Archive for the ‘geothermal’ Category

mineshaft

Coal mine shaft and winding tower [image credit: Andy Dingley @ Wikipedia]

First it has to work without serious drawbacks, then it has to make some economic sense, before even asking whether the plan might qualify as credible, let alone brilliant. 
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A plan to convert Britain’s disused, flooded coal mines into geothermal power plants is now gaining traction as permission is granted for a testing phase, says Oilprice.com.

Abandoned and flooded underground coal mines are plentiful in the North of England, Britain’s industrial revolution hub.

In South Tyneside, in the northeast of England, the Council has approved plans to “draw geothermal energy from abandoned flooded mines in the former Hebburn Colliery.” The mine was shut down in 1932 and has been disused since.

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illkirch 1er forage de géothermie

Image credit: Jérôme Dorkel – Eurométropole de Strasbourg

Home owner insurance claims are pouring in. The local ‘net zero’ emissions plan is in serious trouble.
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A series of minor human-induced earthquakes in the area of Strasbourg, eastern France, last December has reminded local inhabitants about the safety of geothermal energy, highlighting the challenges faced by deep drilling technology, says Euractiv.

In December, the area around Strasbourg was shaken by several induced tremors, including one of 3.5 magnitude, after a geothermal company carrying out tests injected high-pressure water into the ground earlier in the autumn.

Induced earthquakes – those caused by human activity – had begun since tests started in the Alsace region in October at the geothermal plant operated by Fonroche, a French energy company.

The tremors were directly linked to the starting-up activities of the plant, said the French association of geothermal professionals, the AFPG.

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Geothermal Power Plant in Iceland [image credit: Wikipedia]


Tapping into geothermal energy always seems like one of those ideas that maybe works in a few local areas, but won’t make a massive difference on the global scale. There’s also its earthquake problem to dent the enthusiasm of climate-obsessed ‘green’ ideologists.
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Drilling holes into an extinct volcano might sound like an unusual start to an energy project, says BBC News.

But that’s what J Michael Palin, a senior lecturer at the University of Otago in New Zealand, is planning to do.

His project involves drilling two boreholes to a depth of 500m (1,600ft) and monitoring the rock to see if it is suitable to provide geothermal energy.

“It has been known for some time that the Dunedin region has surface heat flow about 30% higher than expected based on previous measurements,” says Dr Palin.

It is that free heat that Dr Palin is hoping to tap into.

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Topographic map of Greenland


We’re told ‘The North Atlantic region is awash with geothermal activity’. Any day now we should be hearing how a few extra molecules of (human-caused) CO2 make the Earth’s innards hotter than they used to be. Or maybe we won’t.
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A team of researchers understands more about the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, says SciTech Daily.

They discovered a flow of hot rocks, known as a mantle plume, rising from the core-mantle boundary beneath central Greenland that melts the ice from below.

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The Geothermal Energy Revolution

Posted: December 15, 2020 by oldbrew in Energy, geothermal, opinion

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Geothermal energy may sound tempting, but care is needed as South Korea found out.

PA Pundits - International

By David Wojick, Ph.D. ~

There is a revolution coming in geothermal energy. How big it will be and how fast it can grow remains to be seen, but the revolutionary technology is here now.

We already know about the new technology by name — fracking. But that is fracking for oil and gas, the energy revolution we are already living on, that the greens hate. The geothermal revolution is fracking for heat.

Here is the technical bit. The Earth’s crust we live on is just a thin film wrapped around an 8,000 mile diameter molten ball. In some places under the deep ocean this crust is estimated to be just 3 miles or so thick. It is somewhat thicker under the continents but the point remains; it gets hot fast as you drill down into the crust. That heat is geothermal energy.

We have used geothermal energy to make…

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Geothermal Power Plant in Iceland [image credit: Wikipedia]


Geothermal energy is expensive even compared to renewables, but are the economics about to change? Maybe not, as the Russians and Saudis seem to have called off their oil production war, so sudden availability of lots of experienced but out-of-work shale drillers may not happen, although the virus factor continues. Also subsidy rates are biased towards intermittent wind and solar, compared to more reliable geothermal power sources.

The coronavirus oil crash could be good news for this renewable energy underdog, says Grist.

Disruptions to supply chains and slowdowns in permitting and construction have delayed solar and wind projects, endangering their eligibility for the soon-to-expire investment tax credits they rely on.

There’s another form of renewable energy, however, that might see a benefit from the recent global economic upheaval and emerge in a better position to help the United States decarbonize its electricity system: geothermal.

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Geothermal Animated

Posted: April 5, 2020 by oldbrew in ENSO, geothermal, volcanos
Tags: ,

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A recent online comment by meteorologist Joe Bastardi saying ‘underwater volcanic activity is huge’ and linking to this, led to finding this animation.

Zoe's Insights

Geothermal Emission @ the Surface

This was derived from NCEP Reanalysis data, in the tradition of Measuring Geothermal …

Enjoy 🙂 -Zoe

Addendum

geochg.sh:

# source geochg.sh # Zoe Phin 2020/03/13 F=(0 ulwrf dswrf uswrf lhtfl shtfl) O=(0 3201.5 3086.5 3131.5 856.5 2176.5) require() { sudo apt install nco gnuplot imagemagick; } # Linux Only download() { b="ftp://ftp.cdc.noaa.gov/Datasets/ncep.reanalysis2.derived/gaussian_grid" for i in ${F[*]}; do wget -O $i.nc -c $b/$i.sfc.mon.mean.nc; done } extract() { for t in {000..491}; do echo "$t" >&2 for i in {1..5}; do ncks --trd -HC ${F[$i]}.nc -v ${F[$i]} -d time,$t | sed $d | awk -F[= ] -vO=${O[$i]} '{ printf "%7s %7s %7.3fn", $4, $6, $8/10+O }' > .f$i done paste .f1 .f2 .f3 .f4 .f5 | awk '{ printf "%s %s %7.3fn", $1, $2, $3-($6-$9)+$12+$15 }' > .geo$t done } annualize() { for y in {0..40}; do args=`for m in {0..11}; do printf ".geo%03d "…

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Hydrothermal vent [image credit: USGS]


The author argues: “In summary, evidence substantiates that a well-defined, persistent and non-moving ocean warm trend originating off the East Coast of the United States is the result of super-heated and methane enriched fluids emitted from numerous seafloor hydrothermal vents/hot springs. This has far-reaching implications concerning the root cause of current worldwide ocean warming.”
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A well-defined ocean warming trend originating off the United States East Coast is likely from super-heated and methane-enriched fluids emitted from numerous seafloor hydrothermal vents/hot springs, says James Kamis at Climate Change Dispatch.

Supporting evidence:

This trend has shown up on shallow Sea Surface (SST) maps since their advent in 1997 and has likely been present for thousands of years.

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National flag of South Korea

Is this the end for ‘enhanced’ geothermal technology? Note this quake was 1,000 times stronger than the next one of similar causes.

The nation’s energy ministry expressed ‘deep regret’, and said it would dismantle the experimental plant, as Nature News reports.

A South Korean government panel has concluded that a magnitude-5.4 earthquake that struck the city of Pohang on 15 November 2017 was probably caused by an experimental geothermal power plant.

The panel was convened under presidential orders and released its findings on 20 March.

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Credit: ukcampsite.co.uk


It seems unlikely that hordes of angry protesters would rush to this project to complain about any alleged dangers of deep drilling – but you never know.

Drilling will start this week at what could become the UK’s first deep geothermal electricity plant in Cornwall, reports ITV News.

Two wells will be drilled through granite rock near St Day, the deepest of which will reach 4.5 kilometres.

Geothermal Engineering Ltd says the aim of the project is to demonstrate the potential of geothermal technology to produce electricity and renewable heat in the UK.

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The edge of the Thwaites glacier [credit: NASA photograph by Jim Yungel]


This BBC report seems unaware that a study in 2014 found that parts of the Thwaites Glacier are subject to melting due to subglacial volcanoes and other geothermal “hotspots”. The existence of this group of volcanoes has long been known.

British and American scientists will assess the stability of one of Antarctica’s biggest ice streams, reports BBC News.

It is going to be one of the biggest projects ever undertaken in Antarctica.

UK and US scientists will lead a five-year effort to examine the stability of the mighty Thwaites Glacier.

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Bitcoin [image credit: BBC]


Renewable energy has an unwelcome customer: ‘Bitcoin emits the equivalent of 17.7 million tons of carbon dioxide every year’ according to one recent report. Unless or until its bubble bursts, that figure is expected to rise.

KEFLAVIK, Iceland (AP) — Iceland is expected to use more energy “mining” bitcoins and other virtual currencies this year than it uses to power its homes, says AP News.

With massive amounts of electricity needed to run the computers that create bitcoins, large virtual currency companies have established a base in the North Atlantic island nation blessed with an abundance of renewable energy.

The new industry’s relatively sudden growth prompted lawmaker Smari McCarthy of Iceland’s Pirate Party to suggest taxing the profits of bitcoin mines.

The initiative is likely to be well received by Icelanders, who are skeptical of speculative financial ventures after the country’s catastrophic 2008 banking crash.

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Credit: energy.gov


California is – somewhat optimistically perhaps – looking to phase out its use of fossil fuels, and equally reliable alternatives need to be found and developed.

Experts say the American West is full of geothermal reservoirs whose energy could power millions of homes. But extracting that energy isn’t easy, as NPR explains.

Three and a half hours east of Los Angeles lies the Salton Sea, a manmade oasis in the heart of the Mojave Desert.

It was created in 1905, when a canal broke and the Colorado River flooded the desert for more than a year. The Sea became a tourist hotspot in the 1950’s, perfect for swimming, boating, and kayaking.

But now, people are coming here looking for something else.

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Image credit: The Local


It’s not the only place in the region to suffer but as The Local says ‘Staufen has really become a byword for failed geothermal drilling.’

A German town’s decision to invest in geothermal energy backfired badly after underground drilling went wrong and hundred of buildings began to fall apart.

Staufen, a town of 8,100 inhabitants on the edge of the Black Forest, envisioned a blissful new green energy future when work on the project began in 2007.

But when the drills hit groundwater, the pretty Baden Württenburg hamlet instead found itself in a battle for survival. More than 270 buildings have suffered fractures since the drills penetrated a layer of earth and struck groundwater in a yard right behind the town hall. 

“We’ve been in crisis mode for ten years,” Mayor Michael Benitz told news agency DPA. “It’s a slow-motion catastrophe.” A red banner that hangs from the damaged town hall proclaims: “Staufen must not fall apart”. 

But in some cases it almost already has.

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H/T to @IntrepidWanders for this paper, which lays out in clear terms the argument for abiotic oil/gas. I’ll post the second half next.

Saturn seen across a sea of methane on Titan by Huygens probe 2005

Saturn seen across a sea of methane on Titan. Artists impression. Credit: NASA/JPL Gregor Kervina

Evgeny Yantovski
Independent researcher
Elsass str. 58, D-52068 Aachen, Germany

Abstract
Thomas Gold was a main participant and contributor in the controversy between the biogenic
and abiogenic theories of the origin of hydrocarbons, a controversy launched by the abiogenic
views of Mendeleev and supported by other Russian and Ukrainian authors. The great success
of Gold’s forecasts is illustrated by a photo of the methane seas on the cold planetary body
Titan. Recently Scott et al.’s experiment on methane formation at high pressure suggests a
possibility of methane formation in the mantle. Some thermodynamic equilibrium
calculations suggest a possible exothermic reaction of carbon dioxide with fayalite producing
methane. In this view, carbon could play the role of an energy carrier from fayalite to
methane and then to a power plant and in a closed cycle be reinjected in Earth. Fayalite
becomes a fuel, with methane the energy carrier. Methane is then a renewable energy source.
The search for methane in Earth and resoluton of its origins deserve more efforts than ever
before.

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Guest post from Ben Wouters

Geothermal flux and the deep oceans.

To appreciate how the small geothermal flux of ~100 mW/m2 can play a significant role in our climate we’ll take a look at a cross-section of the Pacific in Fig 1.

fig1

Fig 1

A typical temperature profile is given in Fig 2 below

Fig 2

Fig 2

First the profile below ~1000 m. Slowly decreasing temperature with depth, more or less the same for all latitudes. The dark blue layer (~30 C) can be regarded as the top of the cold deep oceans. From 1000 m. upward the temperature increases rapidly, warmest water at the surface in the (sub) tropics. The dark blue layer only reaches the surface at high latitudes (red arrows). All water above this dark blue layer is warmed from above by the sun, either directly or indirectly. This layer also loses its energy again at the surface to the atmosphere, and eventually to space. Solar energy only warms the upper ~1000 m. between ~50N and 55S. How high the surface temperatures will be, depends on the temperature of the deep oceans and how much the sun can warm the upper layer above the deep ocean temperature.

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I came across this paper today while searching for the heat capacity of Venus near surface atmosphere, which is actually an ocean-like (in thermodynamic terms) supercritical fluid. It presages Harry Dale Huffman’s ‘rediscovery’ of the lapse rate calculation by four decades. Another paper, much more recent, (Bolmatov et al 2013) contains some theory which raises yet more questions about the reasons for Venus’ high surface temperature. So, greenhouse due to radiative proerties of co2 as Sagan claimed, lapse rate due to gravity and pressure as Nikolov and Zeller maintain, or the thermal properties of supercritical fluids and geothermal energy having a hard time escaping the lower atmosphere? Let the debate recommence!

venustemp1

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thwaitesPhys.org finds a nice way of saying the doomsters have completely misunderstood the reason why the West Antarctic Ice Sheet outlet has been thinning. New research finds hotter than previously thought geothermal activity underneath the glacier. This means the animated model showing massive WAIS recession by 2350 Cabot Institute director Prof. Rich Pancost was scaring the punters with down at SPRI last week is junk science:

Thwaites Glacier, the large, rapidly changing outlet of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, is not only being eroded by the ocean, it’s being melted from below by geothermal heat, researchers at the Institute for Geophysics at The University of Texas at Austin (UTIG) report in the current edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The findings significantly change the understanding of conditions beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet where accurate information has previously been unobtainable.

The Thwaites Glacier has been the focus of considerable attention in recent weeks as other groups of researchers found the glacier is on the way to collapse, but more data and computer modeling are needed to determine when the collapse will begin in earnest and at what rate the sea level will increase as it proceeds. The new observations by UTIG will greatly inform these ice sheet modeling efforts.

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Influence of Geothermal Heat on past and present climate

Image

Ben Wouters
Zuid Scharwoude, februari 2014, V 1.4
Introduction.

Current climate science asserts that the sun does not provide enough energy to explain our current pleasant surface temperatures. The Effective temperature for a planet at our distance from the sun without atmosphere is calculated as ~255K, and the atmosphere is supposedly adding ~33K to arrive at the average surface temperature of ~288K for planet Earth. (1)

Interestingly our Moon is such a planet. It reflects less solar radiation than Earth, but its average surface temperature is a mere 197K, as measured by the Diviner Project. (2)

So the assertion that solar energy is not able to explain our surface temperatures is correct, but the temperature difference to explain is at least ~90K. (3)

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geyser_380x271From the Institute of Physics website: Further confirmation of significant tidal force operating in the moon systems of the Gas Giants. Contributor Oldbrew and I have been working on the orbital configurations and have some news related to the Phi planetary discovery made earlier in the year here at the talkshop we’ll be posting about soon.

In 1980 and 1981 NASA’s Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft flew past the ringed planet and found Enceladus’s surface unusually smooth. This suggested that something was erasing its craters. Then in 2005 the Cassini spacecraft discovered water vapour around Enceladus. Cassini soon found the surprising source: geysers around the moon’s south pole shoot water vapour and ice particles hundreds of kilometres above the surface.  Planetary scientist Matthew Hedman of Cornell University and his colleagues have examined 252 near-infrared images from Cassini. “The brightness of the plume varied quite a bit,” says Hedman, who found it four times brighter when Enceladus is farthest from Saturn than when closest. These observations agree with a prediction made in a paper published in 2007 by Terry Hurford of the Goddard Space Science Center in Maryland, who had calculated how Enceladus would respond to Saturn’s tide.

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