Tag Archives: Earthquakes

Fracking Regulation in Switzerland

A report from the Swiss TV teletext:

kein-fracking-verbot-srfzwei

(I hope to transcribe and translate this soon. Sorry for you non-German readers.

The main theme is that the Swiss government has not approve a general ban on fracking for heat recovery wells (geothermal wells). Instead, each case should be regarded individually with concern for earthquakes and groundwater contamination. At the same time, the government confirmed the ban on drilling for natural gas due to CO2 pollution from the consumption of natural gas.)

New Geothermal Project in Canton Jura

Switzerland Tries Again for a successful geothermal project in the mountains of Canton Jura.

The idea of using geothermal energy in Switzerland was abandoned after projects led to earthquakes. Now canton Jura is planning a new geothermal project, one that should avoid past mistakes. http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/renewable-energy_geothermal-project-with-smaller-seismic-risk/41494690?moreComments=true#comment_559cfd89e4b0be33f6a53d97

As I commented on the SwissInfo article, one of the primary mistakes that the geothermal industry in general has made in Switzerland was to try to install the underground facilities – essentially hot water collector(s) and cooler water return to the same formation downstream – close to urban areas, where population and building densities are both relatively high.

My understanding of the project in Canton Jura is that (a) it will be very cautious in the drilling and fracturing procedures, and (b) the project will be out in the countryside where the damage – if any – should be negligable. Few buildings to crack, fewer people to frighten. These are advantages that many geothermal installations in other countries have made use of, some perhaps unknowingly.

We will see how far the project proceeds, both politically and technically. It is the first new Swiss project announced since the report from the Centre for Technology Assessment TA-SWISS, recommending that Switzerland proceed with geothermal technology in November last year.

There should be large sources of geothermal energy in the Swiss mountains, and these in areas where nothing will be damaged, even should there be artificial earthquakes of the mangitude seen to date in Basel and St. Gallen. I am sure that – if we are clever enough to tap it – there is more than enough thermal energy underneath Switzerland than is produced by today’s Swiss nuclear facilities. And the price and the hazard levels should be much more attractive.

Comments? We can’t see them if you don’t write them!

Switzerland Sees The Geothermal Light

As reported elsewhere here on Geothermal Energy Disadvantages (Plug Pulled on St Gallen Geothermal Power Project, Geothermal Energy Disadvantages), it has been difficult to achieve geothermal energy success in Switzerland in modern usages (forgetting warm springs and such that are decades old or even older). A new study, however writes that Switzerland should not give up its efforts to achieve some success.

The website www.swissinfo.ch has this to say about the recent report:

Despite recent seismic events related to drilling for geothermal power sources, a new study has concluded that Switzerland should continue to pursue geothermal energy as part of its future strategy.

The study from the Centre for Technology Assessment TA-SWISS argues that energy production from geothermal sources is … (read more)

mountain-streamOne of the most obvious solutions is to try to build a more substantial geothermal energy facility in a lightly populated area and let the earthquakes come. If the geothermal energy source is strong enough, production of electricity only should yield a profitable project, given the advances in low-level thermal conversion units today. These would not be competitive with units on the order of what Iceland can produce, but the objective for Switzerland is to provide power to a country that has more demand than its natural resources can produce (Switzerland does produce about 55% of the total power production as hydropower (the rest is primarily nuclear in three old power plants which will be shut down at some point and not replaced with nuclear energy). In addition, there are hardly any ecologically and economically acceptable sources of hydropower left untapped.

The need is there, the industry only has to figure out how to tap it.

Geothermal Plant

Why Geothermal Energy is so Beneficial

As organic based fuels become more scarce, scientists are pushing for the research and development of green alternative fuel. A plethora of potential energy sources have been suggested: wind, solar, water, and nuclear to name a few. Although they are natural, not all are available globally 24/7. There is another option, one that is perpetual and found right under our feet: geothermal energy.

The effects of coal and petroleum have left a sour taste in humanities mouth, which now seeks to find energy that is cheap, renewable, and ecologically friendly. Despite using the sun, wind, water, and nuclear energy for electricity, there is still one natural resource that has yet to be harnessed. One that is cheap, abundant, and effective: geothermal energy.

In order to fully understand why geothermal energy is so important, here is a broken down explanation.

What Exactly Is Geothermal Energy?

Geothermal energy (literally heat from the earth in Greek), is a phenomena caused by the constant decay of minerals in the earth, absorption of the sun’s rays, and the radiating heat from the Earth’s core, with a temperature of about 9,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Because of this, it is perpetual and is found almost everywhere in the world.

How Does it Work?

In order to produce electricity, the real energy source used in homes and offices, turbines need to be spun at power plants which charge a generator. Water and wind directly charge the generator while sun and nuclear energy indirectly turn them through steam. With geothermal energy, heat taken from rocks and hot springs radiates through turbines with steam. Normally, most geothermal plants harness energy through heated water. However, new technology is being produced that can harness thermal energy directly from magma and with water, can flash produce steam to spin turbines.

Efficiency?

According to the United States’ University of Florida, Hawaii, the island state west of California, has one geothermal plant which produces about 25 megawatts of energy for about 5 cents per watt. In total; one geothermal plant accounts for about 1/4 of the entire states electricity. One geothermal plant accounts for the same energy as roughly three nuclear plants. This is because geothermal energy is run 24/7 unlike nuclear plants which spend time switching fuel rods and shutting off the core each night.

Abundance?

Wherever there is earth, there is geothermal energy. However, land near tectonic plates, where volcanos, earthquakes, and geysers are found, are the easiest places to extract heat. The only thing this means is thermal plants not in these areas must dig deeper to access more heat.

Environmental Effects?

The only waste produced is going to be heat; not so bad! Also, geothermal energy plants are smaller than most, reducing visual pollution and preventing sights like “wind vane forests”.

So there you have it. Geothermal Energy offers promising gains for humanity. With the efficiency of nuclear power without the waste or visual pollution, it offers the best gains of any of the alternative fuels.

About the author: Find out more information about Geothermal Energy

Source: http://www.isnare.com/?aid=589852&ca=Advice


Geothermal Energy

The Future of Geothermal Energy

Why Geothermal Energy is so Beneficial

As organic based fuels become more scarce, scientists are pushing for the research and development of green alternative fuel. A plethora of potential energy sources have been suggested: wind, solar, water, and nuclear to name a few. Although they are natural, not all are available globally 24/7. There is another option, one that is perpetual and found right under our feet: geothermal energy.

The effects of coal and petroleum have left a sour taste in humanities mouth, which now seeks to find energy that is cheap, renewable, and ecologically friendly. Despite using the sun, wind, water, and nuclear energy for electricity, there is still one natural resource that has yet to be harnessed. One that is cheap, abundant, and effective: geothermal energy.

In order to fully understand why geothermal energy is so important, here is a broken down explanation.

What Exactly Is Geothermal Energy?

Geothermal energy (literally heat from the earth in Greek), is a phenomena caused by the constant decay of minerals in the earth, absorption of the sun’s rays, and the radiating heat from the Earth’s core, with a temperature of about 9,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Because of this, it is perpetual and is found almost everywhere in the world.

How Does it Work?

In order to produce electricity, the real energy source used in homes and offices, turbines need to be spun at power plants which charge a generator. Water and wind directly charge the generator while sun and nuclear energy indirectly turn them through steam. With geothermal energy, heat taken from rocks and hot springs radiates through turbines with steam. Normally, most geothermal plants harness energy through heated water. However, new technology is being produced that can harness thermal energy directly from magma and with water, can flash produce steam to spin turbines.

Efficiency?

According to the United States’ University of Florida, Hawaii, the island state west of California, has one geothermal plant which produces about 25 megawatts of energy for about 5 cents per watt. In total; one geothermal plant accounts for about 1/4 of the entire states electricity. One geothermal plant accounts for the same energy as roughly three nuclear plants. This is because geothermal energy is run 24/7 unlike nuclear plants which spend time switching fuel rods and shutting off the core each night.

Abundance?

Wherever there is earth, there is geothermal energy. However, land near tectonic plates, where volcanos, earthquakes, and geysers are found, are the easiest places to extract heat. The only thing this means is thermal plants not in these areas must dig deeper to access more heat.

Environmental Effects?

The only waste produced is going to be heat; not so bad! Also, geothermal energy plants are smaller than most, reducing visual pollution and preventing sights like “wind vane forests”.

So there you have it. Geothermal Energy offers promising gains for humanity. With the efficiency of nuclear power without the waste or visual pollution, it offers the best gains of any of the alternative fuels.

About the author: Find out more information about Geothermal Energy

Source: http://www.isnare.com/?aid=589852&ca=Advice