• 2 days U.S. On Track To Unseat Saudi Arabia As No.2 Oil Producer In the World
  • 2 days Senior Interior Dept. Official Says Florida Still On Trump’s Draft Drilling Plan
  • 2 days Schlumberger Optimistic In 2018 For Oilfield Services Businesses
  • 2 days Only 1/3 Of Oil Patch Jobs To Return To Canada After Downturn Ends
  • 2 days Statoil, YPF Finalize Joint Vaca Muerta Development Deal
  • 2 days TransCanada Boasts Long-Term Commitments For Keystone XL
  • 2 days Nigeria Files Suit Against JP Morgan Over Oil Field Sale
  • 2 days Chinese Oil Ships Found Violating UN Sanctions On North Korea
  • 3 days Oil Slick From Iranian Tanker Explosion Is Now The Size Of Paris
  • 3 days Nigeria Approves Petroleum Industry Bill After 17 Long Years
  • 3 days Venezuelan Output Drops To 28-Year Low In 2017
  • 3 days OPEC Revises Up Non-OPEC Production Estimates For 2018
  • 3 days Iraq Ready To Sign Deal With BP For Kirkuk Fields
  • 3 days Kinder Morgan Delays Trans Mountain Launch Again
  • 3 days Shell Inks Another Solar Deal
  • 4 days API Reports Seventh Large Crude Draw In Seven Weeks
  • 4 days Maduro’s Advisors Recommend Selling Petro At Steep 60% Discount
  • 4 days EIA: Shale Oil Output To Rise By 1.8 Million Bpd Through Q1 2019
  • 4 days IEA: Don’t Expect Much Oil From Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Before 2030
  • 4 days Minister Says Norway Must Prepare For Arctic Oil Race With Russia
  • 4 days Eight Years Late—UK Hinkley Point C To Be In Service By 2025
  • 4 days Sunk Iranian Oil Tanker Leave Behind Two Slicks
  • 4 days Saudi Arabia Shuns UBS, BofA As Aramco IPO Coordinators
  • 4 days WCS-WTI Spread Narrows As Exports-By-Rail Pick Up
  • 5 days Norway Grants Record 75 New Offshore Exploration Leases
  • 5 days China’s Growing Appetite For Renewables
  • 5 days Chevron To Resume Drilling In Kurdistan
  • 5 days India Boosts Oil, Gas Resource Estimate Ahead Of Bidding Round
  • 5 days India’s Reliance Boosts Export Refinery Capacity By 30%
  • 5 days Nigeria Among Worst Performers In Electricity Supply
  • 5 days ELN Attacks Another Colombian Pipeline As Ceasefire Ceases
  • 6 days Shell Buys 43.8% Stake In Silicon Ranch Solar
  • 6 days Saudis To Award Nuclear Power Contracts In December
  • 6 days Shell Approves Its First North Sea Oil Project In Six Years
  • 6 days China Unlikely To Maintain Record Oil Product Exports
  • 6 days Australia Solar Power Additions Hit Record In 2017
  • 6 days Morocco Prepares $4.6B Gas Project Tender
  • 6 days Iranian Oil Tanker Sinks After Second Explosion
  • 9 days Russia To Discuss Possible Exit From OPEC Deal
  • 9 days Iranian Oil Tanker Drifts Into Japanese Waters As Fires Rage On

A Guide to Geothermal Energy

A Guide to Geothermal Energy

What is Geothermal energy


Geothermal energy is produced by utilising the heat from water reservoirs deep underground which have been heated by hot magma that lies close to the earth’s surface.
The majority of Geothermal resources are normally found along tectonic plate boundaries where a large amount of volcanoes and earthquakes are concentrated.

There are various methods in use by geologists in locating these reservoirs, but the only way to be certain is to drill a well and test the temperature.

In the past we had been limited to fairly shallow reserves, but with recent advances in geothermal systems, which have the ability to drill many miles down and access magma (the most powerful source of geothermal energy - although current technology doesn’t allow us to utilise the heat from magma) and could lead to geothermal power generating capacity to increase by 40 times or over 100,000 megawatts. (US Dept of Energy)

Geothermal energy is environmentally friendly, clean and cost effective. Unlike coal and natural gas fired power plants a geothermal power plant produces very few emissions. It’s also a very scalable technology and a large power plant can power entire cities. Now it may sound like the perfect alternative, but there are some issues. Firstly capital costs are prohibitively high and exploration of resources has significant risks.
I said above it is environmentally friendly and it is up to a point, as the fluids drawn from geothermal wells release hydrogen sulphide and carbon dioxide (greenhouse Gases) and in addition to these gases the hot water may contain trace amounts of arsenic, mercury, etc…

How does Geothermal Energy work


There are various ways to generate electricity from geothermal energy:
Dry steam plants use the underground steam to power a generator/turbine.
Flash steam plants use hot water which when depressurised quickly vaporises into steam and again turns a turbine.
Binary cycle plants use relatively hot geothermal water to heat another fluid which then vaporises driving the turbine.

Pros and Cons of Geothermal Energy:

Pros


• Almost no environmental impact
• Geothermal plants release less than one-tenth of the carbon dioxide emissions compared to a fossil fuel plant
• Capital costs are lower for Geothermal plants than similar sized Nuclear or Fossil fuel plants. Also as the source of energy already exists there are no fuel costs (unlike Nuclear and fossil.)
• It is abundant and available 24 hrs a day – unlike wind and solar energy!
• No Geopolitical issues as it’s home-grown.
• It is well proven and being used effectively right now.
• Little visual impact as it’s underground. Also Geothermal plants use relatively little space.

Cons


• High up front costs and relatively long lead times. (3-5 years minimum)
• Exploration isn’t easy as the characteristics change with the area.
• The hot steam or water can be depleted, so you can’t be certain how long a geothermal plant will be in production.
• There are environmental dangers, such as land subsidence and noise pollution. There is also the potential for dangerous gases to be released: ammonia, hydrogen sulphide,
• Geothermal energy is not transportable so its application must occur near the source.
• Rather limited potential as there are only a small number of high quality subsurface reserves of hot water.

Visit our homepage for the latest oil prices and energy news.




Back to homepage


Leave a comment
  • Anonymous on May 10 2011 said:
    Geothermal energy is used for heating buildings through district heating systems. These systems pipe hot water from the surface of the earth into buildings and are available for immediate use.Locating a site for trapping geothermal energy requires certain factors to be taken into consideration. For instance, the well have to be drilled at such a place where it can provide hot rocks in the layer of the earth crust’s, which can heat the water pumped into the well at suitable level.
  • anonymous on April 01 2013 said:
    timothy was here. and hes watching you.

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News