Terry Hallinan's Comments

October 09, 2014

FYI, Geothermal Industry: You’re Doing It Wrong

But this whole theme is mindless.

Energy is needed when it is needed not when the sun decides to shine and the wind to blow.

Why would anyone think that only unused baseload energy is wasteful?

Best, Terry

September 12, 2014

Siemens Tidal Energy Project Suspended

My first guess as the reason for cancelling the project is inability to compete with subsidies for the great undependables [intermittent] - solar and wind. Admittedly there may well be technical or localized failures.

Tidal energy will remain baseload renewable ("always on") until the moon falls into the earth or flies away on its own. Annoying to me are widely reported catastrophes or possible catastrophes as tidal events that have nothing whatever to do with the effect of the moon's gravitational pull. Says something about the sad state of our educational system.

Best, Terry

September 12, 2014

Obama’s International Climate Strategy: More Grease for Renewables

The most notable accomplishment of the Obama administration is a huge increase in fossil fuel retrieval accompanied by a relabeling of the most atmospheric warming of all fossil fuels, natural gas, as a green fuel.

The primary question about natural gas is how much escapes into the atmosphere unburned. Nobody has a good answer but saying methane persists in the atmosphere for only a decade and then "goes away," as our fine Energy Secretary has proclaimed, is scientifically illiterate.

Methane, of course, is a far more potent greenhouse gas than CO2.

Best, Terry

September 10, 2014

California Takes Steps Toward a New Policy Structure for Renewable Power

MIT's study was a crock. Engineers who knew as much about geothermal as politicians know about ethics renamed the decades-long failure, hot dry rock technology, EGS and decreed it was the way to go.

While his seniors were doing major hurt to geothermal, a graduate student at MIT painted the way to the future with low temperature geothermal but got little attention. See

MIT Curse:

The Vision of Maoris Has Made A Remarkable Recovery

In New Zealand, a country that went very big into geothermal and wind power when a courageous lady prime minister vetoed legislation that would have approved a string of coal-fired power plants.

Overcoming opposition from the indigenous Maoris for developing geothermal power was no easy task but New Zealanders got done what could not be accomplished in Hawaii at the time.

A picture of a boiling lake, quite different from the boiling lakes in the arctic regions releasing ancient buried methane, is spectacular and is an obvious source of power if one would wish to utilize it without any of the purported harm of drilling.

"Some day Bellows Falls, Vermont, may get its power from its magic pond that never freezes in the winter just like Rotorua may soon get power from the source of its boiling lake.

But not today. Too risky.

Gotta concentrate on EGS say the deep thinkers. We got lots of fossil fuel that hasn't been all burned up yet."

This from the most environmentally conscious state in the U.S. that long ago converted a natural gas power plant to biomass.

The most obvious refutation of the EGS fantasy is a power plant in Husavik, Iceland, the Valhalla of geothermal power, that utilizes tepid waters from a lake heated by geothermal with additional heat from a trash burning facility. Last I heard, the aging plant was being modernized by new owners.

Best, Terry

September 05, 2014

Fantasy Becomes Real: First Commercial Cellulosic Biofuel Plant Opens in US

"'The world will run out of fossil fuels, it is inevitable. we just don’t know when...'"

Might run out of humans long before we run out of fossil fuels.

The fanatic science denial that seems far and away most pronounced in North America may eventually kill us all. Only baseload renewables like that being offered by POET can rescue humans from global warming. The worst of the intermittents, solar and wind, require continuing dependence on fossil fuels.

I am not a big fan of ethanol nor of using agriculture rather than waste for fuel but, for certain, POET points the way to a green future.

Best, Terry

September 03, 2014

Drillers Look for Geothermal in the Depths of Paris

"The geothermal wells around Paris, though, aren’t as deep as in Switzerland and won’t need fracking, according to Andres."

If Andres knew his stuff, he would know geothermal wells need fracking like cars need gunpowder for fuel.

Fracking cracks open pockets of petroleum and natural gas by shattering rock structures. Geothermal fluids would disappear down the cracks, defeating the whole purpose of the effort to mine heat. Attempts to create artificial aquifers have been as futile to date as effort to use nuclear fusion [as opposed to nuclear fission] for power.

For the record: low temperature, direct use installations are increasingly used for generating power with modern technology. An example is Lightning Dock, NM, near the site of the initial failed EGS experimentation in a long ago time.

Humans are so slow to learn that we may not survive much longer.

Best, Terry

September 02, 2014

Sludge Treatment at U.K. Facility Turns Waste Into ‘Black Gold’

I know of other efforts to convert sewage to fuel and fertilizer but this appears on the surface light years ahead of others.

"United Utilities, meanwhile, is capitalizing on its THP success with the world’s first sludge-powered data center"

We get lots of sludge with our data. Wish that had some use. :-)

Best, Terry

September 12, 2014

The Fantasy of Distributed Generation, Efficiency, and Storage Raising Electric Rates

While Japan was waiting to get a second lesson in the dangers of nuclear power, Japan was busily planning to build an armada of solar satellites that would beam down to juice to earthlings on the surface like Scotty used to beam down the crew of the Enterprise.

While waiting for all these extraordinary scientific breakthroughs, it might be best to acknowledge that there is no good bolt box provided to mortals to store bolts of lightning for use as needed as a higher being is reported to have. [Pumped storage, which is quite good and reasonably economical, is unfortunately geographically limited.]

What's wrong with clean, green, baseload energy instead of dirty limited stuff that sticks it to the working class in favor of elites?

Best, Terry

September 03, 2014

Divesting from Fossil Fuels: Last One Out Loses

"Sun, Wind, Tectonic heat..." Hilarious!

The undependables are not remotely the equivalent of baseload energy stocks like geothermal and biomass under even absurd names.

Sun and wind power particularly assure the continuing dependence on fossil fuels for the foreseeable future.

"Tectonic heat" is far more effective at air conditioning than heating in warmer climates. Maybe "earth's sun power" or some other silly euphemism would grab the usual science deniers?

Best, Terry

August 29, 2014

The MIT Curse Strikes Again: Lilliputian Systems Files for Bankruptcy

The august folk at MIT did little more than change the acronym for a decades-long failure in EGS. They diverted scarce funds from promising geothermal power projects and gave a bad name to pie-in-the-sky misinformation from raw amateurs.

An interesting sidelight is that a graduate MIT student did an excellent paper on the prospects for low temperature geothermal power generation at Warm Springs Indian Reservation while his senior elders were making fools of themselves in blaring headlines.

It is surely a miracle humans have survived so long.

Best, Terry

August 22, 2014

The Next Big Challenge for Energy Storage

Energy storage is as old as weeds. Factories using scarce resources to create more waste is far less salubrious.

You cannot overcome the enormous fallibility of intermittent energy with such devices without additional harm to the environment.

Pumped storage BTW is both economical and relatively kind to the environment but geographically limited.

Baseload renewable energy is unlimited in human terms. Perhaps that is the reason it is allowed to go to - ahem - waste.

Best, Terry

Terry Hallinan

Terry Hallinan

I have been retired from doing research in the field of digital cartographic information.

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