Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Heat mining

Geothermal energy supplies 3 GW of electricity today, grew last year at a much greater percentage than other renewable energy resources such as solar and wind, and has 7 GW of power projects 'in the pipeline.' I particularly like Lauren Boyd's use of the term 'heat mining' in noting that geothermal energy is the only baseload renewable energy resource (ie, it runs 24/7, compared to wind and solar which supply energy only when the wind blows or sun shines.) [right, Clifton Hot Springs, AZ, geothermal test well, 2005]

The geothermal community is cautious but optimistic about the USGS assessment that there is 500,000 MW of enhanced geothermal system (EGS) potential under the western U.S. and the MIT study that suggested 50 GWe of geothermal energy capacity installed by 2050.

The geothermal movers and shakers are here at the DOE Geothermal Technologies Program Peer Review where program managers gave their assessments in the morning plenary session.

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