Would you like to start a free subscription?
Remember me | Forgot password
For full content view: Log in Now!
Hot flashes. The beauty of geothermal energy is that it's conceptually simple: a virtually unlimited heat source beneath our feet. All that we have to do is drill for it, right? The problem is, we need rock that is not too deep, is highly permeable and comes with its own water supply for making steam. Such places exist. Most folks are familiar with California's The Geysers field, which has produced electricity for 44 years with no end in sight; it still produces almost 1,000 MW/yr. Collectively, geothermal energy provides more than 2,800 MW of electricity – comparable to 60 million barrels of oil per year, enough for 3.5 million homes. And this is only a small fraction of the US potential. There are also plants in the Philippines, Mexico, Italy and 17 other countries.
However, eventually, the water is depleted. Even if massive amounts of water could be supplied in the form of wastewater – as is being done in some places – together, these specialized requirements make viable geothermal sites few and far between. As such, these hydrothermal (steam generating) sites will probably never exceed 1% of world primary energy supply. But what if you could find shallow hot rock, eliminate the water requirement, create permeability at will, and do it all at a reasonable price? Well, then you would have something with the potential to change the world. Or at least Australia.
This area of the site is restricted.
In order to gain access, please either Log
In, or subscribe to World Oil.
Two options are available to you for creating an account.
1. Get a Free Trial Subscription to World Oil Magazine and gain immediate access to select content on World Oil Online.
Start a Free Trial Subscription and gain immediate access to the complete current issue of World Oil Magazine. Plus, you’ll receive 3 upcoming issues of World Oil Magazine in print or digital format.* You also receive access to the Energy Events Calendar, Industry Statistics and WO Wire’s news and industry coverage.
2. Purchase a subscription to World Oil magazine and gain immediate
and complete access to World Oil Online. As a Total Access subscriber
you will have access to all areas of the site available to registered users and
free subscribers as well as having access to such premium content areas as:
Physical copies of this content may be available for purchase. Visit the Reprints & Back Issues section.
If you are already a paid subscriber and do not have access, please email CustomerService@worldoil.com.
World Oil's specialized upstream Engineering Data Tables featuring the Drill Bit Classifier, Tubing Tables and more. Get Total Access today.
Bucharest - April 28-30
Houston, TX - May 5-8
Savannah, GA - May 5-8
All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws.
© 2014 World Oil. © 2014 Gulf Publishing Company.