Apr 10 2012
So, what’s the latest trend in energy sources these days? The use of geothermal energy is heating up all over the United States. In just 2011 the industry was heating areas in 9 states and had projects in 15 states. Geothermal energy uses the heat from the Earth’s crust to provide energy with low CO2 emissions (clean energy). Other than having low CO2 emissions, it is also a renewable resource and except for the expenses of building the pumps to access the heat, it’s fairly inexpensive. So why not hop on the steam engine to success? California seems to be “full steam ahead” but is it really? This NPR article talks about California being on board to converting their energy sources by 2020 to all renewable sources but it seems that the geysers they’ve been tapping for steam are running out.
Photo: California Geysers located in Mayacamas Mountains, San Fransisco, CA are part of the first geothermal energy plant. Here, workers are trying to repair the 50 year old site. Click here to learn more about The Geysers.
Their solution is to drill down into the Earth’s crust where the temperature is around 500 degrees and use that heat, but of course it can’t be that easy. Building geothermal energy facilities can not only be expensive, but can cause minor earthquakes too. Eventually the AltaRock group, a company that leads in energy production and technology for geothermal energy, gave up at sites in California and moved on to try Oregon.
In Oregon, geothermal energy developers plan to pump water into a dormant volcano for energy. Read about this plan here!
This short clip can give you an idea of what the scientists had in mind regarding the volcano in Oregon (on a much greater level of course)At the Timanfaya National Park, water was poured into a bore hole that heated the water and shot it back out.
The United States aren’t the only ones trying to lower their carbon footprint and use geothermal energy. Here’s a 2minute video talking about Canada’s plans regarding geothermal energy.
As you can see, geothermal energy has become quite a hot topic recently and it is predicted to become an even bigger project in the future.