The Anonymous Widower

Why Canada’s Geothermal Industry Is finally Gaining Ground

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Narwhal.

When I think of Canada, I don’t think hot rocks and volcanoes.

But read the article and this Wikipedia article, which is entitled Geothermal Power In Canada, that adds more flesh.

This is an interesting paragraph.

At present, Canada remains the only major country in the Pacific Rim that is not producing electricity from its geothermal resources. This is despite the fact that the colder it is outside, the more electricity a geothermal power plant can produce. This is because the larger the temperature differentials between the geothermal resource and the ambient air temperature, the more efficiently geothermal plants operate. This makes geothermal power ideal for cold northern countries.

Iceland is certainly blessed, with mountains, volcanoes, hot rocks and cooler weather.

In 2016, sixty-five per cent of Iceland’s electricity and space heating was from geothermal sources.

I took the pictures on a summer holiday In July.

It looks like if the articles on the Narwhal and Wikipedia are to be believed, Canada could exploit a lot of geothermal energy resources.

Canada though will have the advantages of not being first.

The technology has already developed in countries like Iceland, the United States and the Philippines.

A lot of the skills needed is available in Canada’s oil industry.

We’re even seeing oilfield services companies like Schlumberger moving into geothermal energy. I wrote about that in Schlumberger New Energy And Thermal Energy Partners Form Geothermal Development Company STEP Energy.

We shouldn’t forget the potential for geothermal energy in the UK. We’re looking seriously in Cornwall and already extracting heat from the Underground in Islington, using similar techniques.

See Drilling Starts For ‘Hot Rocks’ Power In Cornwall and Bunhill 2 Energy Centre.

Conclusion

Geothermal energy would appear to have a high capital cost, but should return a fixed income year-on-year.

For this reason, I believe that funding for viable geothermal schemes, will be easier to obtain, as we improve the engineering and the returns increase.

So expect more geothermal schemes in the future.

 

September 16, 2020 Posted by | Energy | , , , , | Leave a comment

Schlumberger New Energy And Thermal Energy Partners Form Geothermal Development Company STEP Energy

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on World Oil.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Schlumberger New Energy, a new Schlumberger business, and Thermal Energy Partners (TEP) have entered into an agreement to create STEP Energy, a geothermal project development company. STEP Energy will leverage its partners’ expertise to develop efficient and profitable geothermal power generation projects, providing an opportunity to support a reliable supply of clean energy.

Schlumberger are one of the big beasts of the oil industry and are generally described as an oilfield services company.

This agreement could be significant as from my knowledge of the geothermal and oil extraction businesses, they have a lot of technology in common.

The last paragraph of the article is definitely significant.

The new company’s first project is the 10-MW Nevis Geothermal Power Project on the Caribbean island of Nevis, which will enable the island to transition to 100% zero-emission renewable energy for its power supply. STEP Energy has additional opportunities to expand production in the Eastern Caribbean and in North and South America.

How many other places in the world can follow the example of Nevis?

Geothermal Power

The Wikipedia entry for Geothermal Power is worth a read.

These points are from the first paragraph.

  • Geothermal electricity generation is currently used in 26 countries.
  • Geothermal heating is in use in 70 countries
  • As of 2015, worldwide geothermal power capacity amounts to 12.8 GW.
  • 3.55 GW are installed in the United States.
  • Countries generating more than 15 percent of their electricity from geothermal sources include El Salvador, Kenya, the Philippines, Iceland, New Zealand, and Costa Rica.
  • The greenhouse gas emissions of geothermal electric stations are on average 45 grams of carbon dioxide per kilowatt-hour of electricity, or less than 5 percent of that of conventional coal-fired plants.
  • As a source of renewable energy for both power and heating, geothermal has the potential to meet 3-5% of global demand by 2050.
  • With economic incentives, it is estimated that by 2100 it will be possible to meet 10% of global demand.

There is also an informative section on the Economics of geothermal power, where this is said.

Drilling accounts for over half the costs, and exploration of deep resources entails significant risks.

That sounds like areas, where Schlumberger have lots of expertise and experience.

Geothermal Power In The UK

The Wikipedia entry for Geothermal Energy In The United Kingdom is also worth a read.

In a section named Potential, these points are made.

  • The resource is widely spread around the UK with ‘hotspots’ in Cornwall, Weardale, Lake District, East Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Cheshire, Worcester, Dorset, Hampshire, Northern Ireland and Scotland;
  • Cost reduction potential is exceptionally high;
  • Deep geothermal resources could provide 9.5GW of baseload renewable electricity – equivalent to nearly nine nuclear power stations – which could generate 20% of the UK’s current annual electricity consumption;
  • Deep geothermal resources could provide over 100GW of heat, which could supply sufficient heat to meet the space heating demand in the UK;
  • Despite this significant potential, the UK support regime is uncompetitive with other European countries.

Perhaps, we should get our act together?

Conclusion

It looks to me, that Schlumberger are doing the right thing for the planet.

Will they be followed by the other oilfield services companies, who in the next decades could see their traditional market shrinking?

August 28, 2020 Posted by | Energy | , , | 1 Comment