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.