceptable to inject into the earth. I doubt a ton of CO2 would produce at least 1600 kwh of electricity (at 0.05c/kwh) to cover just the compression costs. While the price may fall as more carbon capture and storage projects help push the technology's price down, I doubt the physical advantages of CO2 in a reservoir would ever offset the fact that superheated steam compresses back to injectable form rather easily without much energy use.
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Old Posted Nov 6, 2011, 3:17 PM
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Google Map Reveals Massive Geothermal Potential Nationwide, “Effectively an Unlimited Supply” Says Chu


Read More: http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/1...al-supply-chu/

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Southern Methodist University’s Geothermal Laboratory recently released a map that proves once again how much potential energy is locked beneath America. SMU’s resource map, which took years to develop with funding from Google.org, shows that there are enough technically recoverable resources throughout the U.S. to equal 10 times the amount of coal capacity in place today.

Other maps have shown similar data. Last year, SMU issued a map (also funded by Google) that showed massive geothermal potential under West Virginia, an area not typically seen as suitable for the technology. In 2007, MIT Researcher Jeff Tester analyzed deep “hot rock” resources, showing that the U.S has 100 GW of potential for Enhanced Geothermal Systems [EGS] — an emerging type of plant design in which a developer creates an artificial well by pumping water through deep rocks, rather than using direct steam from hot water reservoirs closer to the surface.

So big deal, right? Another map shows we have tons of resources. Why is this so different from the others? Well, geothermal exploration can be a very risky business. It’s not uncommon for a developer to spend 3/5ths of capital on the exploration and drilling phase of a project. And if the resources aren’t there, that’s millions of dollars down the…bore hole.

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Old Posted Nov 14, 2011, 4:01 AM
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I'm wondering if it is possible to place 3 mile metal beams to transfer the heat to a power facility. The heat would be used to boil water in a huge water tank to form steam to turn a turbine. The steam could be redirected into a venting system that runs below ground in order to condense the steam back into water. The water can then be pumped back into the hot water tank.
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Old Posted Nov 18, 2011, 4:49 PM
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geothermal is more widespread than many might think, but there definately needs to be more of it. sounds like a great green business venture?!

one example, the fancy diane von furstenburg shop in the manhattan meatpacking district is geothermal. when they remodeled the old warehouse into the chi-chi shop they dug down to use geothermal heat pump wells to heat/cool the building. it also uses reflected light from the roof to light the interior.

http://www.nontoxicvision.com/2007/0...von_furst.html
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Old Posted Jan 14, 2012, 10:11 PM
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Project to pour water into volcano to make power


January 14, 2012

By JEFF BARNARD

Read More: http://www.seattlepi.com/news/articl...er-2527455.php

Quote:
Geothermal energy developers plan to pump 24 million gallons of water into the side of a dormant volcano in Central Oregon this summer to demonstrate new technology they hope will give a boost to a green energy sector that has yet to live up to its promise. They hope the water comes back to the surface fast enough and hot enough to create cheap, clean electricity that isn't dependent on sunny skies or stiff breezes — without shaking the earth and rattling the nerves of nearby residents. Renewable energy has been held back by cheap natural gas, weak demand for power and waning political concern over global warming. Efforts to use the earth's heat to generate power, known as geothermal energy, have been further hampered by technical problems and worries that tapping it can cause earthquakes.

Even so, the federal government, Google and other investors are interested enough to bet $43 million on the Oregon project. They are helping AltaRock Energy, Inc. of Seattle and Davenport Newberry Holdings LLC of Stamford, Conn., demonstrate whether the next level in geothermal power development can work on the flanks of Newberrry Volcano, located about 20 miles south of Bend, Ore. "We know the heat is there," said Susan Petty, president of AltaRock. "The big issue is can we circulate enough water through the system to make it economic." The heat in the earth's crust has been used to generate power for more than a century. Engineers gather hot water or steam that bubbles near the surface and use it to spin a turbine that creates electricity. Most of those areas have been exploited. The new frontier is places with hot rocks, but no cracks in the rocks or water to deliver the steam. To tap that heat — and grow geothermal energy from a tiny niche into an important source of green energy — engineers are working on a new technology called Enhanced Geothermal Systems.

"To build geothermal in a big way beyond where it is now requires new technology, and that is where EGS comes in," said Steve Hickman, a research geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, Calif. Wells are drilled deep into the rock and water is pumped in, creating tiny fractures in the rock, a process known as hydroshearing. Cold water is pumped down production wells into the reservoir, and the steam is drawn out. Hydroshearing is similar to the process known as hydraulic fracturing, used to free natural gas from shale formations. But fracking uses chemical-laden fluids, and creates huge fractures. Pumping fracking wastewater deep underground for disposal likely led to recent earthquakes in Arkansas and Ohio. Fears persist that cracking rock deep underground through hydroshearing can also lead to damaging quakes. EGS has other problems. It is hard to create a reservoir big enough to run a commercial power plant.

.....



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Old Posted May 25, 2013, 6:45 PM
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Geothermal Exploratory Fund May Spur $9.6 Billion Investment
23 May 2013

May 23 (Bloomberg) — A proposed $500 million fund to help developers of geothermal power explore new sites for projects may leverage about $9.6 billion of new investment, unleashing as much as 2,400 megawatts of capacity, a report found.

A geothermal exploration drilling fund, pooling money from either private investors and banks or government entities and development banks, would help finance about 473 megawatts across 24 projects, London-based researcher Bloomberg New Energy Finance said today. This would encourage another 1,927 megawatts, it said.

“It is $5 million to $9 million to develop each well, and so it costs about $10 million to $36 million just to know whether or not a particular resource merits development, since any developer would need to drill between two and four wells per site,” Jessica Thompson, president of Rinova International, which worked with BNEF on the report, said.

The high costs and high risks associated with drilling exploratory wells mean developers find it difficult to raise equity or debt. Only about six percent of the world’s estimated geothermal potential has been tapped, according to BNEF. The fund would offer debt financing to exploration-phase projects at rates that would be attractive enough to make geothermal projects viable, it said.
http://about.bnef.com/bnef-news/geot...on-investment/

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A global fund to de-risk exploration drilling: possibility or pipe dream?
23 May 2013

Installed power capacity from naturally-occurring geothermal resources represents just 6% of estimated global potential. This untapped capacity reflects in large part the high risk and cost associated with deep exploration drilling. The most promising mechanism proposed to date to reduce risk at this stage and accelerate development is to diversify risk across a large portfolio of projects via a global geothermal drilling fund.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance in collaboration with development consultants Rinova International present the first quantitative look at the feasibility and potential impact of a Geothermal Exploration Drilling Fund.

● A developer must drill typically two to four deep exploration wells to confirm expected output and determine economic viability of a given resource. At $5–9m each, it costs about $10–36m just to know whether or not a resource merits development. The high cost and risk of answering this question is keeping most geothermal sites undeveloped.

● Interest in breaking this barrier is mounting. Geothermal power is increasingly cited as a means of fuelling economic growth in the developing world – an estimated 113GW of untapped potential is located in 39 developing countries. Recently, several agencies have proposed portfolio funds, but to date no publicly available study has been completed to determine the feasibility and potential impact of such a fund.

● Here we draw upon recent global historical geothermal exploration drilling data to determine whether a $500m rotating debt facility could provide affordable financing to a global portfolio of geothermal projects for the first few deep exploration wells.

● A revolving global Geothermal Exploration Drilling Fund (GDF) may be able to offer debt financing to exploration-phase projects at rates that are commercially viable for the fund and potentially quite attractive to developers.

● We derived these conclusions from analysis of empirical data on historical geothermal drilling success and probabilistic modelling of portfolio size and economics.

● Outcomes are most sensitive to drilling success rate and the fund’s own cost of capital – ie, return required by lenders/contributors.

● A commercial financing approach using a 7% cost of capital would result in a 17% interest rate to developers, while a fund with public sector support and a 3.5% rate of return to public sector contributors could offer loans at a 14% interest rate. While these rates are high, they could be attractive, considering the total lack of access to financing at this time for early-stage drilling.

● The fund’s economics are also attractive from a development perspective, with a 1:25 indirect financial leverage ratio, and 7MW of capacity indirectly resulting per million dollars of funds utilised. Put differently, $500m in the fund would result in approximately $9.6bn of new investment in geothermal projects.

● The fund would directly finance drilling of 473MW across a portfolio of 24 projects and, in the scenario we present here, those confirmed resources would catalyse an additional 1,927MW, bringing the total impact of the fund to 2,400MW.
http://about.bnef.com/white-papers/a...or-pipe-dream/

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A global drilling fund could solve geothermal’s catch-22
23 May 2013

The mature and zero-carbon technology of geothermal power is being held back by the cost and uncertainty of drilling wells, but new research suggests a possible answer

Washington DC, 23 May 2013. The Catch-22 problem that is holding back world investment in geothermal power could be addressed via the establishment of a “global geothermal exploration drilling fund”, with either private investors and banks or government entities and development banks as the capital providers.

A new White Paper, published today by research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance and analysis provider Rinova International, examines how a possible $500m fund could help geothermal developers. At present, the industry faces the problem that that even though the sector as a whole can offer attractive returns, it is very difficult to raise the capital to drill individual wells because of the high risk of failure.

The drilling fund discussed in the White Paper would offer debt financing to exploration-phase projects at rates that might appear high compared to conventional infrastructure loans but would nevertheless be attractive enough to make geothermal projects viable.

Mark Taylor, lead geothermal analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance and co-author of the report, said: “Geothermal is one of the most attractive renewable power sources for countries to develop. It is zero-carbon, the technology is well proven over decades, and it can offer baseload, non-intermittent electricity at a cost close to that of fossil-fuel sources.

“The problem is that wells are expensive to drill and the often modestly capitalised developers find it difficult to raise either equity or debt finance because investors fear that the company concerned will be one that drills unsuccessfully and then fails. The proposed fund would be big enough to take losses, in the knowledge that the winners will outweigh the losers. It would be a particularly valuable source of finance in developing countries, where the majority of world’s unexploited geothermal power is located,” Taylor added.

The research found that a commercial financing basis approach using a 7% cost of capital would result in a 17% interest rate to market developers, while a fund with public sector support and a 3.5% rate of return to public sector contributors could offer loans at a 14% interest rate.

The fund’s economics are also attractive from a development perspective, with a 1:25 indirect financial leverage ratio, and 9MW of capacity resulting per million dollars of funds utilised. Put differently, $500m in the fund would result in approximately $9.6bn of new investment in geothermal projects.

The fund would directly finance drilling of 473MW across a portfolio of 24 projects and, in the scenario the White Paper presents, those confirmed resources would catalyse an additional 1,927MW, taking the total impact of the fund coming to 2,400MW.
http://about.bnef.com/press-releases...mals-catch-22/
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Old Posted Aug 3, 2013, 10:08 PM
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Fracking Could Help Geothermal Become a Power Player

Here's another use for fracking: expanding access to hot rocks deep beneath Earth’s surface for energy production. In April Ormat Technologies hooked up the first such project—known in the lingo as an enhanced geothermal system, or EGS—to the nation's electric grid near Reno, Nev.

By some estimates, the U.S. could tap as much as 2,000 times the nation’s current annual energy use of roughly 100 exajoules (an exajoule equals a quintillion, or 1018 joules) via enhanced geothermal technologies. With respect to electricity, the DoE concludes at least 500 gigawatts of electric capacity could be harvested from such EGS systems. Even better, hot rocks underlie every part of the country and the rest of the world. Australia's first enhanced geothermal system, spicily named Habanero, began producing power in May, and Europe has brought three such power plants online.
although similar natural bounty has turned Iceland into a geothermal powerhouse, there are only so many such sites around. That's where fracking, the controversial practice of pumping fluid underground to shatter shale and release oil or gas, can help. Fracking “enhances” geothermal by making cracks in hot rocks where none existed, allowing heat to be harvested from Earth’s interior practically anywhere, although this reduces the total power produced because of the need to pump water through the system.

As an added benefit, however:geothermal power can run constantly—the hot rocks don't cool very fast—which makes it renewable and predictable. "Geothermal is homegrown, reliable and clean," says Rohit Khanna, program manager at the World Bank for its Energy Sector Management Assistance Program. That is a big part of the reason it is being pursued in developing countries such as Chile, Indonesia, Kenya and the Philippines.
============================
David Biello, Scientific American, http://news.yahoo.com/fracking-could...100100318.html
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Old Posted Aug 6, 2013, 2:42 AM
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Kenya's untapped geothermal energy more than enough to power entire nation

Among the countries in Africa with the potential to become an economic powerhouse, Kenya's vast geothermal energy - which located near a hotbed of volcanic activity called "The Great Rift," has more than enough power to light up the entire nation, and then some.



Currently only 13 percent of the national grid is powered by this renewable energy.

Near the town of Naivasha, KenGen Drilling Superintendent Isaac Kirimi declares the starkness of a nearby landscape. "This is like a live volcano! You can easily convince someone you're in hell," he said. KenGen is Kenya's leading power company.

In order to harness geothermal energy, wells are first dug more than two kilometers into the earth's surface. The steam released by the wells is monitored for several months. If the hot water and steam is found to be exploitable, they are extracted from the well. The steam travels through pipes to a power plant, where it is converted into electrical energy. The water is re-injected into the earth.

KenGen is also developing a geothermal spa near the wells. It features a large pool with mineral-rich waters, modeled after the Blue Lagoon in Iceland where many KenGen engineers studied.
================
Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM), 7/30/2013, http://www.catholic.org/internationa...y.php?id=51907
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Old Posted Dec 18, 2013, 4:41 PM
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New geothermal technology could produce 10 times the electricity using CO2 from fossil fuel plants
Christine Lepisto
Energy / Renewable Energy
December 17, 2013

Good news on a technology that could revolutionize geothermal energy made waves at the American Geophysical Union meeting last week. Anyone who understands that the world's hunger for energy will push our planet beyond the point of no return without technological solutions will welcome the idea of CO2 plume geothermal power or CPG.

CPG benefits include sequestering CO2; making geothermal energy accessible in geographic regions where it has not been economically feasible to use this natural heat source for generating power; and storing energy from solar or wind farms. CPG could produce ten times more geothermal energy than traditional geothermal approaches currently yield, offering an important new source of renewable energy while simultaneously contributing to the reduction of CO2 entering the atmosphere due to fossil fuel burning.
http://www.treehugger.com/renewable-...el-plants.html

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Old Posted Jan 25, 2014, 6:53 PM
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World’s First Magma-enhanced Geothermal System Created in Iceland
UC Riverside scientist is editor of this month’s issue of Geothermics, dedicated to results from Icelandic Deep Drilling Project

By Iqbal Pittalwala on January 23, 2014

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — In 2009, a borehole drilled at Krafla, northeast Iceland, as part of the Icelandic Deep Drilling Project (IDDP), unexpectedly penetrated into magma (molten rock) at only 2100 meters depth, with a temperature of 900-1000 C. The borehole, IDDP-1, was the first in a series of wells being drilled by the IDDP in Iceland in the search for high-temperature geothermal resources.

The January 2014 issue of the international journal Geothermics is dedicated to scientific and engineering results arising from that unusual occurrence. This issue is edited by Wilfred Elders, a professor emeritus of geology at the University of California, Riverside, who also co-authored three of the research papers in the special issue with Icelandic colleagues.

“Drilling into magma is a very rare occurrence anywhere in the world and this is only the second known instance, the first one, in 2007, being in Hawaii,” Elders said. “The IDDP, in cooperation with Iceland’s National Power Company, the operator of the Krafla geothermal power plant, decided to investigate the hole further and bear part of the substantial costs involved.”

Accordingly, a steel casing, perforated in the bottom section closest to the magma, was cemented into the well. The hole was then allowed to heat slowly and eventually allowed to flow superheated steam for the next two years, until July 2012, when it was closed down in order to replace some of the surface equipment.

“In the future, the success of this drilling and research project could lead to a revolution in the energy efficiency of high-temperature geothermal areas worldwide,” Elders said.

He added that several important milestones were achieved in this project: despite some difficulties, the project was able to drill down into the molten magma and control it; it was possible to set steel casing in the bottom of the hole; allowing the hole to blow superheated, high-pressure steam for months at temperatures exceeding 450 C, created a world record for geothermal heat (this well was the hottest in the world and one of the most powerful); steam from the IDDP-1 well could be fed directly into the existing power plant at Krafla; and the IDDP-1 demonstrated that a high-enthalpy geothermal system could be successfully utilized.

“Essentially, the IDDP-1 created the world’s first magma-enhanced geothermal system,” Elders said. “This unique engineered geothermal system is the world’s first to supply heat directly from a molten magma.”

Elders explained that in various parts of the world so-called enhanced or engineered geothermal systems are being created by pumping cold water into hot dry rocks at 4-5 kilometers depths. The heated water is pumped up again as hot water or steam from production wells. In recent decades, considerable effort has been invested in Europe, Australia, the United States, and Japan, with uneven, and typically poor, results.
http://ucrtoday.ucr.edu/20005
http://inhabitat.com/worlds-first-ma...ed-in-iceland/
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  #18  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2014, 10:20 PM
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Geothermal Visual: Industry Has Potential for Significant Increased Capacity in the US
Leslie Blodgett
January 29, 2014 | 0 Comments



The plethora of geothermal sites in Nevada, California, Alaska, Oregon, and Idaho is an immediate takeaway in our geothermal Graph of the Week. The data is derived from a 2008 U.S. Geological Survey study that assessed the electric power generation potential of conventional geothermal resources (90°C (194°F) and greater) and found potential for a much greater role for geothermal in the United States.

With an average estimate of 5,404 MW, California has the highest identified resource, nearly double the state’s current installed capacity of around 2,700 MW. In total, USGS found between 3,675 MW (95 percent likelihood) and 16,457 MW (5 percent) of identified moderate- to high-temperature geothermal resources. The number rose to between 7,917 MW and 73,286 MW when factoring in undiscovered resources. The current installed capacity of geothermal power in the U.S. is around 3,400 MW.

This blog was originally published in the GEA's Geothermal Energy Weeekly and was republished with permission.
http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/...city-in-the-us
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Old Posted Feb 3, 2014, 5:51 PM
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Bringing Geothermal To The Fore: Play Fairway Analysis
By Pete Danko
Geothermal Power, Renewable Energy
February 3, 2014

It sounds like PGA Tour talk. “Play fairway analysis” – maybe a new way to track how well golfers stay out of the rough? No, it’s a mapping and analysis technique that the U.S. Department of Energy says could make geothermal energy less expensive to pursue.

Just as the government helped bring about the shale gas revolution by backing a wide range of research and development efforts [PDF], it’s looking here to partner with private companies, dangling $3 million to support R&D projects. The payoff in this case could be clean energy.

So, what exactly is play fairway analysis? From the funding-opportunity supporting docs [PDF]:
A play fairway analysis defines levels of uncertainty with respect to the presence and utility of geothermal system elements, and translates them into maps to high grade the geographic area over which the most favorable combinations of heat, permeability, and fluid are thought to extend.
This gets to the heart of one of the most expensive aspects of geothermal development: the risk of drilling and coming up empty (or even a little bit short). It’s one of the main reasons a seemingly attractive energy source like geothermal, which is able to provide around-the-clock low- and no-emissions energy, remains a bit player in the larger picture. Again, from the DOE:
Identifying and characterizing these hidden systems is challenging and costly, with resource confirmation relying on the drilling of multimillion dollar wells, often with low success rates. Reducing this risk through improved exploration and drilling success rates is critical to securing investment and ultimately lowering overall costs.
Not only does the DOE’s support for geothermal here recall earlier government support for gas and oil exploration, it actually borrows a technique.
[Play fairway analysis] identifies prospective geothermal resources in areas with no obvious surface expression by mapping the most favorable intersections of heat, permeability, and fluid. While commonly used in oil and gas exploration, play fairway analysis is not yet widely used in the geothermal industry. By improving success rates for exploration drilling, this data-mapping tool could help attract investment in geothermal energy projects and significantly lower the costs of geothermal energy.
According to federal data [PDF], there were about 3.83 gigawatts of installed geothermal capacity in the United States as of the end of 2013. That’s the most in the world, but it’s a slender one-third of 1 percent of total U.S. generating capacity, and growth recently has been fairly modest. This despite the fact geothermal, with its ability to produce 24/7, has a key advantage over intermittent wind and solar.
http://www.earthtechling.com/2014/02...rway-analysis/
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Old Posted Feb 7, 2014, 7:03 PM
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Geothermal Visual: Power Capacity and Potential at California Geothermal Fields
Leslie Blodgett
February 07, 2014 | 0 Comments

GEA has a new report out, and this one looks at the unique, manageable risks of geothermal energy. Last week, scientific experts presented geothermal energy to congressional staff. Rep. Henry Waxman, who made energy and the environment an important part of his legacy, is retiring. Voters want clean energy. Geothermal heat pumps are important for the U.S. future. And our graph below looks at geothermal fields in California:

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/...thermal-fields
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