The Anonymous Widower

The Earth’s Energy: Switching Geothermal Power On

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Power magazine.

This must-read article talks about the awakening of geothermal power, which even featured in Rolling Stone magazine last year.

This is a paragraph of the article.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) lists a number of benefits offered by geothermal resources. Among them is that geothermal energy can provide baseload power, regardless of weather conditions. Geothermal power plants are also generally compact, using less land per GWh (404 m2) than coal (3,642 m2), wind (1,335 m2), or solar photovoltaic (3,237 m2) power plants, according to a study cited by the DOE.

The dinosaur brigades, who feel renewable power is only an intermittent source and a total waste of money, are always going on about baseload power. So could geothermal provide it?

The article also talks about Chevron and BP investing $40 million in Eavor Technologies, a Canadian geothermal company. This is said of their investment.

Big Oil is an especially important partner for the geothermal industry because “not only do they bring money and motivation,” Redfern said, they bring expertise “in global operations and project management, and knowledge of the subsurface and how you mitigate risks.”

It sounds like sensible diversification to me for Big Oil. It’s a bit like INEOS diversifying into hand-sanitiser during the pandemic, as they make the stuff and only needed to add a bottling plant. If you have the expertise use it!

This paragraph sums up how we bring geothermal to the world by drilling deeper.

To truly unlock the potential of geothermal energy, the industry must develop better drilling techniques that can “mine heat at much deeper depths,” said Vinod Khosla, an entrepreneur, investor, and co-founder of Sun Microsystems. Today, geothermal companies typically drill to depths of about five kilometers at most. “If we [can] go to 15 to 20 kilometers … then we will have limitless heat everywhere on the planet, or most places on the planet, with geothermal. And that would expand the market for geothermal 100-fold,” said Khosla, who describes himself as being “very, very bullish on geothermal.”

Khosla believes that new drilling techniques will get us to these awesome depths and has put his money, where his mouth is.

Read the article.

February 23, 2021 - Posted by | Energy | ,

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