Monday, 09 November 2020
  6 Replies
  566 Visits
Hi All

Solar and wind are currently the top renewable energy sources and there are good reasons for this. In particular, they are proven technologies which are rapidly becoming cheaper than fossil fuels.

However, they have one BIG flaw, namely variability. There's no sunlight at night and wind speeds fluctuate. You can smooth out those changes by storing energy in a big battery, or other forms of energy storage, but at least for the time-being that's a relatively expensive strategy. So why not use geothermal for baseload energy?

It is my understanding that until recently, it's been difficult to scale geothermal unless you're somewhere such as Iceland where water or steam heated by earth’s core rises through permeable rock, full of fissures and fractures, only to become trapped under a layer of impermeable rock near the surface. However, I recently read a fascinating story which claims that new technologies, some of which have been developed by the oil and gas industry, could provide scalable geothermal energy almost anywhere. If these technologies take-off, they have the potential to provide a cheap, clean, inexhaustible form of always-on baseload-power. Furthermore, because this represents a commercial opportunity for oil and gas companies, it's unlikely to be opposed by that industry, their political allies, or communities that rely on oil and gas jobs.

I would love to know what you think!

Is geothermal about to become a major player?

Could it be a pathway for oil and gas companies to pivot into clean energy?

And if so, could this be a renewable energy source that most politicians could get behind?

Adam Thyer, Founder at GreenExecutive

more than a month ago
A very interesting story, thanks for sharing. My knowledge of geothermal is not deep enough (did you like the pun? ;) ) to comment on whether it will be the next big thing. However, the article does put forward some pretty compelling reasons why it would be a fantastic outcome if it does come to fruition.
more than a month ago
Interesting story, thanks!

This IRENA report "Geothermal power: Technology brief" might also be of interest.
more than a month ago
I just found this analysis:

I haven't had a chance to read it yet.
more than a month ago
I just read this story about a Canadian oil and gas company that has fracked the world’s first 90-degree horizontal well for geothermal power.

I love the idea that fossil fuel companies are taking steps to pivot to geothermal. But does anyone know whether fracking for geothermal has the same potential to pollute groundwater, or cause other environmental issues, as when fracking for oil and gas? And is fracking the most common technique for geothermal?

Adam Thyer, Founder at GreenExecutive

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