NewEnergyNews: WORLD GEOTHERMAL RISING

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    Friday, October 31, 2014

    WORLD GEOTHERMAL RISING

    A head of steam; Geothermal power sheds its hot-spring roots

    October 26, 2014 (The Economist)

    “Geothermal energy, long a poor relation among the more glamorous renewable technologies of wind and solar power, is poised to smarten its dowdy image…[There is] much to like about geothermal energy. It is reasonably clean; leaves behind little in the way of waste; does not suffer the vagaries of the weather or the inevitability of sunset; makes the tiniest of footprints on the land; and is pretty well inexhaustible. Above all, it is more or less free for the taking. Yet, lacking the political clout of wind and solar power, geothermal electricity has never received the attention it deserves…

    “One important advance has been made—or, rather, borrowed from the oil and gas industry. This is the use of hydraulic fracturing ("fracking")…[It] is the technique behind the new “enhanced geothermal systems” that extract energy from rocks which are hot enough, but too dry, to produce steam. In such cases, developers bore two wells several kilometres down to the basement rocks and fracture the matrix between them with either high-pressure water or explosives. Water is then pumped down one of the boreholes and rises, heated, up the other…[The] steam is used to drive turbines for generating electricity…[T]he virtue of geothermal electricity is that it can provide base-load power, flexible power or anything in between...” click here for more

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