Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Geothermal Power

One clean energy source that doesn't get too much attention is geothermal power. Recently I was at a presentation by Geodynamics - one of the companies exploring this option here in Australia - in particular in the Cooper Basin around the border of South Australia and Queensland.

As shown above, it works by pumping water underground where temperatures are around 270°C. The resulting steam returns to the surface and is used to generate electricity.

Here's the really good bit. Based on 50MW modules, Geodynamics estimate that with 1000 square kilometres they could set up 250 stations, generating 12,500MW - which is half of Australia's power needs. And the economics is cheaper than nuclear and almost as cheap as gas and coal (but without the carbon emissions).

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