Friday, August 3

Hot Rocks to heat the world

A former work colleague kindly brought to my attention the latest report in the Herald Sun Newspaper which reported Federal Industry Minister Ian MacFarlane’s statement on geothermal energy as a probable source of up to 30% of Australia baseload power needs in the future.

For the full article click here.

He added in his e-mail to me “Being a cynic I can only see the government's involvement as a hindrance”.I tend to agree as Scientists have been actively championing renewable energy such as hot rocks for several decades and I think it’s only recently political parties have donned “green coats” in preparation for the forthcoming election.

Already there are several investment funds set up for investors willing to risk private funds into new mining ventures, mining for hot rocks.

So what’s involved and how does it work?

The energy is in the form of heat stored beneath our feet, the hot molten rocks that lie just beneath the earths crust. The technology involves water being injected into a borehole and circulated through a heat exchanger below the surface. Water is heated as it contacts the hot rocks and returned to the surface through another borehole to provide the power to generate electricity. The cycle is repeated as this water is then injected into the first borehole to return to be reheated over and over gain. The technology is less arduous than drilling for oil and at lower depths. It is thought there will be abundant hot rocks of sufficient temperatures to produce vast quantities of energies in many parts of the world.

If you combine other energy alternatives such as solar, wind and wave power combined with a concentrated effort to adapt to a less energy dependant civilisation the future looks somewhat brighter.


Josie said...

I guess the priority will be, someone will have to figure out how to make money from it first, won't they, before it can be implemented.

I use read your retirmement post. Congratulations! (I loved the little newspaper...!)

Have a fabulous trip.


Josie said...

I meant I "just" read... But you knew that.

Lee said...

Very interesting, Lindsay. I'm going to read about this in more depth. Thanks for sharing. :)

lindsaylobe said...

Hi Josie & Lee,

The technology is reasonably straightforward and will give good returns once sufficient hot rocks are located even at present low energy pricing; enhanced with the introduction of a carbon tax.

Already investment has occurred, as those involved are willing to sink money into the venture on the expectation of great future returns.

Let’s know anything further you ascertain Lee.

Best wishes

Vee said...

Hi Lindsay, I know I've been out of circulation for a while now. Just wanted to say I've changed my blog address and since I didn't have an email address for you I'm posting it here as a comment:

See ya!

Gary said...

Very interesting. I hope governments do pick up on these innovative alternatives. We need the public purse to pay for the public good on energy.

I read that Iceland will be off fossil fuels in 4 years. They have geothermal for most heating and are shifting vehicles to hydrogen, starting with every public bus (I think that bit is done now).

lindsaylobe said...

Hi Vee & Gary
Thanks for the advice Vee


There is such an abundance of energy alternatives, especially here in Australia, but it takes time and encouragement.

It is still not too late to make a big impact on reducing emissions if a concentrated effort is made which will not reduce living standards or reduce employment, rather a different engagement to sustainability principles. This approach to sustainability is a principle we should always have borne in mind. Other nations are leading the way as you have mentioned.
Best wishes

Madcap said...

Gosh, if Iceland can do it, Canada should certainly be able to!

Michael Manning said...

It's always curious about solar energy isn't it? Actually it's maddening what they can do with it and haven't!

lindsaylobe said...

Hi Michael & Madcap
Time will tell~ but I think there has been a change in mindset!!
Best wishes

Gina E. said...

I remember seeing something about this on tv recently, Lindsay. My God, the time wasted all these years; governments could have had this up and running and saved us all this heartache and stress about our environment.