In this Arizona Public Media video, Jane Poynter interviews Lee Allison, Director of the Arizona Geological Survey on the benefits of geothermalenergy along with how a project led by AGS is making geothermal data and data analysis tools available to the public.
“Conventional geothermal wells tap underground reservoirs of hot water and convert the heat into steam, which drives electricity-producing turbine. With enhanced geothermal, fluids are pumped underground to fracture underground rock and stimulate the flow of liquids across hot rocks.”
The Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder is a new radio telescope that will produce so much data that a supercomputer capable of one quadrillion floating point operations per second will be needed to support it. The project leaders have decided to cool the supercomputer with a closed-circuit geothermal cooling system that will operate on ground water.
The Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries has published an interactive online map that allows you to explore the geothermal resources of Oregon. You can use it to get information about geothermal exploration wells, water wells with elevated temperatures, warm springs, hot springs and more – all plotted on nine dirrerent basemaps. You can also get the data on CD-ROM.
The Alaska Division of Oil and Gas plans to lease the geothermal rights to Augustine Volcano and 66,000 acres of surrounding land and seafloor. It should be pretty hot since it last erupted in 2006. Results from the lease at Spurr have not been exciting so far.
The Department of Energy’s Geothermal Annual Report includes information about: play fairway mapping, geothermal demonstration projects, induced seismic events, the National Geothermal Data System and outreach to educational institutions.
“In an effort to provide the most accurate assessment of high-temperature geothermalenergy potential in the region, the Idaho Geological Survey recently drilled new wells in southeastern Idaho. [...]
These new thermal gradient wells will provide the first accurate picture of the heat flow regime beneath this important volcanic province.” Quoted from the University of Idaho press release.
“More than 128 megawatts of geothermal capacity came on-line in the U.S. in 2012, the second largest annual capacity addition since 2005.” This article on the Seeking Alpha blog lists twelve important geothermal events from 2012.
“The National Geothermal Data System, an online network of data repositories and state geological survey providers, reached a major milestone recently with the inclusion of data from more than 1 million wells in its distributed national data system. This includes more than 717,000 oil and gas wells, 414,000 water wells, and 9,300 geothermal wells spread broadly across the nation. The data are all free for online viewing or downloading.” Quoted from the Arizona Geological Survey press release.
“The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the New Hampshire Geological Survey, measured the fluid temperature of groundwater in deep bedrock wells in the State of New Hampshire in order to characterize geothermal gradients in bedrock.” Quoted from the USGS press release.
“Recently, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists have been asked if Hawaiʻi Island’s geothermal development causes subsidence of the ground surface, as has been observed at U.S. mainland geothermal areas, such as those in California—Coso, Geysers, the Imperial Valley, and Casa Diablo in the Mammoth Lakes area.”
“Discovery of a new type of geothermalenergy resource in Utah offers hope for significantly more potential across the western U.S., and a boost in geothermal power production. [...] Preliminary results show that near-surface temperature gradients in the basin vary from about 60 degree C/km to 100 degree C/km. This implies temperatures of 150 to 250 degree C at 3 – 4 km depth beneath the basin. An abandoned oil exploration well drilled near Pavant Butte in the central part of the basin in 1981 confirms these exceptionally high temperatures.” Quoted from the Utah Geological Survey press release.
The Interpretive Geothermal Heat Flow Map of Colorado depicts the movement of heat from the Earth’s interior to its surface in Colorado. The geographic distribution of heat flow is one of several indicators of the location of potential geothermal resources in Colorado. Heat flow data are merely one of several types of data that indicate the quality of geothermal resources in an area.
The Energy Information Administration has published a graph of projected renewable power generation by source. Wind continues to have the highest rate of growth and production level. (see page 75 of the Annual Energy Outlook 2012)
“The GeothermalEnergy Association has released its latest International Market Overview Report, which finds that the global geothermal power market grew substantially in 2011-12. As of May 2012, there are approximately 11,224 MW of installed geothermal capacity online globally. In 2010, geothermal energy generated twice the amount of electricity as solar energy did worldwide.”
Missouri University of Science and Technology is launching a new geothermal energy project intended to eliminate the need for an on-campus coal and woodchip-fired power plant. In addition to saving up to $2.8 million/year in energy costs, the new system will eliminate the need for $26 million deferred maintenance costs and cut campus water usage by 8 million gallons per year.
A proposal to transport electricity generated at a geothermal plant from Iceland to the UK is being considered. Several projects in Europe might also transport electricity generated from renewable sources.
“Non-hydroelectric renewable generation has increased in many states over the past decade. In 2011, Maine had the highest percentage of non-hydroelectric renewable generation, at 27% of total in-state generation, up from 20% in 2001 (see maps). South Dakota and Iowa followed, with 21% and 17%, respectively, in 2011, up from 1% and less than one percent in 2001. Wind is the largest driver of this increase across all states.” Quoted from the Energy Information Administration press release.
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