Forgotten and filed away decades ago, millions of documents on geothermal research are now helping scientists make harvesting Earth’s energy affordable
Geologic data does not come cheap, especially when you are using it to build a multimillion-dollar geothermal power plant. Just ask Susan Petty, president and chief technology officer at AltaRock Energy. Her company is part of a $43.8-million pilot project to tap thermal energy from Oregon’s Newberry Volcano. Engineers are injecting water deep underground to fracture superheated rocks and create a geothermal reservoir. Their eventual goal is to recirculate pressurized steam back to the surface to test a new kind of technology called an enhanced geothermal system (EGS). Unlike conventional power plants that rely on near-surface hydrothermal systems like springs and geysers, EGS can draw energy up to depths of three to five kilometers. Over the next 50 years, the U.S. Geological Survey estimates, EGS power plants could produce 100 gigawatts of economically viable geothermal energy, an amount equivalent to about 10 percent of the country’s current electrical capacity.
Yet geothermal wells need to be drilled in the right place. Without data on the distribution and quantity of geothermal energy in the upper part of the earth’s crust or a volcano as a reference point, wells may not produce much energy at all. To date, two to five out of every 10 geothermal wells prospected end up dry. Petty says that, in terms of the available exploration data, the geothermal industry is in the same place oil and gas companies were during the early 1900s. Wells cost between $2 million and $5 million, meaning geothermal investors risk losing millions on poor odds, Petty says. “The risk involved in geothermal prospecting sets the industry apart from other renewables.”
The risky nature of the business could soon change, however.
A wealth of geologic data from all 50 states and the Gulf of Mexico has been sitting unused in state and federal filing cabinets for decades. The Arizona Geological Survey is leading a coalition of universities and federal agencies on a nationwide treasure hunt to find and digitize these legacy data in a National Geothermal Data System (NGDS) to eliminate some of the financial risk companies like AltaRock face while prospecting for geothermal resources. Since the project’s inception in 2008 under $35-million in grants from the U.S. Department of Energy Geothermal Technologies Office, collaborators have digitized information from over 1.25 million oil and gas, water, and geothermal wells and expect to have as many as three million wells in the system by the end of the year.
“It has been a rescue mission,” says Roland Horne, director of Stanford University’s geothermal program. Project collaborators have found a wellspring of geothermal exploratory data in basements and old file cabinets. The legacy data come from extensive surveys of geothermal resources that were funded by the states and federal government in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. A prime example is a 1975-to-1992 DOE survey of geopressured resources in the Gulf of Mexico. The survey documents data from 16 wells off the coasts of Louisiana and Texas that show geopressured and geothermal energy reserves in the Gulf exceed the energy contained in all the conventional natural gas reserves of the continental U.S. At the time, the geothermal energy could not be profitably commercialized, so the data were filed away and forgotten.
The Latest Bing News on:
Geothermal Data System
- Innovative Enhanced Geothermal System Begins Operations in Nevadaon November 30, 2023 at 12:38 pm
A pioneering 3.5-MW enhanced geothermal system (EGS) in northern Nevada that demonstrated the ability to drill, complete, and operate horizontal wells is ...
- Google is working on using geothermal energy to power its data centerson November 30, 2023 at 9:00 am
Google’s massive data centres are some of the most energy-intensive ... with the ultimate aim of accelerating the decarbonization of the world’s electricity systems,” wrote Google. Geothermal energy ...
- GEMINI: intelligent decision support system for geothermal assetson November 29, 2023 at 3:59 pm
Geothermal energy is regaining momentum as a renewable energy source in the race against climate change, with the realistic promise of much broader applications in the years to come. TNO has been ...
- Geothermal energy now helps power Google's desert data centerson November 29, 2023 at 11:00 am
The unique facility is part of the tech company's ongoing sustainability goals, and potential the first of many to come.
- Advancing Swiss geothermal exploration with urban seismicon November 29, 2023 at 8:02 am
Geothermal development in Switzerland has been held back for many reasons, but companies like STRYDE are stepping up to help mitigate discovery risks.
- Google taps on geothermal heat to power its energy-hungry data centerson November 29, 2023 at 7:54 am
The geothermal project is part of Google's ambitious goal to run its data centers and office campuses on 24/7 carbon-free energy (CFE) by 2030.
- Google now powering data centers with geothermal energy harvested using oil drilling techniqueson November 29, 2023 at 7:46 am
A collaboration between Google and geothermal energy innovator Fervo uses modern oil/gas drilling techniques to harness round-the-clock clean geothermal energy.
- Google’s new geothermal energy project is up and runningon November 28, 2023 at 9:00 am
A first-of-its-kind geothermal project is now up and running in Nevada, where it will help power Google’s data centers with clean energy.
- Google's first geothermal energy project is up and runningon November 28, 2023 at 8:26 am
Google says a geothermal energy project that can produce clean electricity around the clock is up and running. The company aims to run its data centers and offices entirely on carbon-free energy by ...
- New Google geothermal electricity project could be a milestone for clean energyon November 28, 2023 at 4:33 am
An advanced geothermal project has begun pumping carbon-free electricity onto the Nevada grid to power Google data centres there, Google announced Tuesday.
The Latest Google Headlines on:
Geothermal Data System
[google_news title=”” keyword=”Geothermal Data System” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
The Latest Bing News on:
- COP28: Over 118 Countries Sign Global Pledge to Triple Renewable Energy Capacity; India Not On Liston December 2, 2023 at 7:54 pm
However, India did not sign the global pledge even though it has signalled its support for clean energy at the G20 Summit held ... power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources ...
- COP28: New partnership to accelerate energy transition in Africaon December 2, 2023 at 2:19 pm
A new partnership between UNOPS and SEforALL will support governments, donors and other stakeholders to accelerate the energy transition in Africa and find a sustainable way to meet its growing energy ...
- Tri-State Files Ground-breaking New Clean Energy Transition Planon December 2, 2023 at 1:15 pm
Tri-State Generation, the cooperative power supplier to electric cooperatives and public power districts throughout the west (including as the energy ...
- Brookfield to consider implications of Australia’s new green energy policy if Origin bid failson December 1, 2023 at 2:13 am
The plan announced last week to underwrite a massive expansion of clean energy in the electricity market has scrambled the outlook for electricity prices, future investment and existing plants ...
- BTV Highlights: Osisko Development, ROK Resources, Eloro Resources, enCore Energy & Baytex Energyon November 30, 2023 at 6:02 am
Osisko is transforming mining with a focus on sustainable practices and advanced technology. The company has completed extensive drilling and a feasibility study for 2 million ounces of reserves, ...
- Westgold Resources to Present at the Clean Energy and Precious Metals Virtual Investor Conference December 6thon November 30, 2023 at 12:35 am
Westgold Resources (ASX:WGX), an innovative, growth-oriented gold producer based in Perth, Western Australia, today announced that Wayne Bramwell, Managing Director, will present live at the Clean ...
- Taking Clean Energy Education on the Roadon November 29, 2023 at 8:00 am
NORTHAMPTON, MA / ACCESSWIRE / November 29, 2023 / SCE's Mobile Education Unit program helps rural communities participate in the clean energy transition.Energized by EdisonAs we move closer to 2045 - ...
- Sask. calling tribunal to parse costs of federal clean energy policyon November 28, 2023 at 11:41 am
Appointed to the tribunal for three-year terms is lawyer and current chair of the Law Reform Commission of Saskatchewan Michael Milani as chair, and former finance minister Janice MacKinnon as ...
- Burning trees is not a clean energy option: climate advocateson November 17, 2023 at 9:36 am
United Nations climate conference just around the corner, environmental groups are calling for an end to subsidies that support burning forest biomass to generate electricity.
- Accelerating Clean Energy Ambitionon November 15, 2023 at 4:00 pm
Clean energy policies beyond the Inflation Reduction Act and other ... Two “Net Zero” scenarios meet the targets: one scenario represents a least-cost mix of technologies and resources to meet the ...
The Latest Google Headlines on:
[google_news title=”” keyword=”clean-energy reserves” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]