Skip to comments.Quake Threat Leads Swiss to Close Geothermal Project
Posted on 12/12/2009 1:18:53 PM PST by reaganaut1
A $60 million project to extract renewable energy from the hot bedrock deep beneath Basel, Switzerland, was shut down permanently on Thursday after a government study determined that earthquakes generated by the project were likely to do millions of dollars in damage each year.
The project, led by Markus O. Häring, a former oilman, was suspended in late 2006 after it generated earthquakes that did no bodily harm but caused about $9 million in mostly minor damage to homes and other structures. Mr. Häring is to go to trial next week on criminal charges stemming from the project. [...]
The findings are a serious blow to the hopes of environmentalists, entrepreneurs and investors who believe that advanced geothermal energy could substantially cut the worlds use of emissions-causing fossil fuels. [...]
Scientists said on Thursday that because the Swiss report focused narrowly on the Basel project and also contained positive findings, it would not prove fatal to advanced geothermal energy as a whole.
For example, while the report concluded that residents of Basel would have felt from 14 to 170 earthquakes over the 30-year life of the project, few if any of those earthquakes would be likely to cause bodily harm, according to an English summary of the report provided by Rudolf Braun, the Swiss scientist who led the work.
The report also concluded that the Basel project was very unlikely to activate one of the major faults around Basel and generate a huge quake like the one that devastated the city in 1356. On the other hand, the report also found a 15 percent chance that the project could set off an earthquake that could cause over half a billion dollars in damage. Every year, the project would probably produce some $6 million in damage, the report found.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Geothermal energy and quakes go together.
Must keep those several million degrees under control!
I did not know that. Yet... South Island New Zealand and Iceland rely heavily on same.
These is great,
Now I know the Green Free Energy is only free to the producer.
Its not a bad idea unless it triggers a major quake and it is in your backyard.
I suppose location is an issue. Iceland sits on the mid atlantic rift which isn’t the standard type of fault that produces major quakes.