FRACKING COULD CRACK OPEN A GEOTHERMAL BOOM
Fracking for Geothermal Heat Instead of Gas; AltaRock has figured out how to use fracking to get more heat out of a geothermal well, but work remains before the energy source can dent carbon emissions.
Kevin Bullis, October 21, 2013 (MIT Review)
“The use of hydraulic fracturing has unlocked vast new reserves of natural gas…[Alta Rock] is developing technology that might do the same for geothermal resources…Earlier this year near the Newberry Volcano in Oregon, Alta Rock demonstrated a key part of that technology, a process [called Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS)] akin to fracking…Unlike solar and wind power, [geothermal power] would be available around the clock and in all sorts of weather…[C]onventional geothermal plants rely on a rare combination of…[hot rock] accompanied by large amounts of hot water or steam that can easily be pumped to the surface, where it would drive steam turbines…Although such formations are rare, the amount of heat underground…[could supply U.S.] energy needs for thousands of years. AltaRock is one of several companies trying to figure out how to… [pump] cold water into rock in just the right way to trigger existing fractures in the rock to expand and allow water to flow through…” click here for more