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Freegrass

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Geothermal Energy
« on: April 03, 2024, 11:45:56 PM »
I couldn't find a dedicated thread for geothermal energy, and so I made one, because it looks like new techniques will be making it more viable. I'm curious to learn more about these new fracking techniques. What's the danger of them? Is it as bad as oil fracking? Or cleaner?

US aiming to ‘crack the code’ on deploying geothermal energy at scale
Recent $74m investment made alongside assessment that 10% of electricity could be generated by geothermal by 2050

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2024/apr/02/geothermal-energy-electricity

A limitless supply of heat exists beneath our feet within the Earth’s crust, but harnessing it at scale has proved challenging. Now, a combination of new techniques, government support and the pressing need to secure continuous clean power in an era of climate crisis means that geothermal energy is finally having its moment in the US.

Until recently, geothermal has only been viable where the Earth’s inner heat simmers near the surface, such as at hot springs or geysers where hot water or steam can be easily drawn to drive turbines and generate electricity.

While this has allowed a limited number of places, like Iceland, to use geothermal as a main source of heating and electricity, it has only been a niche presence in the US, providing less than 1% of its electricity. But this could change dramatically, offering the promise of endless, 24/7 clean energy that can fill in the gaps of intermittent solar and wind generation in the electricity grid.

“Geothermal has been used for over 100 years, limited to certain geographic locations – but that is now changing,” said Amanda Kolker, the geothermal laboratory program manager at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

“As we penetrate the grid with renewables that are not available all the time, we need to find a base load, which is currently taken up by gas. There aren’t really many options for zero-emissions base load power, which is why geothermal is entering the picture.”

Geothermal capacity could increase 20-fold by 2050, generating 10% of the US’s electricity, according to a recent road map released by the US Department of Energy. Joe Biden’s administration has also funded new projects aimed at pushing forward the next generation of geothermal that aim to make the energy source available anywhere on America’s landmass, not just easy-to-reach hot springs.

“The US can lead the clean-energy future with continued innovation on next-generation technologies, from harnessing the power of the sun to the heat beneath our feet, and cracking the code to deploy them at scale,” said Jennifer Granholm, the US energy secretary, who added that she saw “enormous potential” in geothermal.

Expanding the geothermal footprint to the entire US will take time, as well as plenty of money – the department of energy estimates as much as $250bn will be needed for projects to become widespread across the country, providing a major source of clean power.

But advocates of geothermal say that such growth is within reach, because of a wave of geothermal technologies as well as government support. In February, the Biden administration announced $74m for up to seven pilot projects to develop enhanced geothermal systems that, the government said, hold the potential for powering 65m American homes.

Ironically, enhanced geothermal uses similar fracking techniques currently used to extract oil and gas, which must be phased out if the world is to avoid climate disaster. In the geothermal version of fracking, fluid is injected deep underground, causing fractures to open up, with the liquid becoming hot as it circulates. The hot water is then pumped to the surface, where it can generate electricity for the grid.

This, and other new techniques that allow deeper and horizontal drilling, in some cases down to eight miles deep, allows geothermal energy to be drawn from hot rocks found anywhere underground, rather than select spots that have hot water near the surface. This vastly expands the potential of the technology.


“Anywhere in the country, if you drill, it gets hotter and hotter with each mile you go deeper,” said Koenraad Beckers, an NREL thermal sciences researcher.

“In the western United States, that temperature increases fast. If you drill just one to two miles deep, you have temperatures hot enough for electricity. To get those temperatures in eastern states, you might need to drill miles and miles down, but you can use lower temperatures to directly heat or cool campuses, neighbourhoods and even towns.”

Dozens of new companies are looking to push ahead with geothermal plans, buoyed up by incentives offered by recent legislation passed in the US, although only a few have so far managed to complete full projects in the US, such as Eavor, a Canadian firm that successfully drilled a three-mile hole in New Mexico to prove it could access heat in deep, granite rock.

At play for these companies is an inexhaustible energy supply. Just one type of next generation geothermal – called superhot rock energy, where deep drilling reaches temperatures 400C or hotter – is abundant enough to theoretically fulfil the world’s power requirements. In fact, just 1% of the world’s superhot rock potential could provide 63 terawatts of clean firm power, which would meet global electricity demand nearly eight times over.

“While this modelling is preliminary, our findings suggest an enormous opportunity to unlock vast amounts of clean energy beneath our feet,” said Terra Rogers, the director for superhot rock energy at Clean Air Task Force, which produced the modelling tool to measure the potential of this approach.

“Energy security backed by always available zero-carbon energy isn’t a far-off dream.”
When computers are set to evolve to be one million times faster and cheaper in ten years from now, then I think we should rule out all other predictions. Except for the one that we're all fucked...

kassy

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Re: Geothermal Energy
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2024, 06:04:21 PM »
There are many ways to do geothermal and many different scales on which it can be done.

If you pump water through a closed loop that limits the heat gain. If you do it on this grand scale as proposed one important question is how much water gets used. 
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Richard Rathbone

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Re: Geothermal Energy
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2024, 07:52:09 PM »
Its not  exactly limitless. The geothermal heat flux across the entire planet is about 44 TW. Thats the same order of magnitude as the world's current energy use. However the vast majority of that is under the ocean.

Mean flux under land is 65 mW/m2
The USA is about 10M km2.

65 GW for the USA.
The USA currently uses about 3000 GW.

I think they are probably assuming that they can keep finding a new location to frack after they've cooled down the original fracked volume rather than what can be taken sustainably. Good luck finding a new US after the current one is completely fracked, which is what will happen if they try  to do geothermal at the sort of scale that article is talking  about.

Data from:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geothermal_gradient
https://ourworldindata.org/energy-production-consumption

morganism

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Re: Geothermal Energy
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2024, 02:05:04 AM »
I was surprised how many fairly new books where in my local library on this, didn't know it was going forward so much. I like the idea of what they are doing in the Salton Sea tho, pairing geo with lithium and rare earth harvesting out of the brines seems like much saltier way to mine.

There was a team that got issued a permit to drill into a fairly recent volcano up in the Pac NW, never heard anything else on it.

There isn't a lot of research on fracking, other than plenty of technique, because the USA forbade any scientific research money going into it. Voted it in Congress.

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Re: Geothermal Energy
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2024, 08:42:51 AM »
Actually, geothermal is nearly limitless.  While the heat flux at the surface is pretty minimal that’s because the ground acts as an insulator.  Digging down, the temperatures get hotter.  And as the Wikipedia article linked above points out,

Quote
The heat of Earth is replenished by radioactive decay at a rate of 30 TW.[26] The global geothermal flow rates are more than twice the rate of human energy consumption from all primary sources. Global data on heat-flow density are collected and compiled by the International Heat Flow Commission (IHFC) of the IASPEI/IUGG.[27]

So by using the recent technology advances that allow for fracking oil and natural gas for geothermal energy, we would have a reliable source of 24/7 power that would supplement solar and wind.  100% renewable is possible with this combination of power generation sources.

Richard Rathbone

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Re: Geothermal Energy
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2024, 10:54:45 AM »
Actually, geothermal is nearly limitless.  While the heat flux at the surface is pretty minimal that’s because the ground acts as an insulator.  Digging down, the temperatures get hotter.  And as the Wikipedia article linked above points out,

Quote
The heat of Earth is replenished by radioactive decay at a rate of 30 TW.[26] The global geothermal flow rates are more than twice the rate of human energy consumption from all primary sources. Global data on heat-flow density are collected and compiled by the International Heat Flow Commission (IHFC) of the IASPEI/IUGG.[27]

So by using the recent technology advances that allow for fracking oil and natural gas for geothermal energy, we would have a reliable source of 24/7 power that would supplement solar and wind.  100% renewable is possible with this combination of power generation sources.

Getting hotter doesn't change the flux, just allows more of it to be used. Good luck extracting it  from under the Titanic. Thats where the vast majority of it is, under the deep ocean. Fracking the entire US and perfectly capturing the entire flux would be 2% of the current US energy usage not double it. Its never going to be anything but niche. It can be expanded, but its not making more than a tiny dent in the amount of solar thats needed.

Portraying it as limitless is a distraction tactic by Big Oil to draw attention away from the renewables that can actually replace them if they were pushed hard enough. Its about capturing the US research funding and causing it to be spent by them on something that doesn't threaten to strand their assets.

gerontocrat

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Re: Geothermal Energy
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2024, 11:02:03 AM »
Kenya has cracked it. I wonder if they got help from some Icelandic engineers?

But even there it is an addition to the mix of renewables and does not replace the urgent need to ramp up solar+wind and reshape the grid.

Quote
‘Our contribution to a cleaner world’: How Kenya found an extraordinary power source beneath its feet

The 1970s oil crisis helped pave the way for Kenya to utilise its vast geothermal resources beneath the Great Rift Valley

by Peter Muiruri

The Kenyan stretch of the Great Rift Valley is breathtaking. Vast plains between the two escarpments teem with wildlife, creating one of the world’s largest animal migrations – the Mara-Serengeti wildebeest migration. The alkaline lakes in the east African rift system are home to elegant and graceful flamingos, pink wonders that reels in visitors from around the world and are a vital cog in Kenya’s thriving tourism industry.

But it is what lies beneath the valley floor that has had a literally seismic impact on Kenya in recent years – vast geothermal resources that have made the country a world leader in clean energy.

Peketsa Mangi is the general manager in charge of geothermal development at KenGen, the country’s energy generating company. “We are lucky the African rift runs through Kenya,” he told me when I visited last week. “We just happened to be in the right place with several volcanic centres. Olkaria is one of these centres.”

Mangi and I are sitting in a gazebo overlooking a spa pool that uses brine, the byproduct of the geothermal development process. Visitors from all over Kenya come to enjoy the pool’s “healing” properties. With a power plant humming away nearby, my first visit to the heart of Kenya’s geothermal power generation turns out to be a lesson on what is going on below our feet.

According to the Geological Society, the Somalian and Nubian tectonic plates pulled away in opposite directions about 25m years ago, with the surface between the two fault lines sinking and bringing magmatic fluids closer to Earth’s surface and creating the famous rift, a vast valley that stretches 6,400km from Jordan to Mozambique. Under the valley, water percolates easily and comes into contact with hot rocks found 1-3km beneath the surface, creating a mix of superheated water and steam at 75% and 25% respectively, with temperatures averaging 300C (572F) and pressures of 1,000 PSI. These are, it turns out, the perfect conditions for generating geothermal energy.

“This is the steam we are tapping to run the turbines that generate electricity. It is rough down there, and that is where we go,” says Mangi. “A dangerous but necessary mission.”

Mangi has observed the behaviour of the valley for 27 years and knows exactly where to drill a well that will yield geothermal power. “Kenya has developed the capacity for precision geoscientific studies that help us to identify potential areas to drill. Exploration and drilling are cost-intensive endeavours and investors don’t want to go to a greenfield without confirmed viable resources,” he says.

Geothermal energy had its start in the small settlement of Larderello, Italy in 1904. The small plant provided 10kW of energy, which was used to power five lightbulbs. Since then, a number of countries have dug deep in order to exploit similar resources. The US, Indonesia, the Philippines, Turkey and New Zealand are the top five geothermal power producers in the world.

In Kenya, the search for underground energy began nearly 70 years ago, but stalled almost immediately. In 1956, the government drilled two wells specifically to harness geothermal power, at a depth of 950 metres and 1,200 metres respectively. “Temperatures averaged 235C (445F) but the wells failed to discharge due to poor permeability as the surrounding area was a bit solid,” says Mangi.

Then the oil crisis of the early 1970s happened and, once again, Kenya peered beneath the ground for an answer. Global organisations including United Nations Development Programme, The World Bank and Japan International Cooperation Agency stepped in to provide financial and technical support for further exploration. In 1971, a well was drilled and discharged. Everybody got excited again, Mangi says. Between 1981 and 1985, Kenya had an installed capacity of 45MW through the first three power plants in Olkaria.

“We don’t know where the country would be had the oil crisis not hastened this process,” Mangi says. “Geothermal is available 24/7 for 365 days. It is not affected by climate fluctuations since we are using water that has accumulated deep in the ground over the millenniums. The alternative would have been the installation of diesel generators that pollute the environment. This is our contribution to a cleaner world.”

Now, here at Olkaria, near the flower-growing town of Naivasha 56 miles (90km) from Nairobi, there are close to 300 geothermal wells providing steam that runs turbines in five geothermal power plants operated by KenGen.

The power plants and 15 wellheads have a combined capacity of 799MW. With additional geothermal power generated by independent power producers, Kenya’s total geothermal power capacity is 988.7MW, putting the country in sixth position globally (and first in Africa) in terms of geothermal power development.

As a result, Kenya sources up to 91% of its energy from renewables: 47% geothermal, 30% hydro, 12% wind and 2% solar. The country hopes to transition fully to renewables by 2030, with KenGen saying the country has the potential to increase its capacity to as much as 10,000MW of geothermal energy. That would more than match peak demand in Kenya, currently about 2,000MW. Peak time consumption in the UK is about 61,000MW.

Several wells sit within Hell’s Gate national park, the location that inspired the movie The Lion King. The park is patrolled by antelopes, giraffes, zebras and buffaloes, all roaming freely and oblivious to the immense energy trapped beneath their hooves and delivered to the power plants through a labyrinth of a high-pressure piping system averaging 74 miles (120km).

“Geothermal power is clean and poses no harm to the wildlife as the animals have adapted to this system,” says Gastone Odhiambo, a safety officer at the power plants. “These pipes are delivering steam to the turbines at 180C (356F) to produce 11 kilovolts of electricity that is then stepped up to 220 kilovolts to travel long distances. You need a sober mind since a single mishap can bring the country to a halt.”

Odhiambo’s childhood home in western Kenya did not have electricity. “I grew up in darkness,” he tells me at the plant’s control room full of switches, dials and strobe lights. “It is a heavy responsibility to help in generating clean energy that can go for ages. When you understand the process, how your tasks affect the day to day running of the economy, you remain humble.”

The Kenyan president, William Ruto, is now spearheading an African campaign to wean the continent off fossil fuels. In September last year, a declaration was signed, which called for reform of international finance and castigated the global north for the skewed global financial system that makes it difficult for Africa to harness its vast renewable energy resources.

“Despite Africa having an estimated 40% of the world’s renewable energy resources, only $60bn or 2% of $3tn renewable energy investments in the last decade have come to Africa,” read the declaration.

While Kenya and the rest of Africa await the financial reforms, it is a fulfilling assignment for the team that works at the geothermal plants in Olkaria, as Mangi sums it up: “A good day here is when the whole process works like clockwork. When all scientific studies and financial resources are poured into the ground, a well is drilled and it discharges, that is power to the country. You feel the investments are well used. And such good days are many.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2024/jan/25/our-contribution-to-a-cleaner-world-how-kenya-found-an-extraordinary-power-source-beneath-its-feet#:~:text=The%20power%20plants%20and%2015,terms%20of%20geothermal%20power%20development.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2024, 11:07:14 AM by gerontocrat »
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Freegrass

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Re: Geothermal Energy
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2024, 07:06:37 PM »
Many thanks for all the responses! Great article Gero.

I've been doing my research on geothermal for the last 2 days, and one company stands out, Eavor Technologies. Their technology looks great. It's explained in the video below, and in a few more good videos on their YouTube channel.

They already started building a commercial system in Germany.

Quote
In total, Eavor is drilling four Eavor-Loops™ at the location. Together, they will generate approximately 64 MW of thermal power and 8.2 MW of electrical power, respectively, saving approximately 44,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalents per year. As early as summer 2024, one of the four Eavor-Loops™ will supply electrical energy for the first time. Completion of the entire plant is planned for 2027. Then the Eavor-Loop™ at Geretsried will be able to supply the entire region with district heating. Due to its advantages, the Eavor-Loop™ technology has the potential to become the gamechanger in energy supply for Germany and worldwide.

This is way better than fracking for hydrothermal. And we need this! For base load power, but mostly to heat our homes with district heating.

And the oil industry will be happy that they can keep drilling. But now for hydrothermal energy and natural hydrogen please.

When computers are set to evolve to be one million times faster and cheaper in ten years from now, then I think we should rule out all other predictions. Except for the one that we're all fucked...

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Re: Geothermal Energy
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2024, 01:56:01 AM »
Actually, geothermal is nearly limitless.  While the heat flux at the surface is pretty minimal that’s because the ground acts as an insulator.  Digging down, the temperatures get hotter.  And as the Wikipedia article linked above points out,

Quote
The heat of Earth is replenished by radioactive decay at a rate of 30 TW.[26] The global geothermal flow rates are more than twice the rate of human energy consumption from all primary sources. Global data on heat-flow density are collected and compiled by the International Heat Flow Commission (IHFC) of the IASPEI/IUGG.[27]

So by using the recent technology advances that allow for fracking oil and natural gas for geothermal energy, we would have a reliable source of 24/7 power that would supplement solar and wind.  100% renewable is possible with this combination of power generation sources.

Getting hotter doesn't change the flux, just allows more of it to be used. Good luck extracting it  from under the Titanic. Thats where the vast majority of it is, under the deep ocean. Fracking the entire US and perfectly capturing the entire flux would be 2% of the current US energy usage not double it. Its never going to be anything but niche. It can be expanded, but its not making more than a tiny dent in the amount of solar thats needed.

Portraying it as limitless is a distraction tactic by Big Oil to draw attention away from the renewables that can actually replace them if they were pushed hard enough. Its about capturing the US research funding and causing it to be spent by them on something that doesn't threaten to strand their assets.
https://atb.nrel.gov/electricity/2022/geothermalThe total mean potential estimated by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in 2008 is 39,090 MW: 9,057 MW identified and 30,033 MW undiscovered (USGS, 2008).
So 39 GW of nearly 100% capacity factor of power making it equivalent to about 65 GW of gas or 91 GW of coal or 117 GW of wind or 162 GW of solar. It is better than wind or solar because it is nearly always on at full power. 39 GW of always on geothermal is about 5.5% of US power. But that number is technology limited for just hydrothermal and NF-EGS(Near hydrothermal Field Enhanced Geothermal Systems). Deep-EGS (3-6km) can add another +100 GW or another 14% or so total that is about 20% of US energy from geothermal. The deeper you drill the more sites can be exploited so that could potentially go much higher. All EGS sights are located in "natural heat zones" so there are other locations possible with even deeper drilling. No drilling under the ocean required though certainly technically possible.


The point is the 39 GW or 5.5% of US power is not even close to the thermal flux you are misinformed or mistaken.


I might also add that oil companies are not pursuing it former oil company employees are.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2024, 02:07:55 AM by interstitial »

Richard Rathbone

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Re: Geothermal Energy
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2024, 01:43:41 PM »

The point is the 39 GW or 5.5% of US power is not even close to the thermal flux you are misinformed or mistaken.


Thats about half my estimate of the thermal flux. i.e. they are assuming the entire US is fracked to get those numbers and probably to a pretty extreme depth too, because thermal power plants  have to be extremely hot to have efficiencies around 50%. Eavor could get a bit more than 11% if they were heating rivers with waste heat rather than houses but thermal power plants with efficiencies that high have input temperatures around 1000C.

Throw a lot of money at it, and I expect they can turn 2 into 5 or maybe even 10GW, but its  niche, not limitless and its actual limits are a small fraction of US energy demand.

ex-oil personnel doing green research reminds me of Beyond Petroleum. BP still uses the Beyond Petroleum logo,  but they spun out their solar R&D into a company contracted to them when they sacked their woke CEO and doubled down on Russian gas after deciding that Kyoto was going nowhere. Oil companies are full of people that can do these estimates,  and they know geothermal  is going almost nowhere too.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2024, 02:50:28 PM by Richard Rathbone »

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Re: Geothermal Energy
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2024, 08:31:34 PM »

The point is the 39 GW or 5.5% of US power is not even close to the thermal flux you are misinformed or mistaken.


Thats about half my estimate of the thermal flux. i.e. they are assuming the entire US is fracked to get those numbers and probably to a pretty extreme depth too, because thermal power plants  have to be extremely hot to have efficiencies around 50%. Eavor could get a bit more than 11% if they were heating rivers with waste heat rather than houses but thermal power plants with efficiencies that high have input temperatures around 1000C.

Throw a lot of money at it, and I expect they can turn 2 into 5 or maybe even 10GW, but its  niche, not limitless and its actual limits are a small fraction of US energy demand.

ex-oil personnel doing green research reminds me of Beyond Petroleum. BP still uses the Beyond Petroleum logo,  but they spun out their solar R&D into a company contracted to them when they sacked their woke CEO and doubled down on Russian gas after deciding that Kyoto was going nowhere. Oil companies are full of people that can do these estimates,  and they know geothermal  is going almost nowhere too.



They are not assuming the entire US is fracked or at extreme depths to get 39 GW. That 39 GW is in locations were they have to drill less than 3 km to get usable heat which is certainly not everywhere. If they drill deeper more locations become usable adding depths of 3-6 km adds another 100+ GW. Your flux estimates are wrong.


I include a reference to the National Energy Renewable Laboratory website which is backed by actual citations of research you just make a claim without reference to anything.


« Last Edit: April 06, 2024, 08:38:50 PM by interstitial »

Freegrass

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Re: Geothermal Energy
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2024, 09:24:04 PM »
It took me a while, but I finally found this video again about a new drilling technique that would make drilling much cheaper, with a possibility to go much deeper too.

Together with the Eavor Loop technology, this could revolutionize geothermal energy and give us cheap, reliable, base load power, and make us less dependable on chemical batteries.

I think it's also great for seasonal storage. Use it a lot in winter, and let the rocks heat up again in summer.

Drill, baby, drill!

When computers are set to evolve to be one million times faster and cheaper in ten years from now, then I think we should rule out all other predictions. Except for the one that we're all fucked...

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Re: Geothermal Energy
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2024, 10:50:40 PM »
That video was interesting Freegrass thank you. That video is more than a year old. I checked the Quaise Energy website and they still show the hybrid drilling system drilling this year and completing a 100 mw plant by 2026. If everything goes smoothly it should pick up from there but even if it does it will not be a major source of energy before mid to late 2030's. Geothermal is 24/365 power you could shut it down for low demand times but unless you have too much energy that just increases the wear and tear on the equipment.


https://www.quaise.energy


An article about a former oil and gas VP who now works at Quaise Energy
https://www.texastribune.org/2024/03/26/texas-geothermal-energy-oil-and-gas/


“Recovery of just 2% of the thermal energy stored in hot rock 3 to 10 km [2 to 12 miles] below the continental U.S. is equivalent to 2,000 times the primary U.S. energy consumption” annually, he and Callahan write in their paper.
https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/1039007


This provides updates including drilling this autumn in Texas.
https://spectrum.ieee.org/geothermal-energy-gyrotron-quaise


According to the Clean Air Task Force, merely 1% of this “superhot rock” geothermal potential could meet global electricity demand multiple times over.
https://www.quaise.energy/news/why-fossil-fuels-are-so-addictive

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Re: Geothermal Energy
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2024, 04:40:07 AM »
@ interstitial   .....from the last link in your last post ......from the Energy.gov website .....they put energy capacity of geothermal at 71 %  .....compared to coal at 49 % and solar PV at 24 %

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Re: Geothermal Energy
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2024, 01:58:55 AM »
@ interstitial   .....from the last link in your last post ......from the Energy.gov website .....they put energy capacity of geothermal at 71 %  .....compared to coal at 49 % and solar PV at 24 %
I am looking for energy.gov website reference and do not see it. Energy capacity is what? Capacity factor? Something else?

kiwichick16

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Re: Geothermal Energy
« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2024, 07:21:26 AM »
https://www.energy.gov/ne/articles/what-generation-capacity  .....from the Quaise article  ....why fossil fuels are so addictive ..... link on the word ..rank....

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Re: Geothermal Energy
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2024, 03:40:07 PM »
@ interstitial   .....from the last link in your last post ......from the Energy.gov website .....they put energy capacity of geothermal at 71 %  .....compared to coal at 49 % and solar PV at 24 %
So those are indeed capacity factors. Geothermal can run nearly 24/365 but does not because it is not economic to do so. Coal can run more often too in the 70's was how often they used to run in the US but no longer. Solar was at 25% but I think curtailment has caused that to decline. The following is from the same website in a different location.
Geothermal energy is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, regardless of weather. Geothermal power plants have a high-capacity factor—typically 90% or higher—meaning that they can operate at maximum capacity nearly all the time.
[/size]From the "What are the benifits of using geothermal energy?"[/color]
[/size]https://www.energy.gov/eere/geothermal/geothermal-faqs[/color]


Freegrass

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Re: Geothermal Energy
« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2024, 04:02:02 PM »
That video was interesting Freegrass thank you. That video is more than a year old. I checked the Quaise Energy website and they still show the hybrid drilling system drilling this year and completing a 100 mw plant by 2026. If everything goes smoothly it should pick up from there but even if it does it will not be a major source of energy before mid to late 2030's. Geothermal is 24/365 power you could shut it down for low demand times but unless you have too much energy that just increases the wear and tear on the equipment.

https://www.quaise.energy


An article about a former oil and gas VP who now works at Quaise Energy
https://www.texastribune.org/2024/03/26/texas-geothermal-energy-oil-and-gas/


“Recovery of just 2% of the thermal energy stored in hot rock 3 to 10 km [2 to 12 miles] below the continental U.S. is equivalent to 2,000 times the primary U.S. energy consumption” annually, he and Callahan write in their paper.
https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/1039007


This provides updates including drilling this autumn in Texas.
https://spectrum.ieee.org/geothermal-energy-gyrotron-quaise


According to the Clean Air Task Force, merely 1% of this “superhot rock” geothermal potential could meet global electricity demand multiple times over.
https://www.quaise.energy/news/why-fossil-fuels-are-so-addictive
Nice research and excellent article about geothermal in Texas Interstitial! Incredible how many renewables Texas has right now. More than California I picked up somewhere.

Oil country is going green, and I really do hope they are as excited about geothermal and natural hydrogen as I am. It's right in their alley. They have all the drilling knowledge.

Here's a pretty good video from the Fully Charged Show from last year about geothermal in the UK. District heating may be the way forward for Britain and other countries. It could definitely move decarbonization faster forward than insulation and heat pumps IMHO. Curious what others here have to say about this.

When computers are set to evolve to be one million times faster and cheaper in ten years from now, then I think we should rule out all other predictions. Except for the one that we're all fucked...

Freegrass

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Re: Geothermal Energy
« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2024, 04:02:51 PM »
Interesting idea, but this only works with enhanced geothermal (fracking).

Geothermal May Beat Batteries for Energy Storage
Enhanced geothermal systems are well suited to store excess renewable power as heat.

https://spectrum.ieee.org/geothermal-energy

Geothermal systems carry warmth from Earth’s interior up to the surface for heating or electricity. But geothermal power plants are expensive to build, and will get even less economically viable as wind and solar power get cheaper and more plentiful. However, even as wind and solar grow, so does the need to store electricity from those temperamental sources.

A new proposal could solve those issues and bolster all three renewable technologies. The idea is simple—use advanced geothermal reservoirs to store excess wind and solar power in the form of hot water or steam, and bring up that heat when wind and solar aren’t available, to turn turbines for electricity.

“It would allow next-generation geothermal plants to break from the traditional baseload operating paradigm and earn much greater value as suppliers of wind and solar
,” says Wilson Ricks, a graduate student in mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton University.

Ricks, his Ph.D. advisor Jesse Jenkins, and Jack Norbeck, cofounder and chief technology officer of Houston-based advanced geothermal developer Fervo Energy, ran extensive simulations of such geothermal reservoir energy storage to see if the technical components of the system as well as the economics actually work out. They found that the systems could indeed store electricity over a range of time scales, from a few hours up to many days, as efficiently as lithium-ion batteries. Plus, says Ricks, “the storage capacity effectively comes free of charge with construction of a geothermal reservoir.”

Their results apply only to enhanced geothermal plants, like the ones Fervo and other companies such as Cambridge, Mass.–based Quaise Energy and Seattle-based AltaRock Energy are developing.

Conventional geothermal systems drill wells into naturally occurring hydrothermal reservoirs. But these pockets of hot water deep underground do not exist everywhere. In the United States, for instance, they are mostly located in the west.

Enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) get around this geographical limitation by creating artificial reservoirs. Developers create fractures in hot, dry rock formations by drilling into or melting the rock, and then injecting water into the fissures. Production wells bring the heated water up for producing electricity. “For scales necessary to contribute to national or global electricity decarbonization, we need to be able to extract geothermal heat outside of conventional formations,” Ricks says.

Fervo Energy raised US $138 million in venture capital funding in August to advance its technology. The company uses innovations from the oil and gas industry, such as horizontal drilling and distributed fiber-optic sensing, to create underground reservoirs. The company plans to use the new funds to complete two pilot projects, including one with Google in Nevada.

Once these EGS systems are in place, they would be ideal for storing energy as well as producing electricity. Excess wind or solar energy could be used to inject water into the artificial reservoirs, where it would accumulate and build up pressure. The production wells could then be opened up when electricity is needed.

“EGS reservoirs are created in rock formations that are naturally impermeable; everything outside the artificial reservoir is sealed off,” says Ricks. “It’s very similar to a hydropower reservoir, where you choose when to have water go through the dam and generate electricity.”

Depending on the geology and traits of the rocks, Ricks and his colleagues’ simulations found that the systems could store energy with up to 90 percent efficiency over one cycle. That’s comparable with lithium-ion and pumped hydro storage, he says. The cost, meanwhile, would be minimal compared to other energy storage technologies. It would require larger facilities on the surface, but the storage space would be effectively free, since the EGS reservoirs are being built for electricity anyway.

In January, the team received $4.5 million in funding from the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E) to demonstrate a full-scale test of geothermal reservoir energy storage in the field. The detailed findings of their modeling study appear in a paper published recently in the journal Applied Energy.

This article appears in the December 2022 print issue as “Hot Rocks Best Batteries for Energy Storage.”


The value of in-reservoir energy storage for flexible dispatch of geothermal power
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0306261922002537#!
When computers are set to evolve to be one million times faster and cheaper in ten years from now, then I think we should rule out all other predictions. Except for the one that we're all fucked...

kiwichick16

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Re: Geothermal Energy
« Reply #19 on: April 11, 2024, 03:47:22 AM »
not sure if this has been posted ....

https://www.newsweek.com/superhot-rock-geothermal-unlock-vast-amounts-clean-energy-1882436

.....1 % of superhot rocks could generate 63 terrawatts   .....more than 7 times global demand in 2021

they could be overly optimistic of course ............

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Re: Geothermal Energy
« Reply #20 on: April 11, 2024, 04:16:39 AM »
not sure if this has been posted ....

https://www.newsweek.com/superhot-rock-geothermal-unlock-vast-amounts-clean-energy-1882436

.....1 % of superhot rocks could generate 63 terrawatts   .....more than 7 times global demand in 2021

they could be overly optimistic of course ............
I am guessing that is based on the total global thermal flux without consideration to location, depth, accessibility or extraction efficiencies. It seems less likely but it may even be the heat in all the rock in the earth though I think that number would be much larger.

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Re: Geothermal Energy
« Reply #21 on: April 11, 2024, 06:55:12 PM »
Well they say there are many locations.

If we do this you can then start putting much smaller operations near areas where you need it.
The big limiting factor is probably water use
Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

Freegrass

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Re: Geothermal Energy
« Reply #22 on: April 11, 2024, 08:54:11 PM »
Well they say there are many locations.

If we do this you can then start putting much smaller operations near areas where you need it.
The big limiting factor is probably water use
I don't think water use will be a very big problem in most cases, because water comes out of the well in enhanced systems, after which it is constantly circulated back into the system.

In a closed loop system - like the one from Eaver - you will need to fill up the well, and then again keep circulation the same water.

Not sure how much loss of water there would be from the release of steam during production and other things. Something I'll take a look at later.


I was just looking at this great video on Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS), and she convinced me that geothermal fracking could be done much more safely than oil fracking. Mostly due to the fact that they don't use chemicals in EGS. Just pure water.

And the earthquakes can be avoided, they say, because of years of experience in the oil industry.

What I like about EGS is that these systems could be used for energy storage as well. That would double their functionality for almost the same price. And that's pretty good if you ask me.

So do we like EGS, or not? I'm warming up to it thanks to this video. Curious how you all feel about it.


When computers are set to evolve to be one million times faster and cheaper in ten years from now, then I think we should rule out all other predictions. Except for the one that we're all fucked...

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Re: Geothermal Energy
« Reply #23 on: April 12, 2024, 02:21:18 AM »
Where heat is close to the surface tends to be on or near crust boundaries but where it is deeper is away from crust boundaries and the geology is more stable so earthquakes are less likely.


In a fracked well they drill a hole then pump a ton of water sand and other chemicals to open and keep open the cracks. Then for the geothermal well they pump clean water into it. The water picks up all sorts of minerals and depending on the minerals they need to be removed before the water can be used again.


In a closed loop much more drilling has to be done to get the same heat transfer but no chemicals or sand are pumped down. When the well is drilled by the millimeter wave laser the sides are sealed and the water does not pick up minerals or at least very little. This also has the advantage that the water does not have to be pumped down the hole except initially to start it. The water expanding into steam drives the circulation in closed loop systems once started. The energy used by circulating pumps is a huge energy drain on the non closed loop systems.


Fracked wells will have higher operational costs due to the pumping and the need to clean the water. Fracked wells will probably be much cheaper to build because there is less distance to be  drilled. This is just a guess though because the millimeter laser is expected to be much cheaper per meter. The costs of the deep closed well with millimeter laser or so called fusion tech are yet to be determined because the first one will be drilled this fall. 

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Re: Geothermal Energy
« Reply #24 on: April 12, 2024, 02:30:35 AM »
EGS whether fracked or closed loop are both good but closed loop is better if the cost is the same.


Water use can be high for tower or pond cooling or lower for closed loop or dry cooling. In general the cheaper to build the more expensive to run.

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Re: Geothermal Energy
« Reply #25 on: April 29, 2024, 09:10:09 PM »
Tapping into the heat beneath Nevadans’ feet

Scientists and companies hope the generation of geothermal power in Nevada will one day lead the nation

With highly fractured, permeable ground, the Great Basin’s geology makes it one of the most geothermally rich areas in the world. Hot fluid rises easily toward the surface, ideal for driving power plants, and present-day Nevada is the second-largest producer of geothermal energy in the nation behind California.

Tapping into hot fluids below the ground to spin turbines in power plants that generate electricity and boasting a lower carbon footprint than many other power sources, geothermal accounts for about 9 percent of energy generated in Nevada. But that number could be much higher, scientists say. The Silver State could produce about 30 gigawatts (GW) of geothermal power — about 30 times more than it does now.
(snip)
The DOE estimates the nation needs between 700 and 900 GW of clean power by 2050 for a decarbonized economy, and geothermal has the potential to account for nearly 10 percent of that.

The United States has the most installed geothermal capacity in the world, generating 3.7 gigawatts of geothermal power at plants across the West, including more than two dozen in Nevada. Yet geothermal accounts for just 0.4 percent of the nation’s overall electricity.

The production of geothermal energy has taken off in fits and starts because it’s not as simple as putting up a solar panel or wind turbine, Faulds said.

“The Earth is complicated. You think you have a decent resource, and it doesn’t pan out,” he said. “There’s those kinds of things that make geothermal a little bit slower than some other forms of renewable energy.”

But with a low carbon footprint and the ability to continuously produce energy, scientists and energy experts think it has the potential to be a game changer in the nation’s push for clean energy.

And Nevada, the state with the greatest geothermal resources in the nation, has the chance to lead that charge, according to scientists and geothermal energy producers. Recently, major power purchase agreements were signed between geothermal producers and entities such as the University of Utah, Google, Southern California Public Power Authority and NV Energy for geothermal energy produced in Nevada, with some contracts extending as long as 40 years.

“We are now in a new wave of geothermal exploration,” said Cary Lindsey, geothermal research scientist with the Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy.

Across the Great Basin, particularly in northwestern Nevada, the state’s crust is being pulled apart due to tectonic forces. That pulling motion results in the state’s land mass growing by roughly 2 acres per year.

That pulling of the crust is good for geothermal energy production, Faulds said.

“If the crust gets pulled apart, it gets thin, and you’re bringing hot mantle closer to the surface and you have a high geothermal gradient,” he said.

Geothermal power plants tap into those hot fluids below the ground to spin turbines in power plants that generate electricity. Power can be generated from fluids with temperatures higher than 194 degrees Fahrenheit.

Nevada has 27 geothermal plants, mostly in the northern portion of the state, that combined have the capacity to generate up to 827 megawatts of power at any given time, although many don’t operate at full capacity and only about half that amount is transferred to the grid. A megawatt is 1,000 kilowatts, enough to power as many as 800 households.

That number is likely to grow substantially.

The Nevada Division of Minerals has received more than three dozen permit applications for geothermal exploration so far this year, a number fluid minerals manager Dustin Holcomb calls “just bonkers.”

Revenue from geothermal in the state is increasing as well. The state collected $14.3 million in geothermal leases and royalties last year, up from slightly less than $10 million in 2022 and $8.5 million in 2021. All geothermal rentals and royalties are split 50/25/25 between the state, the generating county and the federal government.

The DOE is pouring substantial funding into geothermal research across the Great Basin. The focus is largely on enhanced geothermal, which often utilizes horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technology developed by the oil and gas industry. This technology reaches heat in areas untappable by conventional geothermal plants, using drilling and hydraulic fracturing to allow fluid to move through hot rock that was previously impermeable.

The DOE has an enhanced geothermal test site in Utah — FORGE — focused on higher drilling speeds and decreased implementation costs. The technologies tested at FORGE are being utilized in Nevada at a project developed by Fervo Energy in partnership with Google and being used to power its data centers.

While the technology for enhanced geothermal continues to get fleshed out, the department is also focusing on conventional geothermal energy production.

UNR’s Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy’s INGENIOUS project received $10 million in federal funding to map out and build a playbook for conventional geothermal energy production — geothermal that doesn’t rely on fracking.

The goal is to map geothermally favorable resources across the Great Basin and create a template for geothermal exploration, Faulds said. Nearly half of the region’s geothermal resources are hidden, meaning they have no above-ground outlet such as a hot spring, and they are often discovered by accident, Faulds said, during mineral exploration or while drilling an agricultural well.

The need for more data and environmental oversight

Geothermal isn’t a panacea though.

“Solar, wind, geothermal — they all have their own environmental impacts. Some are more well understood than others,” Jaina Moan, external affairs director for The Nature Conservancy’s Northern Nevada Field Office, said after the symposium. “There’s drawbacks to any technology we deploy.”

Historically, conventional geothermal exploration didn’t take surface expressions such as hot springs into consideration, as evidenced by the ongoing battle over a proposed geothermal plant in the Dixie Valley area that could threaten an endangered toad. Hot springs in the area are home to the endangered Dixie Valley toad, and a report by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service — the agency that listed the toad as endangered at the behest of the Center for Biological Diversity — found that operating a geothermal plant in the area would have significant impact in Dixie Valley by reducing or eliminating discharge into the wetlands.

But technology and science are increasing understanding of the Earth's subsurface, its complexity and the relationship between hydrology and geology and mitigating those issues, Faulds said, adding that creating a database documenting hot springs, nearby energy developments and ensuing environmental impacts — a database that is currently lacking — would benefit industry and conservationists alike and could help prevent environmental issues in the future.

But the federal government seems to be heading in the opposite direction.

Earlier this month, the Bureau of Land Management adopted categorical exclusions to expedite geothermal exploration permitting. If the agency determines an exploratory project meets exclusionary criteria, the exploratory project can bypass the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and avoid drafting an environmental assessment for permitting exploration, although any subsequent development would require NEPA analysis.

The details of the exclusions have not been outlined by the Bureau of Land Management and is a confusing approach to policy making, Patrick Donnelly, Great Basin director for the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a call with The Nevada Independent.

“Why would you issue these categorical exclusions without sharing what they are?” he asked. “Without having seen the exclusions, we don’t know if there’s an issue or not … but how are we to know?”

And ultimately, much of the renewable energy produced in the Silver State is exported across state lines, according to Faulds.

This exporting of geothermal power means that Nevada’s landscape — yet again — bears the brunt of clean energy generation while reaping just a fraction of the benefits.

https://thenevadaindependent.com/article/tapping-into-the-heat-beneath-nevadans-feet



Freegrass

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Re: Geothermal Energy
« Reply #26 on: May 05, 2024, 01:19:22 PM »
Eavor receives EUR 45 million loan for Geretsried geothermal project, Germany

https://www.thinkgeoenergy.com/eavor-signs-geothermal-heat-supply-contract-in-hanover-germany/

Eavor Technologies has received a loan of close to EUR 45 million from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to support the commercial-scale Eavor-Loop geothermal project in the town of Geretsried in Bavaria, Germany. The EIB loan comes with a guarantee by the European InvestEU programme.

The project is co-financed by Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), ING Bank N.V. (ING) and Mizuho Bank, Ltd. (Mizuho) and is insured by Japan’s Export Credit Agency, Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI). It qualifies as a green loan in accordance with the Loan Market Association’s Green Loan Principles. The combined support from the EIB, JBIC, ING and Mizuho amounts to €130 million. Green Giraffe Advisory acted as the sole financial advisor to the Borrower to structure the debt financing package.

The project is also being developed with the support of a EUR 91.6-million grant from the EU Innovation Fund.

Eavor’s total investment is expected to reach €350 million. The Eavor-Loop will provide heating to households and businesses, as well as electricity. Eavor has already signed an offtake contract with the local heat-provider and intends to start heat delivery in 2026, increasing the supply stepwise. Eavor-Loop has started developing a second project in Germany to supply 15-20% of the demand for district heating in Hanover in the German state of Lower Saxony.

“We are impressed and honoured that, after the EU Innovation Fund, the European Investment Bank is now also co-financing our project in Geretsried. Europe has recognised that the Eavor-LoopTM is a scalable key technology for achieving climate neutrality and significantly more energy security on this continent,” said Daniel Mölk, Executive Vice President Europe Operations of Eavor.

“In addition to wind- and solar-energy, geothermal heat provides a natural, steady and reliable source of clean renewable energy. The Eavor-LoopTM therefore supports the transition to a carbon-neutral energy system in Germany and helps the country to get independent from fossil fuels, while adding to energy security for the people and businesses,” added Nicola Beer, EIB Vice-President with oversight of financing in Germany.

“This project will provide low-carbon heating to thousands of households and businesses. It is an example of the role the geothermal industry will play on the road to net-zero. Switching from fossil fuels to geothermal energy can help decarbonise the EU population’s energy needs and reduce our energy bills,” further commented Wopke Hoekstra, Commissioner for Climate Action.
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Freegrass

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Re: Geothermal Energy
« Reply #27 on: May 05, 2024, 01:40:24 PM »
Eavor signs geothermal heat supply contract in Hanover, Germany

https://www.thinkgeoenergy.com/eavor-signs-geothermal-heat-supply-contract-in-hanover-germany/

Eavor GmbH (Eavor) has signed a heat supply contract with regional utility Enercity AG for the city of Hanover in Lower Saxony, Germany. Under the contract, the plan will be to supply up to 30 MW of geothermal heat for the district heating grid of Hanover using the Eavor-Loop™ technology. The drilling work is set to start by 2025 and the operation of the first loop is expected by 2026.

As soon as the first well is confirmed to deliver heat, Enercity plans to build the infrastructure to connect the future site to the district heating network. The planned geothermal heating facility is expected to supply up to 250 million kWh of heat per year, 15% to 20% of the city’s annual district heating needs or corresponding to the demand of around 20,000 households.

Enercity is currently relying on a combination of large-scale heat pumps and river, industrial, and waste heat in efforts to transition to green alternatives. The goal of the utility company is to phase out not just coal, but also natural gas.

The long-term heat supply agreement between the two companies is an important prerequisite for further steps in the project, including the issuance of mining permits.

“The heat from the depths makes an essential contribution to ensuring that a third of the people in Hanover will be able to heat with climate-neutral district heating in 2027,” says enercity CEO Dr. Susanna Zapreva. “The plant with the innovative geothermal energy generation will be the first metropolitan application of its kind and will enable us to decommission even the last coal block in our generation portfolio.”

Eavor is currently in the process of drilling for the first commercial-scale deployment of the Eavor-Loop™ technology in Geretsried in Bavaria. A few weeks ago, the project was visited by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder in a show of support from the German government.

“We are looking forward to this project and to using our technology to contribute to converting a significant part of the base load of the city of Hanover’s district heating supply to renewable and independent energy,” says Daniel Mölk, Managing Director of Eavor GmbH.
When computers are set to evolve to be one million times faster and cheaper in ten years from now, then I think we should rule out all other predictions. Except for the one that we're all fucked...

Freegrass

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Re: Geothermal Energy
« Reply #28 on: May 14, 2024, 05:27:03 PM »
Another great video from Sabine on geothermal.

When computers are set to evolve to be one million times faster and cheaper in ten years from now, then I think we should rule out all other predictions. Except for the one that we're all fucked...

Freegrass

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Re: Geothermal Energy
« Reply #29 on: May 23, 2024, 07:13:09 PM »
Pretty good new video on geothermal, with an interview of the CEO of Quaise Energy, the drilling company that will start drilling with their new technology in the coming months. Definitely worth a watch.

When computers are set to evolve to be one million times faster and cheaper in ten years from now, then I think we should rule out all other predictions. Except for the one that we're all fucked...