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Old 03-25-2009, 06:26 AM
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Default USA's DOE Money for Geothermal

Ucilia Wang

DOE’s Got Money for You to Dig for Energy Today at 2:53 PM

Here is how hot geothermal energy has become: Two years ago, the U.S. Department of Energy requested no money for geothermal technology and research and development, and its Geothermal Technologies Program office had a staff of four, said Ed Wall, the geothermal program manager, at a conference Tuesday.
The office has doubled in size since last July, and the federal stimulus plan signed by President Obama last month has set aside $400 million for geothermal energy development. That’s on top of the $45 million Congress has allocated for this fiscal year for the DOE’s geothermal program (DOE asked for $35 million), Wall said.
“Looking at the renewable energy program, geothermal is the least understood,” said Wall at the Geothermal Innovation & Investment conference in San Francisco. “The fact that it’s underground source is at least part of that, and it requires the understanding of geology and engineering to access it.”
Wall told me he hopes the new federal funding will encourage more new entrants into the industry. Oil and gas companies, for example, would be a nice fit because they already have some drilling and production technologies that can be modified for generating geothermal power, Wall said.
But the promise of geothermal energy as an important source of baseload energy — power generation that can take place around the clock — has started to attract more investments and not just from the government. Google.org poured in $10.25 million into AltaRock Energy and Potter Drilling last year.
AltaRock is developing a technology to create engineered steam reservoirs so that geothermal energy can be harvested in areas without large, naturally forming steam fields. This approach, called enhanced geothermal systems (EGS), refers to the drilling of a deep well to crack hot rocks miles underneath the earth. An additional well is drilled nearby. Water is injected into the first well to generate the steam and hot water, which are then reclaimed and extracted by second well. The water and heat are then piped to a turbine for generating electricity.
Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers also became interested in geothermal after making big bucks investing in Internet technologies. At the conference, Trae Vassallo, a partner at the Silicon Valley venture capital firm, said she toured geothermal power plants in Iceland and Australia to learn about the sector and then took a risk on AltaRock.
AltaRock is carrying out a pilot project at The Geysers north of San Francisco. The Geysers is a naturally occurring steam field that has been producing geothermal power for decades. But some of its wells have dried up, making them good places for AltaRock to test its technology, Vassallo said.
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Old 12-11-2020, 06:05 AM
Sparty Sparty is offline
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Default Thank you for your useful-informative post

Hi perhaps our www.hotrockenergy.com site would be somewhat useful.... It is out of date but still may something of interest in regards to Australia.
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