Skip to comments.Geothermal Project in California (backed by Obama DoE) Is Shut Down
Posted on 12/12/2009 1:11:29 PM PST by reaganaut1
The company in charge of a California project to extract vast amounts of renewable energy from deep, hot bedrock has removed its drill rig and informed federal officials that the government project will be abandoned.
The project by the company, AltaRock Energy, was the Obama administrations first major test of geothermal energy as a significant alternative to fossil fuels and the project was being financed with federal Department of Energy money at a site about 100 miles north of San Francisco called the Geysers.
But on Friday, the Energy Department said that AltaRock had given notice this week that it will not be continuing work at the Geysers as part of the agencys geothermal development program.
The projects apparent collapse comes a day after Swiss government officials permanently shut down a similar project in Basel, because of the damaging earthquakes it produced in 2006 and 2007. Taken together, the two setbacks could change the direction of the Obama administrations geothermal program, which had raised hopes that the earths bedrock could be quickly tapped as a clean and almost limitless energy source.
The Energy Department referred other questions about the projects shutdown to AltaRock, a startup company based in Seattle. Reached by telephone, the companys chief operations officer, James T. Turner, confirmed that the rig had been removed but said he had not been informed of the notice that the company had given the government. Two other senior company officials did not respond to requests for comment [...]
Geothermal enthusiasts asserted that drilling miles into hard rock, as required by the technique, could be done quickly and economically with small improvements in existing methods, Professor Schrag said. What weve discovered is that its harder to make those improvements than some people believed, he added.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
You mean the center of the earth is not millions of degrees hot? Al Gore is deeply saddened!
Apply this result to all the other blue sky technologies.
But then we would be killing the Earth with CO2 fumes.
It's known that this process produces eathquakes and Obama's administration okayed the project anyway?
Rather than the taxpayers paying for these boondoggles why not let oil drill for our own? Oh yeah, might save the Auto Industry.
Pray for America’s Freedom
Man oh man, between geothermal getting shut down, ethanol plants shutting down and windpower projects being canceled alternative power appears to be going down the ole terlet.
Geez, will someone start drilling?
This is what happens when liberal children think science fiction is real.
The earthquake thing.
No company is going to expose itself to that kind of liability, whether or not any cheap energy is forthcoming.
Nope - sorry, we can’t. Too many “liberal” congress-critters want to “socialize” the oil industry...
Geothermal Energy in California
photo of Geysers Geothermal Plants
Because of its location on the Pacific’s “ring of fire” and because of tectonic plate conjunctions, California contains the largest amount of geothermal generating capacity in the United States.
In 2007, geothermal energy in our state produced 13,000 gigawatt-hours of electricity. Combined with another 440 GWh of imported geothermal electricity, then geothermal energy produced 4.5 percent of the state’s total system power. A total of 43 operating geothermal power plants with an installed capacity of nearly 1,800 megawatts are in California, about two-thirds of the total United States’ geothermal generation.
The largest concentration of geothermal plants is located north of San Francisco in the Geysers Geothermal Resource Area in Napa and Sonoma Counties. This location has been producing electricity since the 1960s. It uses dry steam; one of only two places in the world for this resource (the other being in Larderello, Italy).
There’s no such thing as a free lunch... or free energy.
*** the two setbacks could change the direction of the Obama administrations geothermal program, which had raised hopes that the earths bedrock could be quickly tapped as a clean and almost limitless energy source. ***
Back during the Jimmy Carter admin there was plans to build a geothermal power plant in New Mexico. Test hole were drilled, estimates of the ammount of steam were made, a turbine/generator was purchased, all was GO!
When done there was not enough steam to roll the turbine! A couple of years later I saw all the equipment for sale in Power Engineering Magazine.
Hmmm, suppose any of that equipment could be put to use drilling for oil? In the US?
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