Thursday, April 12, 2007

Geothermal power for the entire U.S.

From the Energy Blog...

The following is a summary—newly posted on the Energy Blog—of claims made by MIT's Jefferson Tester and his team that studied the capacity of geothermal energy in the U.S.

  • Geothermal resources are available nationwide, although the highest-grade sites are in western states.
  • Geothermal energy using enhanced geothermal system (EGS) technology would greatly increase the fraction of the U.S. geothermal resource that could be recovered commercially.
  • The United States, generating 300 megawatts, is already the biggest producer of geothermal.
  • If geothermal is going to be anything more than a minor curiosity, it has to reach at least the level of hydro and nuclear power, or 100,000 megawatts out of 1 million—one-tenth of total capacity," he said.
  • The study found that geothermal could supply a substantial portion of the electricity the United States will need in the future, probably at competitive prices and with minimal environmental impact.
  • The process involves drilling to as deep as 30,000 feet, pumping water under pressure into fractures to break apart underground rock formations and freeing up reservoirs.
  • Seismic activity is a risk, he said. "The big challenge is to show you can do it not only in California, but also in the Midwest and ultimately on the East Coast, where you have to go deeper."
  • Among geothermal's advantages are its below-ground, out-of-sight nature, making it easier to site, and its high capacity and because, unlike solar or wind, it runs a the time. Environmental impacts are "markedly lower than conventional fossil-fuel and nuclear power plants."
  • Meeting water requirements for geothermal plants may be an issue, particularly in arid regions."
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    Wednesday, April 11, 2007

    New technique reveals Earth's internal heat

    From MIT via Science Daily...
    A 'seismothermometer' of the Earth's temperature at extreme depths.

    "High-resolution images that reveal unexpected details of the Earth's internal structure are among the results reported by MIT and Purdue scientists in the March 30 issue of Science....

    The technique—akin to medical imaging such as ultrasounds and CAT scans—led to detailed new images of the boundary between the Earth's core and mantle. These images, in turn, help researchers better understand how and where the Earth's internal heat is produced and how it is transported to the surface. They also provide insight into the Earth's giant heat engine--a constant cycle of heat production, heat transfer and cooling.

    Years of work by Ping Wang, EAPS graduate student at MIT, led to the possibility for high-resolution imaging, and in collaboration with EAPS mineral physicist Dan Shim, the team produced maps of temperature and heat flow some 3,000 kilometers below the Earth's surface, using the data to provide a kind of "seismothermometer" of the Earth's temperature at extreme depths...."

    »more »related_1 »related_2

    U.S. increases geothermal tax credit

    From Raser Technologies via Business Wire...
    Up from 1.9 to 2.0 cents per kilowatt hour

    "Raser Technologies, Inc. (RZ) announced today that the U.S. Treasury and Internal Revenue Service released the 2006 Inflation Adjustment Factor (IAF) as it relates to Section 45 of the Internal Revenue Code. This annual adjustment increases the amount of tax credit available for geothermal and other qualified energy projects from 1.9 cents per kwh to 2.0 cents per kwh. The IAF adjustments are implemented annually.

    The Company has announced its intention to develop geothermal projects utilizing advanced binary heat recovery systems. “We believe that this increase will help to further stimulate the development of geothermal resources in the United States,” said Brent M. Cook, CEO.

    This and other incentives should assist in moving our nation towards greater energy independence. We believe that the energy policy of the United States should continue to emphasize clean, renewable energy sources and provide incentives for their development.”

    »more »related_1 »related_2

    States in U.S. reach renewable energy milestone

    From Renewable Energy Access...
    Renewable Electricity Standards Toolkit

    "The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) projects that 21 states and the District of Columbia that have adopted renewable electricity standards are on track to reduce their global warming emissions by 108 MMT of carbon dioxide by 2020.

    By 2020, the UCS projects the state standards will produce more than 46,000 megawatts (MW) of clean, renewable power, enough to meet the needs of 28.5 million typical homes. State renewable electricity standards are expanding, with at least 10 more states considering adopting a requirement or raising existing targets.

    The success of state renewable energy standards is helping build momentum for a federal standard of 20 percent renewable energy by 2020. The federal standard would increase renewable energy output nearly four times over current state standards.

    To help track and compare state standards, UCS has developed a new, one-stop resource, the Renewable Electricity Standards Toolkit, which includes summaries of all 22 standards, as well as maps illustrating existing standards and projections for future renewable energy development. It offers a database with detailed information about state standards, ranging from how renewable energy technologies are defined to how standards are enforced."

    »more »related_1 »related_2

    Raser gets more resource

    From Montara Energy Ventures...
    Company secures 7 more geothermal leases in Utah

    "Raser Technologies announced...that it has secured seven more geothermal leases in Utah, adding 13,887 acres to its portfolio. Investors seemed to like the news sending to stock up more than 3% on the news. However, investors should realize that development of geothermal resources take years; greenfield development is slow and fraught with difficulty. Nevertheless, it is encouraging to see a company approach the challenge with obvious passion and enthusiasm."

    »more »related_1 »related_2

    Monday, April 9, 2007

    ANNOUNCEMENT: Prospectus for Investment

    Atlantic Geothermal, LLC has prepared a prospectus for investment that is now available by email request.

    Videos: Business responds to climate change

    From Sea Studios Foundation via

    "Across the U.S., an increasing number of businesses are becoming serious about addressing climate change. The Sea Studios Foundation recently launched a short film illustrating how major corporations are investing time and money in energy efficiency and renewable energy."

    »more »related_1

    U.S. Geothermal expands development activities

    Press Release from U.S. Geothermal [February 6, 2007]...

    "U.S. Geothermal Inc., a renewable energy development company focused on the production of electricity from geothermal energy, announced today that it has acquired additional geothermal energy rights in the area of their Neal Hot Springs project located in eastern Oregon..."


    Sunday, April 8, 2007

    Utility adds more renewable geothermal energy

    From Pacific Gas and Electric Company...
    Enough renewable electricity for more than 125,000 PG&E customers

    "Pacific Gas and Electric Company announced it has entered into contracts with IAE Truckhaven I, LLC and Northwest Geothermal Company to purchase up to a total of 169 megawatts (MW) of renewable geothermal energy resources to help meet its customers’ future electricity needs. Electric generation from these renewable energy resources will provide enough power to supply more than 125,000 PG&E customers.

    The addition of this geothermal generation further adds to PG&E’s diverse and renewable energy resources and ensures that more than thirty percent of our northern and central California customers’ energy needs will come from hydroelectricity and renewable sources,” said Fong Wan, vice president of Energy Procurement. “These new resources will add to a generating portfolio that already has one of the lowest rates of air emissions in the country....

    California’s RPS Program requires each utility to increase its procurement of eligible renewable generating resources by 1% of load per year to achieve a 20% renewables goal. These two contracts increase PG&E’s 2005 RFO procurement to approximately 2.5% of load, 2.5 times the annual target. The RPS Program was passed by the Legislature and is managed by California’s Public Utilities Commission and Energy Commission."

    »more »videos

    HTHP - High Temperature, High Pressure

    From World Oil...
    HTHP conditions are more severe than 'conventional' well equipment is designed for. But proven solutions are available...

    "Today's deep drilling ventures are harnessing an impressive array of technological tools to explore deeper, geopressured formations accompanied by high mud weights and vexing high temperatures.

    Yesterday's challenge on exploratory wells was to obtain an electric log and get off the job before a well-control situation tilted prospect economics. This article points out the factors to be considered if the oil/gas operator wants to do more than look and see. What should he be prepared for? What is different about making a producer out of that deep, hot hole? What points need to be addressed to avoid turning that potentially high-rate dream into a completion engineer's nightmare?"

    »more »related

    Stirling engine linked to geothermal power

    From Wikipedia...
    Stirling engine

    "Some believe that the ability of the Stirling engine to convert geothermal energy to electricity and then to hydrogen may well hold the key to replacement of fossil fuels in a future hydrogen economy."

    »more »related

    Hawaii has great energy potential

    From the Associated Press (AP) and news reports...

    "With its ocean breezes, ample sunlight, pounding waves and a continuously erupting volcano, Hawaii seems blessed with the means to produce clean electricity and achieve energy independence...." »CBS News »Los Angeles Times »Guardian Unlimited »Forbes »

    »more »related

    Saturday, April 7, 2007

    Fund to insure geothermal explorers in East Africa

    From Reuters via Renewable Energy Access...
    Great Rift Valley has potential to produce 50% of capacity for East Africa

    "The United Nations and World Bank have launched a fund to help insure energy explorers hunting geothermal power sources under Africa's volcanic Great Rift Valley, officials said [March 22]. The Rift has the potential to produce more than 400 megawatts of geothermal electricity, U.N. experts say, or more than half east Africa's total power generation capacity, including all its power stations and hydropower dams."

    »more »related_1 »related_2

    Advisory council visits geothermal site in Nevada

    From the Lahontan Valley (Nevada) News...
    Two dozen landowners in the area receive royalties for having the geothermal plant resources snake on or below their properties.

    "Members of an advisory committee to the Bureau of Land Management toured sites in Churchill County on Thursday to gain further understanding of how public lands and resources are managed in Nevada.

    The 15-member Resource Advisory Council, comprised of academic, business and public representatives, drove from Carson City and visited the Stillwater Geothermal Plant ....

    At the Stillwater Geothermal Plant, the group first visited an injection well, which pumps cooled geothermal water back into the ground. Brad Pratt, representative from Enel North America, explained to the group the details of the production wells, the amount of power generated from them and the reasons behind the placement of injection wells.

    The production well at Stillwater Geothermal, first drilled in 1988, cost about $1.3 million - a figure which is doubled these days, Pratt said. Two dozen landowners in the area receive royalties for having the geothermal plant resources snake on or below their properties.

    The geothermal plant uses about 25 percent of the power it generates and sells the remainder to Sierra Pacific Power Company.

    Enel North America, which purchased the geothermal plant from Ormat, plans to build new plants next year at Salt Wells and on 240 acres adjacent to the existing plant in Stillwater...."

    »more »related

    Experts pool ideas on global warming

    From the Arizona Daily Star...
    Rep. Grijalva sponsors session on energy solutions

    "Tax breaks for geothermal energy exploration, not just oil exploration.

    Federal subsidies for solar energy to match those given to nuclear energy, and for mass transit to match those given to highways.

    Incentives, not just regulation.

    Above all, collaboration and cooperation.

    Those were some of the ideas floated Friday by about 25 experts in various environmental fields who met at a global warming round table sponsored by U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz., to coincide with the release of a new international report on the subject."

    »more »related

    Thursday, April 5, 2007

    Mining heat from the earth

    From the Christian Science Monitor...
    New techniques could expand the capabilities of geothermal power, producing 10 percent of U.S. electricity by 2050.

    "Here's one vision for easing America's energy and emissions woes: Hundreds of drilling rigs are deployed throughout the country. But they're not prospecting for oil; they're looking for underground rock hot enough to produce steam-driven electricity. The potential? Enough power to provide 10 percent of US electricity by 2050 – with near-zero emissions of greenhouse gases. That's the promise of "enhanced geothermal systems," or EGS, says a recent report by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass."

    »more »related

    Wednesday, April 4, 2007

    Calpine a big turnaround story?

    From Blogging Stocks...
    "Calpine's assets include 84 natural gas-fired and geothermal power plants, which have a capacity of nearly 25000 megawatts...."

    Friday, March 30, 2007

    Tesla Turbines proposed for geothermal energy

    From American Antigravity...
    Hayes claims 55% conversion efficiency; highest in its class

    "Former Rockwell Engineer Jeff Hayes proposes that Tesla Turbines can be used to tap geothermal energy from underground salt-brine in locations all over the world. Hayes is part of the International Tesla Turbine Builders Society, and well-versed in the potential of this often-overlooked but commercially viable technology.

    Hayes comments that the Salton Sea in California contains enough geothermal energy locked in salt-brine to meet the entire electrical needs of the United States 20 times over, if only it could be harnessed electrically. That requires spinning a turbine, and only the Tesla Turbine is durable enough to undertake this challenge. Hayes focus is on the engineering challenges involved with making Tesla Turbines a practical tool, as well as the unique characteristics of this technology that allow it to outperform conventional bladed turbines."

    »more »video »related_1 »related_2 »download

    Calpine up 17% on buyout rumors

    From Renewable Energy Journal...
    "Calpine has been in bankruptcy reorganization for some time and has steadily been divesting assets over the past 18 months."

    "It is widely rumored that the Carlyle Group and AES have bid to buy Calpine and its $26B in assets. A key asset Calpine holds is the Geysers geothermal power plant complex in Northern California of which Calpine owns 20 of the 22 plants producing around 700MW, or 5.5 gigawatt hours of electricity, enough to power San Francisco each year."

    »more »related_1 »related_2 »related_3 »related_4

    U.S. Senate actions indicate that coal is here to stay

    "Coal is here to stay as a significant part of the national fuel mix even as there is increased investment in wind, nuclear and geothermal projects. In a study on the future of coal released earlier this month by MIT, experts said, "We believe that coal use will increase under any foreseeable scenario because it is cheap and abundant."

    Wednesday, March 28, 2007

    Presentation: "Future of Geothermal Energy"

    The following summary points were given on March 1, 2007 as part of a slideshow presentation at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Advantages of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) — power plants in 'low grade' settings where the hot rock source is deeper in the earth — are listed as follows:

    1. Large, indigenous, accessible base load power resource — 14,000,000 EJ of stored thermal energy accessible with today’s technologies. Key point — extractable amount of energy that could be recovered is not limited by resource size or availability
    2. Fits portfolio of sustainable renewable energy optionsEGS complements the existing portfolio and does not hamper the growth of solar, biomass, and wind in their most appropriate domains.
    3. Scalable and environmentally friendly — EGS plants have small foot prints and low emissions — carbon-free and their modularity makes them easily scalable from large size plants.
    4. Technically feasible — Major elements of the technology to capture and extract EGS are in place. Key remaining issue is to establish inter-well connectivity at commercial production rates — only a factor of 2 to 3 greater than current levels.
    5. Economically favorable — projections favorable for high grade areas now with a credible learning path to provide competitive energy from mid- and low-grade resources
    6. Deployment costs modest — an investment of $200-400 million over 15 years would demonstrate EGS technology at a commercial scale at several US field sites to reduce risks for private investment and enable the development of 100,000 MWe.
    7. Supporting research costs reasonable — about $40 million/yr needed for 15 years — low in comparison to what other large impact US alternative energy programs will need to have the same impact on supply.


    Report: Geothermal industry in the U.S. remains up-beat for future expansion

    From Business Wire...
    "Geothermal heat is a significant provider of energy in a small number of countries, all located in regions subject to earthquakes and volcanoes. This report provides an excellent introduction and understanding of the three technologies for exploiting geothermal energy: 1) power generation, 2) ground source heat pumps, and 3) direct use."
    »more »related

    Editor's Note: The Research and Markets report does not include innovations such as Geothermal Canal that make power production possible in a wider range of geological settings.

    West Coast Geothermal Finance and Development Workshop

    May 10, 2007 ~ San Francisco

    "Leading finance, development, and energy experts will share their knowledge at the first annual West Coast Geothermal Energy Development and Finance Workshop. The event will take place May 10, 2007 at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco..."

    »more »related_1 »related_2

    Monday, March 26, 2007

    Geothermal power plants could also consume CO2

    Pumping carbon dioxide through hot rocks

    "Pumping carbon dioxide through hot rocks could simultaneously generate power and mop up the greenhouse gases produced by fossil fuel power stations, according to a new study....Karsten Pruess, a hydro-geologist at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in the U.S., carried out the study and says carbon dioxide could theoretically boost the amount of energy produced by hydrothermal plants by 50% or more. At the same time, Pruess calculates that the technique could be used to dispose of the carbon dioxide produced by conventional power plants, which contribute to global warming."

    »more »related_1 »related_2

    Saturday, March 24, 2007

    U.S. military leads renewable charge

    According to Montara Energy Ventures, the Coso geothermal installation on the China Lake Naval Station in southern California is an example of a common pattern:

    "The U.S. military is actually leading the way in the installation and use of renewable energy. The military has large chunks of space with renewable resources available coupled with enormous utility bills. This combination leads the military to the obvious conclusion that using the renewable resources will free up dollars for use elsewhere...


    Friday, March 23, 2007

    U.S. Geothermal wins Idaho Power bid

    "U.S. Geothermal Inc. has been named as the successful bidder for Idaho Power Company's request for proposals (RFP, which was sent out last August for up to 100 megawatts (MW) geothermal electricity, enabling negotiations for a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) between the two companies for an annual average of 45.5 megawatts (MW)...."

    World Bank promotes geothermal energy

    From the World Bank...
    "The Europe and Central Asia (ECA) - Geothermal Energy Development Program aims to systematically promote the use of geothermal energy in the ECA region by removing barriers to the development of renewable energy."

    Nevada lawmakers hear good news from solar, geothermal power companies

    From the Associated Press via the Las Vegas Sun...
    "Nevada is making steady progress toward becoming a national leader in solar and geothermal energy, state lawmakers were told Thursday..."

    Monday, March 19, 2007

    Stopping the coal rush

    From the Sierra Club/Environmental Law Program...
    Coal plants are the dirtiest, most regressive source of energy. —The Sierra Club

    The United States is facing "an unprecedented rush to build new coal-fired power plants," according to the Sierra Club. "These plants," the leading environmental group claims, "are poisoning our communities and our wilderness."


    The Sierra Club opposes the onrush of new coal-burning plants. Their web page on "Stopping the Coal Rush" shows a map of 83 proposed sites, a portion of the 114 slated for construction.

    »»more »map »related_1 »related_2

    Friday, March 16, 2007

    Geothermal potential

    From the Climate Crisis Coalition: Daily News
    New geothermal power projects by 2050 could provide 100,000 megawatts of electricity—enough to power about 80 million US homes, or as much as US nuclear power plants make today, the MIT study said. But US geothermal development will ...
    »more »related

    Wednesday, March 14, 2007

    A step toward inexpensive geothermal energy

    From Ohio State University, via Science Daily...

    Advocates call it one of the cleanest, sustainable energy resources available. However, steep construction, equipment and drilling costs have prevented more widespread development of geothermal technology. An Ohio University hydrothermal systems expert is working to change that...


    Tuesday, March 13, 2007

    White House seeks to cut geothermal research funds

    From Reuters...

    The Bush administration wants to eliminate federal support for geothermal power just as many U.S. states are looking to cut greenhouse gas emissions and raise renewable power output. The move has angered scientists who say there is enough hot water underground to meet all U.S. electricity needs without greenhouse gas emissions.

    "[Geothermal] is far from a mature technology." —Roy Mink, former geothermal program director at the U.S. Dept. of Energy

    The Department of Energy has not requested funds for geothermal research in our fiscal-year 2008 budget," said Christina Kielich, a spokeswoman for the Department of Energy. "Geothermal is a mature technology. Our focus is on breakthrough energy research and development."

    The administration of George W. Bush has made renewable energy a priority as it seeks to wean the United States off foreign oil, but it emphasizes use of biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel for vehicles and nuclear research for electricity. In spite of its enormous potential, the geothermal option for the United States has been largely ignored,' a recent study led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said.

    Last year, the DOE requested no funding for geothermal for the 2007 fiscal year, after funding averaged about $26 million over the previous six years, but Congress restored $5 million. This year, the DOE's $24.3 billion budget request includes a 38 percent federal spending increase for nuclear power, but nothing for geothermal.

    Advocates say they hope Congress can restore at least $25 million in funding to keep geothermal research on track...

    more related_1 »related_2

    Monday, March 12, 2007

    Lawyers Say Energy Clients Getting Green

    From the Daily Report (legal news and information)...

    "RENEWABLE ENERGY makes up only a small fraction of U.S. energy use — 6 percent, according to the most recent figures from the Energy Information Administration — but the buzz over renewables is huge, and the number of renewable deals being done is increasing rapidly..."


    Southern California Edison Once Again the Nation's Leading Renewable Energy Purchaser in 2006


    In 2006, Southern California Edison (SCE) once again let the nation in renewable energy purchases and deliveries to customers. SCE reports that it delivered 12.6 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of renewable energy during 2006...enough to serve 1.8 million homes for the entire year.


    Saturday, March 10, 2007

    Colorado called the "Saudi Arabia" of geothermal energy

    From the Grand Junction Sentinel - Grand Junction,CO
    "Colorado is the “Saudi Arabia” of geothermal energy, and Mesa State College is leading the way in exploiting it, Tom Plant, director of [Colorado] Gov. Bill Ritter’s Office of Energy Management and Conservation, said Friday."

    Friday, March 9, 2007

    Technical Papers: Engineered Geothermal Systems

    From the 2007 Stanford Workshop on Geothermal Reservoir Engineering...
    Q: Are natural hot springs necessary for geothermal power generation?

    Technical papers delivered recently at Stanford University (U.S.) reflect the latest thinking about enhanced or engineered geothermal systems, which do not require hot springs or other natural sources of hot water.

    Engineered geothermal systems—still in the early stages of development—create an artificial 'reservoir' deep in the earth by infusing hot dry rock with water to generate steam. The captured steam, in turn, drives turbines that yield commercial-grade electricity.

    Links to the conference papers are provided in the scrolling directory below.

    (1) "The Future of Geothermal Energy: An Assessment of the Energy Supply Potential of Engineered Geothermal Systems (EGS) for the United States" — Tester, Blackwell, Petty, Richards, Moore, Anderson, Livesay, Augustine, DiPippo, Nichols, Veatch, Drake, Toksoz, Baria, Batchelor & Garnish
    (2) "Cost of Electricity from Enhanced Geothermal Systems" — Sanyal, Morrow, Butler & Robertson-Tait
    (3) "Updated U.S. Geothermal Supply Characterization " — Petty & Porro
    (4) "Chemical Stimulation in Near-Wellbore Geothermal Formations: Silica Dissolution in the Presence of Calcite at High Temperature and High pH" — Rose, Xu, Kovac, Mella & Pruess
    (5) "Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage in the Fractured London Chalk. a Thermal Injection / Withdrawal Test and Its Interpretation" — Law, Nicholson & Mayo
    (6) "Estimation of Mineral Transportation in HDR Circulation Test" — Yanagisawa, Matsunaga & Sugita
    (7) "Thermal Modelling of Long Term Circulation of Multi-Well Development at the Cooper Basin Hot Fractured Rock (HFR) Project and Current Proposed Scale-Up Program" — Vörös, Weidler & Wyborn
    (8) "An Investigation of the Dixie Valley Geothermal Field, Nevada, Using Temporal Moment Analysis of Tracer Tests" — Reed
    (9) "Thermal Characteristics of the Chena Hot Springs Alaska Geothermal System" — Erkan, Holdman, Blackwell & Benoit
    (10) "Exploration and Development at Dixie Valley, Nevada: Summary of DOE Studies" — Blackwell, Smith & Richards
    (11) "Geothermal Resources at Naval Petroleum Reserve-3 (NPR-3), Wyoming" — Milliken
    (12) "Inferring Well-to-Well Connectivity Using Nonparametric Regression on Well Histories" — Horne & Szucs
    (13) "Analysis of Well Tests in Afyon Ömer-Gecek Geothermal Field, Turkey" — Onur, Cinar, Aksoy, Serpen & Satman
    (14) "Convective Dispersion in a Real Fracture" — Bauget & Fourar
    (15) "Well Path Design and Stimulation Treatments at the Geothermal Research Well GTGRSK4/05 in Groß Schönebeck" — Zimmermann, Reinicke, Blöcher, Milsch, Gehrke, Holl, Moeck, Brandt, Saadat & Huenges
    (16) "New Well Test Measurement Technique for Low Enthalpy Geothermal Wells" — Serpen & Aksoy
    (17) "Reliability of Early Modeling Studies for High-Temperature Reservoirs in Iceland and the Philippines" — Sarmiento & Björnsson
    (18) "The Use of Inflow Performance Relationships to Identify Reservoir Response During Production Tests in a Geothermal Well" — Aragón, Suárez, Moya, & Izquierdo
    (19) "Chemical Characteristics of the Coso East Flank Hydrothermal Fluids: Implications for the Location and Nature of the Heat Source" — Christenson, Kennedy, Adams, Bjornstad & Buck
    (20) "A Study on the Production and Reservoir Performance of Omer-Gecek/Afyon Geothermal Field" — Satman, Onur, Serpen & Aksoy
    (21) "Deep Heat Mining in the Austrian Alps - a Prelimenary Look on Possibilities and Limitations" — Salcher & Goetzl
    (22) "Use of Rapid Temperature Measurements at a 2-meter Depth to Augment Deeper Temperature Gradient Drilling" — Coolbaugh, Sladek, Faulds, Zehner, & Oppliger
    (23) "Geothermal Energy Development along Africa's Rift Valley (no paper)" — Echavarria
    (24) "Reservoir Pressure Drawdown and the Alum Lakes, Wairakei" — Newson & O'Sullivan
    (25) "Water Injection as a Means for Reducing Non-Condensible and Corrosive Gases in Steam Produced from Vapor-Dominated Reservoirs" — Pruess, Spycher & Kneafsey
    (26) "Geomechanical Facies Concept and the Application of Hybrid Numerical and Analytical Techniques for the Description of HTMC Coupled Transport in Fractured Systems" — McDermott, Xie, Kosakowski, Mettier, Moog & Kolditz
    (27) "Assessing Uncertainty in Future Pressure Changes Predicted by Lumped-Parameter Models: A Field Application" — Tureyen, Sarak & Onur
    (28) "Integrated Dense Array and Transect Mt Surveying at Dixie Valley Geothermal Area, Nevada; Structural Controls, Hydrothermal Alteration and Deep Fluid Sources" — Wannamaker, Doerner & Hasterok
    (29) "Streaming Potential Measured for an Intact Rock Sample at Temperatures to 200 C" — Ishido & Matsushima
    (30) "Microearthquake Survey at the Buranga Geothermal Prospect, Western Uganda" — Ochmann, Lindenfeld, Barbirye & Stadtler
    (31) "Microearthquake Moment Tensors from the Coso Geothermal Area" — Julian, Foulger & Monastero
    (32) "Net Power Capacity of Geothermal Wells Versus Reservoir Temperature - a Practical Perspective" — Sanyal, Morrow & Butler
    (33) "Experimental Measurement of Two-Phase Relative Permeability in Vertical Fractures" — Speyer, Li & Horne
    (34) "Thermodynamic Model for Predicting Interactions of Geothermal Brines with Hydrothermal Aluminum Silicate Minerals" — Moller, Christov & Weare
    (35) "Output of Thermal Energy from Mutnovsky Volcano (Kamchatka) and Thermal Feeding of Mutnovsky Hydrothermal System" — Vereina
    (36) "Tracer Tests Evaluating Hydraulic Stimulation at Deep Geothermal Reservoirs in Germany" — Ghergut, Sauter, Behrens, Licha, McDermott, Herfort, Rose, Zimmermann, Orzol, Jung, Huenges, Kolditz, Lodemann, Fischer, Wittig, Güthoff & Kühr
    (37) "Stress State at Soultz-Sous-Forêts to 5 km Depth from Wellbore Failure and Hydraulic Observations" — Valley & Evans
    (38) "Ongoing Resource Assessment of Geothermal Energy from Deep Sedimentary Basins in Texas" — Erdlac, Armour, Lee, Snyder, Sorensen, Matteucci & Horton
    (39) "Stress and Pore Pressure Distribution Around a Pressurized, Cooled Crack in Low Permeability Rock" — Ghassemi
    (40) "Geologic Setting of the Chena Hot Springs Geothermal System, Alaska " — Kolker, Newberry, Layer, Larsen & Stepp
    (41) "The Shallow Hydrothermal System of Long Valley Caldera, California" — Suemnicht, Sorey, Moore & Sullivan
    (42) "In Search for Thermal Anomalies in the Coso Geothermal Field (California) Using Remote Sensing and Field Data" — Eneva, Coolbaugh, Bjornstad & Combs
    (43) "Discovering a New Buried Geothermal Field Found Using Geological-Geophysical and Geochemical Methods Uchbash-Saphane, Kutahya Western Anatolia, Turkey" — Burçak, Sevim, Hacisalihoglu
    (44) "Updated Methods for Estimating Recovery Factors for Geothermal Resources" — Williams
    (45) "Numerical Simulation of Tracer Testing Data at the Uenotai Geothermal Field, Japan" — Nakao, Ishido & Takahashi
    (46) "Modeling and Forecast of the Exploitation the Pauzhetsky Geothermal Field, Kamchatka, Russia" — Kiryukhin, Asaulova, Rychkova, Obora, Manukhin & Vorozheikina
    (47) "Geothermal Brine Invasion in Oil Reservoirs: A 3D Generalization of the Buckley-Leverett Model Using Non-Linear Finite Elements" — Suarez & Samaniego
    (48) "Petrophysical Characterization of Carbonate Naturally Fractured Reservoirs for Use in Dual Porosity Simulators" — Pulido, Samaniego, García-Gavito, Galicia-Muñoz & Velez-García
    (49) "An Update on Geothermal Energy Potential of Turkey" — Satman, Serpen & Korkmaz
    (50) "Triple Porosity Model-Dual Permeability with Transient Diffusivity Hydraulic in Naturally Fractured Reservoirs " — Pulido, Samaniego, Cinco-Ley, Rivera & Galicia
    (51) "The Composition Models of Local Materials Additive to Light Weight Cement on HTHP Conditions" — Nur & Dody
    (52) "Silica Extraction from Hydrothermal Heat Carrier by Membrane Filters" — Potapov, Parshin, Gorbach, Kashpura, Min & Ermachihin
    (53) "Experiments on Silicates and Gels Production with Using of Silica Extracted from Hydrothermal Solution" — Kashpura, Potapov, Turina, Zubaha, Gorbach
    (54) "Petrography and Mineral Alteration in Berlín Geothermal Field" — Torio-Henriquez
    (55) "Geothermal Resources Exploration and Wellsite Selection with Environmental Considerations Using GIS in Sabalan Geothermal Area, Iran" — Noorollahi, Itoi, Fujii & Tanaka
    (56) "Estimation of the Sub-Surface Temperature by Means of Magnetotelluric Sounding" — Spichak, Zakharova, Rybin
    (57) "HDR Project Soultz: Hydraulic and Seismic Observations During Stimulation of the 3 Deep Wells by Massive Water Injections" — Tischner, Schindler, Jung & Nami
    (58) "Geothermal Potential Site Selection using GIS in Iran" — Yousefi, Ehara & Noorollahi
    (59) "Investigation of Salt Precipitation in Geothermal Reservoir Near Sealing Conditions" — Tsypkin & Calore
    (60) "Lithostratigraphy of Nigeria-An Overview" — Shitta
    (61) "A Prospect Geothermal Potential of an Abandoned Copper Mine" — Tóth & Bobok
    »more »search »related site »animation

    Wednesday, March 7, 2007

    Growth Forecast in Clean Energy Markets

    From the Energy Blog...

    "Global clean-energy markets are poised to quadruple in the next decade, growing from $55.4 billion in revenues in 2006 to more than $226.5 billion by 2016 for four benchmark technologies, according to the sixth annual Clean Energy Trends report."

    download (pdf)

    Tradeshow: Power-Gen Renewable Energy & Fuels 2007

    From Renewable Energy Access...

    The Politics of Renewable Energy at PGRE&F 2007—Wind, solar, geothermal, biofuels and other industry segments represented at the largest all-renewables conference in Las Vegas March 6-8...


    Analysis: Costs of Clean vs. Conventional Energy

    From Renewable Energy Access...

    By Scott Sklar—Let us take a hypothetical 300 MW combined renewable energy plant composed equally of geothermal or microhydro/tidal, photovoltaics or concentrated solar power, and wind—all with 20-year warranted output—able to produce electricity 24 hours, 7 days per week.

    Now I probably can provide a combined cost including operations and maintenance over these 20 years. But now comes the challenge. Can I find a conventional technology which can provide energy, without any fuel escalation, with zero emissions, and no waste to compete against this plant?

    Sklar heads the steering committee of the Sustainable Energy Coalition.

    Monday, March 5, 2007

    Radio Report: "Deep Heat"

    From 'Living on Earth' radio journalist Curt Nickisch...

    "Whether more parts of the country are home to geothermal energy plants mining heat miles below the earth's surface, may depend on whether Tester and others like him can drill their point into the minds of policymakers."


    Geothermal Advocates go to Washington

    The following presentations were given at the March 1, 2007 briefing on geothermal energy to members of the U.S. Congress. This second annual briefing was hosted by Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and featured the following presenters:

    (1) Bernie Karl, Chena Hot Springs Resort, Alaska

    (2) Karl Gawell, Geothermal Energy Association (GEA)

    (3) Jefferson Tester, Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

    (4) Roy Mink, U.S. Geothermal Inc.*

    (5) Paul Thomsen, Ormat Technologies Inc.

    *Mink is the former DoE Geothermal Program Director.

    Saturday, March 3, 2007

    U.S. zero budget for geothermal technology program

    From the EERE briefing on the 2008 U.S. Federal Budget...

    The Geothermal Technology Program has worked in partnership with industry to establish geothermal energy as an economically competitive contributor to the U.S. energy supply.

    Geothermal energy production, a $1.3 billion a year industry, generates electricity or provides heat for direct applications, including aquaculture, crop drying, and district heating, or for use in heat pumps to heat and cool buildings. The technologies developed by this program are providing the Nation with new sources of electricity that are highly reliable and cost competitive and do not add to America’s air pollution or the emission of greenhouse gases. Geothermal electricity generation is not subject to fuel price volatility and supply disruptions from changes in global energy markets.

    Priorities are focused on technology development with broadly applicable and more readily accelerated public benefits —EERE

    While geothermal energy remains an important regional contributor to the Nation’s energy needs, current EERE priorities are focused on technology development with broadly applicable and more readily accelerated public benefits. Therefore, the Department plans to close out the Geothermal Technologies Program. This closeout decision was based upon a review of EERE program funding priorities – which include a broad spectrum of considerations."

    »related_1 »related_2 »related_3 »download

    Thursday, March 1, 2007

    Geothermal Stocks: 'Heating Up'

    SeekingAlpha/Energy Stocks

    According to reports, the following geothermal stocks have been "heating up."



    Wednesday, February 28, 2007

    Op-ed: "Pushing energy innovation"

    Article calls on government to be catalyst for innovation

    New energy sources are being given little more than "lip service" by the major energy companies in the U.S. This is the view expressed by EDWARD GOLDBERG in a recent op-ed article that has appeared in newspapers around the country (Cincinnati Post, Hampshire Daily Gazette, Salt Lake Tribune, and the Baltimore Sun).

    He sees a role for government in pushing innovation in the energy sector:

    "The energy majors know that if oil, year in and year out, remains cheaper than competitive energy products, there will be little pressure to invest in new forms of energy. And when the oil market falls, as it has for the last six months, it reinforces this corporate stagnation. Thus the urgent need for Washington to become the risk taker of last resort."


    Monday, February 26, 2007


    A Superior Idea

    Loren JenksAt first glance, MIT’s Prof. Jefferson W. Tester was doubtful about the practicality of Atlantic Geothermal’s “heat canal” concept. Once Dr. Tester took a good look at the heat canal idea, however, his skepticism changed. Should the concept prove workable, Tester told Atlantic Geothermal’s founder, David Reynolds, the heat canal approach to enhanced geothermal energy development would offer real advantages to geothermal heat mining.

    Let’s be clear on the importance of the Feb. 12 meeting between Tester* and Reynolds. An expression of geniune interest by one of the world’s foremost authorities on geothermal energy can go a long way toward bringing a good idea into the real world of analysis, conclusion and validation. This would be very good for Atlantic Geothermal, of course; but launching a superior geothermal energy production design would be enormously beneficial to a world in desperate need of clean energy sources. It would also, by the way, be very good for the U.S. economy, as well as the quality of the air we breathe, the food we eat and the water we drink.

    Prof. Tester agreed that the heat canal looks good on paper. Rather than building multiple enhanced geothermal wells to pump water down into hot rock and extract steam to drive power-generating turbines at each site, the heat canal would draw from a much larger underground field for a much longer period of time — possibly measured in centuries rather than decades for the typical geothermal site. The heat canal, a horizontal bore 50 ft. wide and 80 to 100 miles long, 20,000 ft. below the surface and filled with sea water under pressure, with bore holes extending laterally 7500 ft. into hot rock, would generate an estimated 16 times the energy of the largest conventionally designed enhanced geothermal well, yet all that energy would be extracted from a single site. This design, Prof. Tester said, would significantly increase operating efficiency through a “synergy of systems.”

    During their discussion, Tester and Reynolds identified two optional designs for the bore holes that could work with the required efficiency. One option would utilize fracturing of the hot rock area from which heat would be extracted. (Fracturing allows more heat to be extracted, but could multiply any tendency within the site toward geological instability.) The second option would involve drilling a lattice of bore holes and, while more expensive to install, would not require fracturing.

    The next step is to have a mathematical analysis of for both options performed by GeothermEx, the big California-based geothermal exploration and development firm. Tester told Reynolds that he would be glad to verify mathematical calculations of heat extraction rates the geothermal canal model. While the sustainability of the heat canal design is being calculated, Atlantic Geothermal will be refining the design concept and trying to get a fix on projected costs. The immediate question is, how many billions of dollars are we talking about?

    by Loren Jenks (

    *Dr. Tester, the H. P. Meissner Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT, directed the multidisciplinary task force that recently released its major report, “Future of Geothermal Energy: Impact of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) on tbe United States in the 21st Century.”

    Briefing planned on cutting edge geothermal developments

    From GEA Press Release...
    The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will be hosting a briefing about "the latest developments in geothermal energy and what they could mean for the country's energy future..."

    The event to be held on March 1 in Washington, DC will "highlight cutting edge reports and technological innovations that have made—and continue to make—geothermal a renewable success story."


    Thursday, February 15, 2007

    'Imagining Tomorrow' Clean Energy Contest

    go to 'Imagining Tomorrow'IMAGINING TOMORROW is a creative writing and video contest about clean energy for all high school students in the United States. Top state and regional entries go on to the national level, with $10,000 committed in prizes.

    Act now! Tell the high school students and teachers in your life that submissions are due March 31, 2007.

    More details about this contest are available at The Foresight Project, Inc, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit in partnership with the Northeast Sustainable Energy Society (NESEA).

    »download_1 (pdf) »download_2 (pdf)

    Wednesday, February 14, 2007

    Heat Map Shows Great Potential for U.S.

    GEA geothermal resources map

    An illustration from the Geothermal Energy Association shows the estimated earth temperatures at a depth of 6 kilometers (about 4 miles). Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius. According to the GEA, existing geothermal power technology can produce electricity from resources at temperatures as low as 90 degrees Celsius.

    download (pdf)

    Monday, February 12, 2007


    “Renewable” or “Sustainable”

    When is an energy source “renewable” and under what conditions is the same energy source “sustainable?” Before tackling these two different but not mutually exclusive terms with regard to geothermal energy, I scoured the Internet for “How many engineers does it take to install a light bulb?” jokes. I found some of varying quality, the best of which I will get to later.

    On one engineering website I also found a recipe for chocolate chip cookies. The directions went like this: To a 2-L jacketed round reactor vessel with an overall heat transfer coefficient of about 100 Btu/F-ft2-hr, add ingredients one, two and three with constant agitation. In a second 2-L reactor vessel with a radial flow impeller operating at 100 rpm, add ingredients four, five, six, and seven until the mixture is homogeneous... and so on.

    Since chocolate chip cookies are essential to the future of a technology-based civilized society (a statement that I consider inarguable) and noting that any currently available chocolate chip cookie recipe assumes a stable and affordable supply of electricity, let’s turn our attention once again to geothermal power generation.

    To Atlantic Geothermal’s Dave Reynolds, the staggeringly comprehensive MIT study on geothermal resources, released last month, comes just in time. The report basically concludes that geothermal power generation, far from being a failed technology, simply hasn’t been sufficiently developed yet — this from scientists who were in on the original geothermal developments in the western U.S. 30 years ago.

    Mostly as a result of the MIT study, there’s a lot of talk now about enhanced geothermal systems (EGS), which potentially could extend geothermal capacity beyond those places in the Western states where the earth’s mantle is thin and the ground occasionally moves with disturbing suddenness. There are no operational EGS plants in the United States, although test projects here and in other parts of the world have proven the feasibility of the concept.

    Reynolds wants to make clear what the MIT report does not do. It does not establish that geothermal heat, a renewable energy source, is sustainable. That is, a reliable source that can be tapped indefinitely, because the flow of heat through subterranean rock layers will not be depleted by geothermal heat mining. This is what Atlantic Geothermal’s proposed Geothermal Heat Canal is all about — drawing heat from a large enough area to make significant power generation at the source site sustainable for generations.

    The Heat Canal project goes beyond the conclusions advanced by the MIT study, which envisions clusters of single-source geothermal heat wells drilled vertically, just like oil wells. These heat wells would run productively for a certain number of years, then be left unused for about 3 times longer to allow temperatures in the heat basin to regenerate. That’s the renewable part. Basically, it’s like crop rotation, which is a step beyond the hunter-gatherer approach to food production.

    Reynolds maintains that, with the Heat Canal, wells would not have to be abandoned at regular intervals. And they would not have to be sited in geologically unstable regions. He asserts that geothermal energy can be extracted in large amounts from sites that today are considered impractical — which so far is nearly everywhere. He also believes that with adequate research funding, we might be able to shave a decade or two from current projections for achieving energy self-sufficiency.

    Is it worth doing? How much oil do you have in your back yard?

    Oh, about the light bulb joke. It takes five engineers — one to design a light bulb that never needs changing, one to figure out how to rewire the grid, two to make the necessary installations, and one to write the software program that controls the wall switch. Got that?

    by Loren Jenks (

    Sunday, February 11, 2007

    AP NEWS: Texas Issues Lease for Geothermal Energy

    From the Associated Press...

    "AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas has awarded the state's first lease for geothermal energy production to a company planning to explore the renewable energy's potential along seven Gulf Coast counties.

    Ormat Technologies, Inc. paid $55,645, or $5 an acre, for the right to explore 11,129 acres for pockets of hot water and steam under the ocean floor, the General Land Office announced Tuesday.

    'We got more bids than we expected," Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson said. "I think that's a good sign geothermal might just be an economically viable form of renewable energy for Texas.'

    The Texas Permanent School Fund, which helps funds the state's public education, will get 10 percent of any energy revenues that Reno, Nev.-based Ormat produces on state land.

    Producers create geothermal energy by tapping into warm geologic strata to withdraw hot water and steam that is brought to the surface to drive turbines, which in turn drive electricity generators.

    Spokesman Paul Thomsen said the project will enable Ormat to evaluate the region's potential for geothermal energy, which it hopes to produce within two to five years.

    He said the company will consider using capped oil and gas wells on submerged state coastal properties. The company hopes to find adequately hot temperatures between 4,000 and 6,000 feet below the surface, he said.

    'The idea is if we can utilize existing wells, it reduces the risks in drilling,' Thomsen said."

    Friday, February 9, 2007

    National RPS Bill Introduced on Capitol Hill


    "New legislation that would require many U.S. utilities to generate 20 percent of their electricity from renewable energy resources by 2020 was introduced yesterday by Congressman Tom Udall of New Mexico..."

    more RPS

    Who in the world is visiting

    Click for detailed view.Site statistics:

    In the past few weeks, has had more than 350 individual visitors from around the world. These visitors have viewed nearly 1000 pages, mostly in English, but in 7 other languages as well, including Chinese. Listed below are the numbers of visitors from each country and their languages. Country & Number of Unique Visitors United States 305 ~ Canada 22 ~ Australia 7 ~ United Kingdom 4 ~ Sweden 3 ~ Slovakia 2 ~ China 2 ~ Iceland 2 ~ Taiwan 1 ~ Indonesia 1 ~ India 1 ~ South Africa 1 ~ Greece 1 ~ France 1 ~ Spain 1 ~ Mexico 1 ~ Ukraine 1 Language & Number of Unique Visitors en-us (English -United States) 314 ~ en (English) 31 ~ zh-cn (Chinese PRC) 2 ~ es (Spanish Spain Traditional) 2 ~ sv (Swedish) 2 ~ zh-tw (Chinese Taiwan) 1 ~ el (Greek) 1 ~ fr (French Standard) 1 ~ sv-se (Swedish dialect)1 ~ ru (Russian) 1

    Thursday, February 8, 2007

    'Flabbergasted' About Geothermal in Nashua, NH

    Reprinted with permission from The Nashua (New Hampshire) Telegraph.

    "At the risk of being one of those people who talks about their vacations all the time (I’m actually one of those people who talks about their kids all the time), I must admit that ever since I visited Iceland last year, I’ve really wanted a geothermal power plant.

    That doesn’t mean one of the so-called “geothermal” systems we have around here, which are really heat-exchange systems that use the constant temperature of well water to lower the cost of heating and cooling a building.

    I’m talking about real geothermal, which uses extreme heat from underground magma or natural radioactive decay to boil water and send it shooting up through power-producing turbines.

    Iceland has lots of that stuff, since it’s located over the joint where the European tectonic plate is separating from the North American plate, so magma is constantly shooting up out of the ground. (Iceland is basically one-third volcanoes, one-third glaciers, and one-third Bjork fans.)

    One time, in fact, Iceland had to stop drilling a geothermal well because a volcano erupted right up through the borehole! Is that neat or what?

    It’s the only such event in history, as I learned from the video for visitors at the massive Krafla power plant. I writhed with envy when I heard it, because I live in seismically inactive, geologically boring New Hampshire. No subsurface magma here.

    "So I was flabbergasted last month when I saw that a much-publicized MIT report urging geothermal energy for the U.S. cited our own Conway as a potential location for a power plant."

    In fact, it was the only promising site east of the Mississippi.

    “That’s because of all the granite you have. The uranium, thorium and potassium act like a natural nuclear reactor and keep the rock warm,” said Ron DiPippo, a former dean of engineering from UMass-Dartmouth who was on the panel that wrote the report.

    In fact, he said in a telephone interview last week, during the 1970s oil shocks a “hot, dry rock” experiment was planned for Conway to determine the suitability of geothermal power, but it never went anywhere.

    The new study, titled “The Future of Geothermal Energy,” says the best bet is a more aggressive method that involves pumping water down to subterranean heat sources, so it can shoot back up again and power the turbines. They call it the Enhanced Geothermal System.

    Alas, further review of the report shows that Conway is the least promising of the various locations considered by the group, because you’d have to drill down six miles to get enough heat. (By contrast, a deep drilled well goes down barely one-tenth of a mile.)

    As a result, the cost estimates put together by the 18-member panel at the urging of the U.S. Department of Energy say power from a Conway geothermal plant could cost two to six times as much as from the other sites it considered, all of which were out West.

    “It’s certainly one of the more expensive places to look at,” admitted DiPippo.

    But finding cheap power to be tapped in the next few years wasn’t the point of the study. It was designed to highlight the plausibility of geothermal energy in the U.S., so that more research and development will occur and geothermal can be added to the nation’s mix of power sources.

    Maybe even in the North Country.

    “If we’re talking 40 or 50 years down the road and petroleum is either non-existent or so expensive we have to look for alternatives, then it’s not unreasonable to begin to look at places like Conway,” said DiPippo. “We’ve got to start looking at this now, if we want it to succeed."

    Man, I am ready. Could you imagine it: A day of skiing, then taking a dip in a geothermal hot tub?

    Eat your heart out, Bjork!"

    Link to the original Nashua Telegraph online publication, February 7, 2007: Geothermal energy is hot topic in U.S. among scientists
    'Acronym Soup' ~ MIT UMass

    Tuesday, February 6, 2007

    NEW REPORT: "Tackling Climate Change in the U.S."

    "Tackling Climate Change in the U.S.: Potential Carbon Emissions Reductions from Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy by 2030" is a landmark report released by the American Solar Energy Society in January, 2007.
    • Read Chapter 9 of the report, "Potential Carbon Emissions Reductions from Geothermal Power by 2030," co-authored by Martin Vorum of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Jefferson Tester of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    Friday, February 2, 2007


    Atlantic Geothermal’s Dave Reynolds is not reinventing the wheel; he’s building a coach from spare parts left lying around for years by the oil, gas and mining industries. In other words, as has been said already, the technology exists today to make the United States energy independent, perhaps indefinitely. How? By tapping into the heat that lies beneath our feet. If it’s done right, Reynolds claims, the energy obtainable from hot rocks is sustainable for centuries, does not require burning fossil fuels, will not pollute the environment, runs 24 hours a day seven days a week, can provide an unending supply of fresh water from sea water, and is not only achievable but affordable at today’s energy prices. His argument is compelling.

    Sure, there are obstacles to overcome, questions to be answered. For example, how clean is it? Atlantic Geothermal advances a feasible design solution to concerns about mineral pollutants leached from subterranean rock. Could extended development of geothermal energy cause earthquakes? Well, listen folks, what they’re doing now, drilling into fissures between tectonic plates to mine readily available steam, does not fill me with reassurance. Atlantic Geothermal is advancing a project to run steam turbines on heat mined from almost anywhere within 100 miles of the ocean — specifically, New England, which is not considered a hotbed of geothermal capacity, nor of earthquakes.

    The landmark MIT report on potential geothermal resources, released January 22, demonstrates with mountains of data that “enhanced geothermal systems” (EGS) can meet up to 10 percent of the nation’s current and projected electricity needs by 2050. This amount would replace the generating capacity that will be lost by the expected retirement of old coal-fired and nuclear generating plants.

    Atlantic Geothermal’s visionary project leapfrogs the 30-year continuous operating life expectancies of EGS plants by greatly expanding the hot rock energy field. By drilling an 80- to 100-mile-long, 50-ft.-wide tunnel three miles below the surface, then expanding bore holes 1500 ft. laterally, the project could realize an energy field potentially 3,000 ft. wide and 80 miles long. Reynolds projects that one such system could generate 1600 megawatts of power per hour — 16 times the output of a large conventionally designed EGS plant, and nearly matching the output of Hoover Dam. And, due to the greatly expanded heat reservoir of a field that size, the generating capacity would last indefinitely. Land use concerns? Except for the input and output facilities, the entire system is three miles underground, maintained by hydrostatic pressure.

    It bears repeating that the know-how exists today to bring Atlantic Geothermal’s vision of perpetually sustained clean energy into reality. All it takes is political and economic willpower. What are we waiting for?

    by Loren Jenks (

    Enhanced Geothermal Systems for the U.S.

    Mission of the U.S. Geothermal Technologies Program...
    Experimental EGS

    "To develop enhanced geothermal systems technology that produces electricity from artificially created geothermal systems."

    download (pdf)

    U.S. geothermal group urges Congressional support

    From (GEA) via Renewable Energy Access...

    "Legislation before the U.S. Congress to fund federal agencies for the remainder of this fiscal year could be a 'major setback' for geothermal energy unless Congress intervenes..."