The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.

Geothermal Broken Down by USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

The After Dark at the Park event at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park always draw a crowd, but this past Tuesday's talk was different.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists usually give presentations updating the activity on east rift zone, or the eruptive history of Kiluaea or Mauna Loa, but this time the talk was on geothermal energy. Its a heated topic this days, wrought with political pitfalls and big business interests.

After years of debate over the benefits and safety of geothermal energy on Hawaii Island, the community remains divided, even as Puna Geothermal Venture pumps out 38 megawatts on the volcanic lands outside Pahoa.

Meanwhile, HVO scientists — who study the dangerous gases and seismic activity of the volcano on a daily basis — have remained mostly quiet.

However, in a June 2012 Volcano Watch article written by staff of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, scientists warned about over-development of the volcanic resource along the volatile rift zone, where the resource is most abundant. The article said an eruption’s effect on the industry could be severe, as sites could be deeply buried by lava, cutting off the energy supply for weeks, months, or even years. The article added:

The effects of an eruption would be more profound as the geothermal power development increased in size. If a 500-MW power generation facility were developed within the lower east rift zone of Kilauea and power exported to O`ahu and Maui, a volcanic disruption would have state-wide effects.

The indication has emboldened geothermal opponents, who often cite the article when decrying the industry. On Tuesday, geologists set out to provide an impartial, scientific analysis of the geothermal resource on the rift zone.

Scientist-in-charge Jim Kauahikaua explained the focus of the talk story at the start of the presentation.

Kauahikaua started off in the days of King David Kalakaua, then moved on to the 1960s when a possible industry began to develop.

By the 70s, geothermal well tests were underway, which paved the way for commercial exploration.

Kauahikaua also went into the hazards — concerns about drilling (see the Volcano Watch article below), earthquakes, and eruptions were covered.

Gas hazards are of equal concern, especially to residents who live near a geothermal power plant.

Then, it was on to a Q&A with the audience, many of whom are well educated about the modern-day geothermal industry, since many of them live in the backyard of Puna Geothermal Venture. Watch the full meeting below:

This article was originally published on BigIslandVideoNews.com and was republished with permission.

RELATED ARTICLES

How New York is Using Local Power & Microgrids To Transform the State

Roy Hales, Contributor New York’s antiquated infrastructure was in trouble long before hurricane Sandy. The bulk power system, designed to meet a peak demand 75 percent higher than most of America, is underutilized most of the day. New Yorkers ha...
Google

Greenpeace Raises Pressure on Internet Companies to Go Renewable

Andrew Burger, Contributor For at least four years, Greenpeace has been raising public awareness and putting pressure on the world's largest data and cloud computing center providers to fuel their operations with clean, renewable power. In May, Green...
A biogas plant concept from Weltec Biopower

Europe Versus Renewable Energy?

Tildy Bayar, Contributor Wednesday morning’s 'Regulation and the Marketplace' panel discussion at POWER-GEN Europe in Amsterdam got off to a lively start with a presentation from Randy Mott, president of Polish biogas- and geothermal-base...
Wind turbines

Why It's Time To Get Real About Energy Security

Hannah Smith, Contributor Energy is Europe’s quiet crisis. While the clamour of failing economies, desperate migrants and political clashes grabs the headlines, energy policy is rarely front-page news, but it should be — the statistics are shocking.

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 3
1505REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

GRC Fieldtrip - McGinness Hills Geothermal Plant

The 13.4 MW Salt Wells Geothermal Plant is owned by Enel North America a...

GRC Fieldtrip - Steamboat Geothermal Plant Complex

Ormat’s Steamboat Geothermal Power Plant Complex located...

GRC Fieldtrip - Long Valley Geology

Led by Gene Suemnicht and Duncan Foley In May of 1980, a strong earthqua...

COMPANY BLOGS

Net Zero Energy Efficient Buildings and Geothermal Heat Pumps

As the U.S. market for green building design and construction evolves, ...

Geothermal Earth Day Visual: Shaping Environmental Solutions

Earth day 2015 is an important point in history for the environment. Mem...

Environmentally friendly solutions for projects

geoAMPS joins the celebration of the worldwide observance of Earth Day o...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS