"I support geothermal"
Yah, sure, betcha.
"It's difficult work but likely to be more successful than engaging in a food fight with wind and solar companies."
All baseload renewable sources are burdened with such friends who ignore reality. How might one value the forest cleanup that results in waste to energy that help prevent forest fires.
California has an ignoble history of encouraging forest fires instead to keep everything "natural."
Destroying forests is not natural but tell that to the Sierra Club and see what you get.
Good article. One of these days we might learn that one needs to face reality if we survive long enough.
"relative to annual GDP, Uruguay, Mauritius, and Costa Rica were among the top countries for investment in new renewable power and fuels in 2013."
Yeah, people, but how about Rwanda looking to raise billions for geothermal power while wealthy countries like the U.S. are claiming that the most poisonous of all fossil fuels, natural gas, is green power. Leakage of unburned natural gas may be doing more harm than CO2. Our new Energy Secretary has said that methane in the atmosphere just "goes away" in a decade - a new physics not previously known. It actually decays into CO2 over a longer time frame but in the meantime... It is not by any measure green power except in political science speak.
Where will the lithium come from? :-)
I asked the question to point out the absurdity of this "perfect" solution to problems with intermittent sources of energy. One new source of a rare earth is geothermal brines. Geothermal is the ultimate baseload power source.
Another great baseload renewable power source is waste as mentioned already. Vermont is the green, green state that converted a natural gas plant to burn wood waste but also one that refused to utilize a "magic pond" that didn't freeze in winter for its geothermal power potential.
Ain't nobody perfect I guess.
Inspiring story but hardly unique. Okinawa has a unique trash problem on an island where fishing is a huge industry hundreds of miles from Japan's main islands. Both shipping and dumping waste is extraordinarily expensive so 100% utilization of waste is nearly mandatory.
Wish the U.S. could learn to see value in waste and badness in despoiling land, air and water with the stuff but rich folks often are messy and careless.
"Geothermal is very much like a coal facility — but green.”
And pigs are very much like canaries except they can't fly, they can't sing and they stink something fierce. :-)
Please don't be angry with me as the encouragement of geothermal is greatly appreciated but it remains under a very dark cloud for various reasons that have nothing to do with its ability to turn the entire planet green and fossil fuel-free.
"Rwanda Set To Start Major Geothermal Development"
Renewable Energy World itself announced one of many developments of geothermal energy in the poorest, most troubled lands on earth and this development proceeds apace while the U.S. lags and dithers and goes ahead with fluff that assures the continuance of domination of fossil fuels instead of their abandonment.
What possible reason for that considering the immense threat to life on earth?
- The answer is the usual vices that are backed by the denialism usually attributed to those fighting all renewable energy.
Sure hope reason and humans win.
It is not clear to me that we have any real chance of that.
There are no yetis, the moon is not made of green cheese and no one is trying to create synthetic aquifers with uncontrolled explosions opening up small pockets of natural gas and petroleum. Even those who yet believe that they can somehow produce synthetic aquifers in igneous rock have been reduced to mostly crackpot status.
Mythology dies hard among the Great Unwashed.
"KenGen embracing geothermal wellhead plants"
A boy should write his grandma occasionally. If Obama was writing his grandmother occasionally, he might have found out about the progress a mix of government and private geothermal development efforts are making in a land that badly needs the greenest, cheapest, most potent energy source on the planet.
Those mobile wellhead generators are another way of speeding up development that has always been a particular problem for geothermal power. Miners far from any grid have available geothermal generators today.
In Papua New Guinea, the use of such a device by Lihir Gold led to the country becoming a leader in development of geothermal power among non-industrialized countries.
You might say the gold miner struck a vein of the purest gold on the planet.
Morning, Vane Lashua.
"Chevron, ExxonMobil, Halliburton and literally hundreds of American companies know how to tap it"
Chevron was tossed out of Oregon decades ago and all geothermal power development was banned on public lands in Oregon for some 2 decades. Today Chevron is the world's largest private developer of geothermal power, all in foreign lands.
The reason for Chevron's banishment was not the usual nonsense from creating monster earthquakes to harming instead of saving the atmosphere but a threat to the continuing existence of Jaws II, Chevron messed with the toxic hot lake owned by a dwarf minnow, Gila boraxobius, who lived nowhere else.
Born and bred in Oregon though far removed for over half a century, I am sympathetic to saving species but I also have some concern for the continuing existence of the human species neither of which is part of Chevron's charter.
The likes of Chevron, Halliburton and Exxon are more tuned into plundering the public purse than introducing new technology IMHO. A tiny geothermal power entrepreneur has succeeded near the area where Chevron failed to exterminate Jaws II despite the hostility of ignoramuses.
The genius of American industry has always been based on small, innovative entrepreneurs rather than behemoth monopolies.
All JMO. Thank you for your post, Vane. No criticism intended.
"I love the idea of geothermal electric, including deep well fracked geothermal electric."
Stimulation of water wells, which geothermal wells are, has undoubtedly occurred even before historic records were kept. Fracking is very new, a breaking up of rock formations to capture pockets of gas and petroleum, - very new and anathema to geothermal.
"as long as you don't try to put a geothermal system on something like the San Andreas fault"
Would you prefer a nuclear power plant on the San Andreas fault like PG&E's Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant?
From PG&E's promotion:
"Diablo Canyon Power Plant is a safe, clean, reliable and vital resource for all California."
Yeah, uhuh, right.
The purty pictures of the ocean cliffside location that reminds of a certain Japanese power plant give some of us the willies. Nuclear power plants even find faults that were previously unknown.
The deadliest earthquakes caused by an energy source were reputedly from a dam in India. Toxic fluids poured down deep natural holes have long been documented as the proximate cause of earthquakes. Oklahoma has become earthquake country with actual fracking. Not only do oil and gas well drilling cause earthquakes but subsidence where homes and large buildings are swallowed in holes.
But mostly there are worries about conventional [non-EGS] geothermal power development that only drills for hot water.
Superstition and terror rule and may destroy us all.
"Drilling within a hot rock reservoir of an enhanced geothermal system would cost many times more than fracking would"
Doesn't matter what the cost is.
Destroying aquifers destroys the value of geothermal power drilling.
Water conveys the heat to the power plant in the same way steam is used in a steam engine.
EGS would create synthetic aquifers but it has never been done commercially and may never be.
That is still vastly different from fracking that busts up the rock formation and releases evil up on the surface.
Fracking is no fracking good for anybody except the fossil fuel folks.
Nobody drills water wells of any kind. Geothermal wells like all water wells tap into existing aquifers.
A small German experimental development actually laid underground pipe to mine heat for a small geothermal power plant but that is a rather comical experimental plant that I suggest is very uneconomical and is certainly not very deep nor likely to be duplicated.
"This kind of perspective would be a wonderful addition to any team striving to fail."
A better, shining example of political science applied to R&D is the proposed use of government whomped up drugs on possibly ebola-infected non-volunteers depending on the outcome of deliberations of medical ethicists while healthy-human-tested drugs sit on the sidelines and people die untreated.