Friday, February 04, 2011

Geothermal is becoming hot topic again

Two articles in prominent East Coast papers on geothermal energy. Not only do these papers have large readership, they both are read by folks who make a lot of decisions about energy, investments, and funding.

The Washington Post offered a lengthy detailed reporter's personal story of installing a ground source heat pump.

and the New York Times highlighted the geothermal resources in Idaho as the third largest potential in the nation. The Idaho Geological Survey is a partner in the AZGS-led State Geothermal Data project. Idaho is looking to reduce royalty rates on state lands to be competitive with those on federal lands, and to increase the length of state leases while companies evaluate its potential. [right, Idaho geothermal resources. Credit, Idaho National Engineering Lab]


  1. Joseph P. Kopera8:00 AM

    (Thanks Lee! Please fix the Washington Post link, as it goes to the NYT article:

    The Washington Post article is great in that it exposes the savings of Ground Source Heat Pumps to a very large readership (amongst a demographic that's more likely to be able to afford them), but two things about the article are a little hackle raising:

    "Our heat pump essentially works like a super-efficient version of those common in many homes, extracting heat from one environment and moving it to another. But instead of having to work with 20-degree air in January or 90-degree air in July, our heat pump gets to draw on the 55 degrees in the water-antifreeze mixture. The pump then uses electricity to bring air the rest of the way to a comfortable temperature, and blows it through the house using our existing ducts. "

    It's an oversimplified explanation of how they work, and many folks I forwarded this article to, as a result, had responses along the lines of "All that cost just to heat up the air in my house to 55 degrees?" -Sigh-

    Also, I don't know about you, but where I come from a 4,400-square-foot suburban home is not a suburban home, it's a mansion.

  2. Thanks for catching the link error. It's been corrected.