The future is almost here for geothermal energy. Companies are making breakthroughs every day that could lead to incredible energy savings in the near future.
From prospecting areas across the US that have the potential to serve as the greatest sources of geothermal power to harnessing the warmth of the ocean, researchers and corporations are moving forward to make widespread geothermal energy use a real possibility in our lives.
Thermoelectric power and the ocean
A recent study covered in Phys.org, has indicated that thermoelectric power plants might be able to produce energy more cost effectively than solar power facilities. By harnessing the energy from temperature changes at different depths in the ocean, companies could convert that power into electricity.
Using the same principle as geothermal energy companies do, large power plants could employ this method of energy production and create a breakthrough in green energy that will be truly cost-effective and sustainable.
Drilling and geothermal energy
In the western states, there are multiple potential sources of geothermal energy that can be harnessed with future technology that would save a potential 80% when compared to fossil fuels. At this point, the Western U.S. has more than 9,000 identified thermal springs that could be used to produce geothermal energy.
One of the primary roadblocks to harnessing that energy is the necessity of having to drill a substantial distance into the earth to reach the warm water. Recently, a U.S. startup focused on next-generation geothermal technology partnered with a supplier for a Korean drilling company.
The two firms are planning to use a new drilling technology that uses water to help enhance access to geothermal energy. The technology breaks down rocks more rapidly by using vibrations that protect the lifetime of the machine while drilling swiftly to depths of 10,000 feet or more.
If this venture is a success, the identified drilling locations could play the central role in creating long-term sustainable, geothermal energy sources that will change the energy production industry.
The 2015 outlook
According to the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association, geothermal energy is far more economical than hydroelectricity. Geothermal is being adopted as an alternative energy source around the world, partly because it offers an opportunity for job growth with very little environmental impact.
It may very well become one of the most essential alternative energy sources in the future, so it’s worth keeping an eye on. From Alaska to St. Lucia, governments and researchers from all climates are finding ways to incorporate geothermal technology into local energy initiatives.
Until geothermal energy is adopted by power companies on a large scale, installing small geothermal technology in the home can help decrease your energy costs during both the summer and winter seasons.
Added benefits of the technology include the quiet sound level of such equipment and low maintenance requirements. Even if you live on a small plot of land, there are solutions that install the geothermal loop vertically rather than horizontally.
If you live near a viable water source, perhaps installing the loop at a substantial depth in the water could be a solution. Think about an installation on your own property to experience savings that could cover the cost of installation over a period of three to five years.
You can also rest happy in your home when you know you’ve chosen a renewable source of energy that is sustainable and environmentally friendly.
In addition to geothermal energy, save money during the cold winter season with maintenance tasks such as sealing cracks and replacing your holiday lights with more energy-efficient bulbs. Until geothermal technology furnishes a way for power plants to serve residences and small businesses with a viable long-term solution, personal alternatives can significantly cut down on energy costs and help us all live more sustainably.
Watch for geothermal energy to play an increasingly visible role in the technological breakthroughs in 2015 and beyond.