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According to a report MIT submitted to the Department of Energy, two percent of the heat some six miles below the ground could provide 2,500 times as much energy as the country currently uses. By employing a technique called Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS), several million gallons of water are blasted at high pressures through artificial wells over 10,000 feet deep. When the water reaches the hot rocks, it returns to the surface through a second well as scalding hot water, where its heat can then be harvested for power.
Backed by the DOE, Google and others, AltaRock Energy and Davenport Newberry Holdings have been exploring ways to tap geothermal energy from the Pacific Northwest volcano, and will put their knowledge to the test this summer at Oregon’s Newberry Volcano. “We know the heat is there,” Susan Petty, president of AltaRock, told the Huffington Post. “The big issue is can we circulate enough water through the system to make it economic.” Over the last century, engineers have been tapping the heat in the earth’s crust for power by gathering hot water or steam bubbling near the surface to spin turbines that create electricity. Places with hot rocks lacking cracks or water to deliver the stream is the new frontier. That’s where EGS comes into play. By drilling deep into the rocks where water is then pumped in, steam can be drawn out, a process known as hydroshearing. Though it sounds similar to hydrofracking, scientists claim that the technique used in this scenario is entirely different, which will not pollute groundwater with toxic chemicals. But what about triggering earthquakes? The effects of pumping the water deep into the ground will be measured using sensors that will provide microseismicity data to scientists to ensure that the water is getting the right exposure and not triggering seismic activity.
Originally posted by Druscilla
reply to post by snarky412
Not scary at all.
It's fun how many people will complain about Big Oil, and run around flapping their hands in panic over the thought of Nuclear Energy, but, when other viable solutions are presented they get knocked about with just as much criticism as if there's a biased mindset that no solution other than magic is an alternative.
Magic electricity would be nice, of course, but, I'm pretty certain it isn't happening any time soon.
edit on 7-8-2012 by Druscilla because: (no reason given)
Originally posted by Taupin Desciple
If they think that they fully understand how the inner earth works to the point where they know 100% what the effects of what they're doing is going to have, I wouldn't have a problem with it.
But I really don't think that's the case.
People don't have a good track record of putting their understanding of earth as a priority over making money.
I really do hope I'm proven wrong in this case though.
Originally posted by Flavian
reply to post by snarky412
It is a great idea and it works extremely well in Iceland but then they do kind of have an advantage when it comes to geothermal!
Geothermal power in Iceland
Originally posted by Phage
Geothermal energy has been produced for many years by this method. In many places.
It is a closed system for the most part, with the injected water being recycled.