Natural gas may be the very worst of the fossil fuels.
There is no denying the methane in natural gas is over 20X as potent a greenhouse gas as CO2. The only question is how much escapes unburned.
That omits the enormous harm done by fracking for natural gas and petroleum. [No, Virginia, there is no geothermal fracking despite the current conceit spread by enemies of the planet.]
There is no reason at all for choosing only between the atrocious and limited electric vehicles and the internal combustion engine powered only by fossil fuels.
Denialists deny the reporting of Mark Twain that the Trans-Egypt Railroad was powered to a degree by mummies "bought by the ton or graveyard." I guess the deniers choose to believe Twain was trying to be funny, which he did a lot.
Mummy power is no longer possible but there is endless availability of biomass that even helps clean the planet rather than adding to the mess. And even solid biomass internal combustion engines have been demonstrated in principal.
So why would we not use clean, green energy instead of dirty energy?
"Geothermal is a limited resource."
"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has limitations." - Albert Einstein
The greatest power on earth is Mother Earth herself. The distant stars, including the sun, are vastly more powerful on the whole but they are - ahem - distant.
The question is one then of usefulness.
An atomic bomb is not useful for power except in the political sense. Nuclear power plants will always present an unacceptable threat IMHO and are certainly not clean but no one can deny that useful power is generated.
What nuclear power plants have done that EGS never has is demonstrate useful generation of power except on a demonstration scale despite many decades of R and D.
Why is so much expense and effort devoted to EGS exclusively when low temperature geothermal energy is cheap, clean and available everywhere on the planet?
See Albert Einstein's vision above.
BTW none of this is to suggest that EGS R and D should be abandoned but rather that one ought to make the donkey pull the cart rather than ride in it.
"If any (or all) of these 2MW plants are deemed successful, one hopes that they may lead to a much larger investment in the geothermal industry."
Japan already has a very substantial investment in geothermal power - for others.
China and Japan have carried on a cutthroat global trade war for supplying geothermal power plant and equipment while Japan dreamed of the phantasmagoria of an armada of solar satellites beaming power down to earthlings while the evil nuclear genie was preparing a 2nd nuclear holocaust for Japan.
There is an equivalent conundrum in Canada with an excellent market for funds for geothermal power plants elsewhere while Canada itself was not generating one iwatt of geothermal power.
Bill Gates was best at explaining this particular form of human foolishness.
While denouncing the insanity of the heavy promotion of the highest cost, frivolous solar power with its extreme intermittency to a reporter, the reporter sardonically said to Gates:
- I assume then there will be no solar panels on the Gates mansion.
Bill Gates replied that the very rich can do as they wish, indicating the yearning to accommodate oneself to current fashion.
At the time Gates was pushing the not-all-that-much-better wind power but the powerful point remains.
As usual, I would point out that even the worst forms of renewable energy have splendid niches.
I salute your efforts, Mr. Brower, to replace fossil fuels with renewable sources but as long as only the unreliables of wind and solar hog the money and interest, most of your effort is wasted.
While Japan's nuclear power plants were fixing to provide a second nuclear holocaust [how would Japanese know that nuclear power could be dangerous? :-) ] Japan was quite seriously planning to deploy an armada of solar satellites that would truly provide baseload power if they somehow could zap the power down to earthlings.
Good idea to have at least some semblance of reality mixed into the most futuristic plans methinks.
"Geothermal heat pumps and renewable geothermal energy sources, though both very desirable technologies, are quite different in their design and application."
Both the head and tail of a worm have different designs and utility but both are part of the whole.
I have never fully understood the often angry insistence that direct use and power generation from geothermal resources just somehow are totally alien to each other but modern CHP
[see http://www.aceee.org/topics/chp for discussion if you wish]
systems put the lie to the absurd notion.
My boyhood town of Klamath Falls, OR, pioneered many direct uses of geothermal energy and now is generating power from a very low temperature source. A college, OIT, has long been a quintessential resource of information on distributed geothermal power. The president of the college initiated a power generation project for the campus by noticing the snow melted earlier on a section of hill the man saw from a window of his office.
That pretty much defines the state of the art today in geothermal prospecting.
Even in the Valhalla of geothermal power, Iceland, a trash burner is used in the isolated hamlet of Husavik to add heat to very low-temperature geothermal brines for cheap off-grid power that otherwise would be supplied by diesel generators.
I can't blame those who pick up the constantly repeated lie that all geothermal really isn't geothermal but it really is. It's the same stuff the Romans used for heated baths and early Native Americans used for cooking 10,000 years earlier and continues to lie around mostly wasted because we stare at the sun too much and are blinded.
"The growth of renewable energy is measured through projects that deliver power to the grid."
And an excellent service you provide in aiding that enormous and valuable task.
Some of us in the shadows see an even more valuable task you aid greatly in lessening demand on the grid through distributed power.
Power to the people and to you, Ms. Runyon.
Is it not obvious that the main problem is the inability to realize that renewable energy can be baseload as well as intermittent?
The fallacy of equating intermittent energy to baseload is incomprehensible but a worldwide phenomenon.
"As we all know geothermal is main source for generating electricity.But the main problem is they create lot of pollution."
I don't know either and, in fact, dispute what you say, my friend.
If you were located near one of the initial geothermal power plants like the first at the Geysers, my sympathies but today's power plants in enormous varieties shouldn't be polluting at all.
I will give you unsightly but even then some communities have used pleasing paint and vegetation to modify even the usual ugliness of industrial plant. Truck traffic, especially during building of plant, can surely be unpleasant but the pollution from trucks is not from the geothermal plant.
I would be interested in any personal experience that differs.
"What is fracking the needed geothermal reservoirs likely to do in the way of provoking earthquakes?"
Fracking is a term applied to the use of uncontrolled explosions and use of very toxic chemicals to release tightly bound pockets of fossil fuel in rock strata that hold such fuels.
The term has been unethically expropriated by clean energy deniers to apply to geothermal power developers who attempt to utilize cold water and limited explosions to create synthetic aquifers in hot dry rock. So far such attempts have been limited to small demonstration projects that are not commercial.
There are many problems with any power development but geothermal fracking is a myth.
Some waste materials that need to be disposed of are part of any energy development but geothermal is even proposed as a storage method and has been used commercially to a limited extent already.
Earthquake potential is omnipresent on this planet from numerous sources. The most lethal earthquake known to be initiated by power development was reportedly from a large dam in India. Earthquake frighteners are almost entirely limited to geothermal power development.
Geothermal power is too cheap, clean and reliable for you?
>>India states Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal pitch for development of BRIC country’s first geothermal power plants ranging from 3MW to 5MW<<