Graeme Beardsmore, Senior Fellow in Crustal Heat Flow at University of Melbourne. Fair use, low resolution image to identify the subject.

“Hot Rocks 2”? Melbourne Uni Professor Urges More Geothermal Energy

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

In 2009, Tim Flannery’s Geodynamics won a $90 million government grant. By 2016 it was all over. But I guess six years is a long time in the world of geothermal energy hype.

There’s an enormous geothermal pool under the Latrobe Valley that can give us cheap, clean energy

December 2, 2021 12.48pm AEDT
Graeme Beardsmore
Senior Fellow in Crustal Heat Flow, The University of Melbourne

About 650 metres beneath the Latrobe Valley, the heart of Victoria’s coal country, lies a little-known, naturally hot 65℃ pool of water in an enormous aquifer.

This aquifer is a source of geothermal energy – a renewable source of heat or electricity that is, so far, being used to heat an aquatic centre in the town of Traralgon. They chose it – over natural gas, coal-fired power or even emissions-free solar and wind – because geothermal energy is now the cheapest option for heating. 

The hot aquifer was first reported as long ago as 1962, when government geologist J.J. Jenkin noted many “occurrences of high temperature waters in East Gippsland”. We now know the hot water underlies about 6,000 square kilometres of Gippsland, from Morwell in the west to Lakes Entrance in the east, and holds the equivalent of A$30 billion of heat at today’s natural gas price. 

But with natural gas flowing from Bass Strait, and vast reserves of brown coal in the Latrobe Valley, there has been little incentive to develop alternative energy sources. With the coal era now drawing to a close, it’s time we made better use of this vast, clean source of energy to help cut national emissions and ease the energy transition.

Read more: https://theconversation.com/theres-an-enormous-geothermal-pool-under-the-latrobe-valley-that-can-give-us-cheap-clean-energy-166829

So what went wrong with Geodynamics?

Before the closure, the company had managed to extract super-heated water from five kilometres below the earth’s surface and use it to generate small amounts of electricity.

“The technology worked but unfortunately the cost of implementing the technology and also the cost of delivering the electricity that was produced to a market was just greater than the revenue stream that we could create,” Geodynamics chief executive Chris Murray said.

Professor Martin Hand ran the South Australian Centre for Geothermal Energy Research at the University of Adelaide.

“I think it was talked up too much — it’s a very nice concept on the front page of a newspaper, looks very easy to do, and I think it was over-spruiked,” he said.

Read more: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-30/geothermal-power-plant-closes-deemed-not-financially-viable/7798962

I’m happy for people to try these things on their own dime. Professor Beardsmore from his LinkedIn profile appears to suggest he has developed better predictive drilling models, which might help him find his hot water with fewer test drills. If this gives him the edge that Geodynamics lacked, good luck to him. But given the track record of failure of such ventures, he’ll likely have a lot of convincing to do, to secure his funding.

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December 6, 2021 2:15 pm

Unfortunately, potential investors in “Hot Rocks Two”, who saw “Hot Rocks One”, will think that they have hot rocks in their heads.

Streetcred
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
December 6, 2021 2:38 pm

unfortunately, I think that there are enough woke dumbazzes out there who will toss their lifesavings into these scams.

ResourceGuy
Reply to  Streetcred
December 7, 2021 6:06 am

It still takes some misguided government funding to complete the scam lending false security to the deal.

Zig Zag Wanderer
December 6, 2021 2:25 pm

unfortunately the cost of implementing the technology and also the cost of delivering the electricity that was produced to a market was just greater than the revenue stream that we could create

All you need to do is make other electricity generation methods more expensive and you’re in business. Simples!

M Courtney
December 6, 2021 2:31 pm

The heat needs to be near the surface.

The problem isn’t drilling to the heat. That’s proven technology.
The problem isn’t extracting the hot liquid That’s also proven technology.
The problem is keeping the hole open. The earth moves.

This isn’t a case of following the source of high energy material. It’s not drilling for oil. It’s a case or reaching the hot area and staying there. Constantly re-drilling costs energy. And there isn’t that much energy to get.

Unless the heat is near the surface. Geothermal works great then.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  M Courtney
December 6, 2021 3:11 pm

It problably also works if the aquifer contains a highly lithium enriched brine, as in Cornwall at United Downs.

M Courtney
Reply to  It doesn't add up...
December 6, 2021 3:31 pm

Why? Does that affect the heat retention?
Remember the geothermal projects in Cornwall have been failing since the 1970s.
ARUP_Cornwall_Geothermal_Options_Report_ISSUE_2_ALL.pdf (erdfconvergence.org.uk)

If, instead of energy, you want to extract minerals like lithium it’s far more economic to look at tailings in deposited in Cornish rivers. Lithium and rare earth metals are available in high concentrations in the rivers around Camborne.

The Red River may no longer flow red at High Tide, as the mines have shut down, but dredging its bed is worth more than panning for gold anywhere in the world.

MarkW
Reply to  M Courtney
December 6, 2021 4:35 pm

I’m guessing that once you have extracted the heat, you can then extract the lithium.

Mike Proctor
Reply to  M Courtney
December 7, 2021 2:03 am

From what I’ve heard all the tales of the coming Lithium boom in Cornwall and the re-starting of tin mining at South Croft are more to encourage people to invest, so making the owners wealthy, rather than the prospect of actually profitably obtaining the metals,

Richard S Courtney
Reply to  Mike Proctor
December 10, 2021 12:36 am

Mike Proctor,

Yes. I live in Cornwall and I am constantly amazed at the ease with which scammers obtain government subsidies for repeatedly failed ‘trials’. Hot Rocks is the clearest example.

The drilling for lithium-bearing water has not yet been trialed, but it is so unlikely to be an economic activity that I think it is almost certain to join the list of activities used to farm subsidies in Cornwall; i.e. wind power, solar power, hot rocks, etc.. Some examples of ‘croney capitalism’ (i.e. corruption) exist and I suspect it may be the underlying cause of all the subsidy farming.

Richard

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  It doesn't add up...
December 6, 2021 3:52 pm

Those same brines create maintenance costs because they tend to clog up the piping, as operations in the Salton Sea (Calif.) have discovered.

Max P
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
December 7, 2021 11:12 am

If there is a location that is more amenable for geothermal power generation than the Salton Sea site in the Imperial Valley of California, I am unaware of it. Even then, operations there are a bit of a struggle.

ATheoK
Reply to  It doesn't add up...
December 7, 2021 11:07 am

In the USA, not so good at the moment.

“Critical Minerals – Li Recovery R&D ($4,000,000): Following on FY 2020 work, the program will initiate a multi-phase effort in FY 2021 to attract innovative technologies that can effectively separate critical minerals from geothermal brines. The focus of the initial phase will be on a set of increasingly sophisticated modeling and bench-scale tests.”

From Energy.gov’s 2021 budget allocation, page 142.

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  M Courtney
December 6, 2021 4:46 pm

I think Geothermal will work perfectly, we all just need to live on top of yellowstone or similar formations, inside or on top of active volcanoes.

I foresee no issues or difficulties with this concept.
What could go wrong

Ron Long
December 6, 2021 2:36 pm

Nevada has a lot of geothermal power generation. They prefer hot rocks without water and pump water into them and collect the steam, as the aquifer hot water is loaded with salts and sulfates and plugs up the pipes. The way to find really hot rocks at relatively shallow depth is to examine air magnetics, processed with upward and downward quick (limited) gaussian stretching. The Curie point (temperature at which material are no longer magnetic, either remnant or induced) will show as large areas of very low air magnetic values. This produces test areas for follow-up drilling of shallow holes and heat-gradient testing.

Scissor
Reply to  Ron Long
December 6, 2021 3:52 pm

I saw a presentation from NREL and it was surprising to me that the heat extraction eventually causes a drop in temperature of fields in Nevada.

Smart Rock
Reply to  Scissor
December 6, 2021 4:13 pm

Why would that be surprising? Hot rocks + cold water => hot water + (slightly less) hot rocks. It might take centuries or millenia before the geothermal flux replenishes the heat.

This is not like the geothermal in Iceland and New Zealand where the hot water is being constantly replenished by near-surface magma. Or Hawaii where they actually drilled into molten magma by accident.

Scissor
Reply to  Smart Rock
December 6, 2021 7:46 pm

Well, Al Gore said the amount of energy there was huge and it’s very hot below earth’s surface, “several millions of degrees.” 🙂

Joao Martins
Reply to  Scissor
December 7, 2021 2:32 am

No kidding!…

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Scissor
December 7, 2021 3:04 am

well, Gore would know, he has a B.A. in “gov-mint” from Hah-vid

Kevin kilty
Reply to  Ron Long
December 8, 2021 7:53 am

The late Art Lange and I ran a geophysical company in the early-mid 1980s that spent at least some of its time chasing down Nevada geothermal resources — Steamboat and Yerington especially. I know that Steamboat was eventually developed, but have no information about Yerington. At an even earlier time I stopped by Beowawe, Nevada and got a photo of the man-made fumaroles there. This was before Chevron developed it into a power plant. Back in the 1950s, Magma Power (I may not recall the company name correctly) had drilled into the hot water reservoir but had no power market and so they capped the wells. Nevada ranchers being the independent cusses they are, blew the caps off the wells with dynamite, and Voila’, they had their own geothermal spa for about two decades. Pretty noisy place, though, as the fumaroles sounded like a rocket engine 24/7.

The western U.S. is a patchwork of odd terranes jammed together over the past 200 million years or so, and the sutures between these hold some surprising resources. Yet the really hot water in self-perpetuating reservoirs, like Beowawe, are rare and hard to find. This idea that any old place with a nearby warm spring, or even hot water at great enough depth anyplace, is a good target for geothermal is a lot of magical thinking.

I often thought a travel company specializing in bus tours of hot springs of the west could do a brisk business with retired geologists.

Last edited 1 month ago by Kevin kilty
Streetcred
December 6, 2021 2:36 pm

What happened to the $90million of funding to Flannery’s boondoggle? I think an investigation is warranted.

Krudd Gillard of the Commondebt of Australia
Reply to  Streetcred
December 6, 2021 11:24 pm

Jail.

Charles Davis
Reply to  Streetcred
December 7, 2021 3:22 am

I believe that it was announced but never paid.

Reply to  Streetcred
December 7, 2021 9:17 pm

I looked at Geodynamics GDY on the ASX history about 2013 and found shareholders had ponied up $220mill and there were +$100mill Gov grants. Also ANU had a shareholding but I never tracked down that entity.

Doug D
December 6, 2021 2:59 pm

On a small scale,on his own dime, a friend channeled several hundred feet of a small river through a channel screened off from debris and put 45 home built paddle wheel generators along its course . He supplied his home and his out building with electricity. He claimed that it took a little over a year to get his investment cost back but had full electric power for two freezers , lighting , TV a nd other small appliances . It was in Western Washington where air conditioning is not a necessity . He was very happy until for reasons I am not sure of he was shut down by his county. I imagine the power company noticed or some such reason .
it was an idea I thought would work on the thousands of miles of irrigation canals in central California where I live .

Scissor
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 6, 2021 3:54 pm

This design has some attractive features.

Peta of Newark
Reply to  Scissor
December 6, 2021 4:25 pm

No it hasn’t.
None at all.

Scissor
Reply to  Peta of Newark
December 6, 2021 7:51 pm

It’s not low maintenance and fish friendly?

MarkW
Reply to  Scissor
December 7, 2021 9:06 am

I think it is because the design doesn’t use breast milk.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Doug D
December 6, 2021 3:56 pm

He was probably shut down for rerouting the river. Water rights and conditions for fish have always been contentious issues.

Smart Rock
Reply to  Doug D
December 6, 2021 4:20 pm

Sorry, there’s not enough elevation gradient in central California. The whole central valley is very, very flat and only a few metres above sea level. Which is why it was mostly a shallow bay or tidal flat during the Holocene thermal optimum 7,000 years ago.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Smart Rock
December 6, 2021 8:54 pm

Flatter than Kansas!

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  Doug D
December 6, 2021 4:52 pm

Such schemes would work great, if only there were only a few hundred thousand people on the planet. Try to scale that up for everyone and uh-oh, just like geothermal, wind, solar. Free unlimited energy but unfortunately low energy density and so requires multiples of surface area of the planet to produce equivalent power.

If we really want a “6th extinction”, renewable power is the mechanism to create it.

ATheoK
Reply to  Doug D
December 7, 2021 5:27 pm

The EPA claimed ruling authority over anything that contains water or might at sometime for a few seconds contain water.
Even, after the courts refused EPA that authority.
Prior to the court ruling, EPA aggressively fined anyone who dared infringe on their claimed authority. Very few were able to take the EPA to court.

EPA strongly believes Bydmeen will get that authority for them. Though, like last time, the EPA will likely reinterpret some presidential like order as giving them that authority.

Many states, especially states run by liberals or activists, the local water resource boards claim authority over any water flowing downhill. Intercepting downhill flowing water requires permits.

Channeling, i.e. straightening rivers and streams are big no-nos. Straightening water drainages speeds up water and increases erosion, harms stream insect life and often prevents fish spawning.
Something that arrays other state departments against the project.

If a paddlewheel mill of any sort was located near there decades ago or in the last century, it might be possible to claim that you are reconstructing a historic building.

Mr.
December 6, 2021 3:01 pm

So Einstein taught these academics nothing –
“the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result”

Gerry
Reply to  Mr.
December 8, 2021 8:53 am

Get the money….fiddle around for a while,get a nice little wage for a few years to pay off home (in wife’s name) ….then onto the next “exciting” renewable project to get the kids school fees paid off….,or the holiday house…..…doing the same thing but getting a different result doesn’t sound insane in these cases …sounds like something else

tmatsi
December 6, 2021 3:03 pm

At 65C, hot water is really only useful for heating houses and not much good for generating electricity (Carnot Cycle Efficiency). It might also be useful for agriculture if you wanted to grow tropical fruits in greenhouses.

I understand that Geodynamics also had major problems in containing the superheated steam so that is could be delivered to the generating sets. I recall that the steam was reported to have leaked out of the bore holes into the rocks overlying the hot rock. This will always be a problem with this technology and is more likely the deeper the hot rocks are below the surface.

John
Reply to  tmatsi
December 6, 2021 3:58 pm

the issue was they had massive corrosion and scale from the two wells they drilled and it was impossible to keep going. The water at the temperature was leaching minerals and there was CO2 down there as well
remember these wells were drilled to circa 4000 m down in South Australia

Rud Istvan
December 6, 2021 3:12 pm

Researched this years ago. Except for rare places like Iceland, there are three very limiting problems to geothermal ‘energy’.

  1. Shallow hot rocks usually are associated with an aquifer loaded with salts and sulfates. Those crud everything up fast when the carrying steam expands and cools. Heat exchangers can partly ‘solve’ that problem (they crud up more slowly) but at a significant thermal efficiency loss.
  2. Deep dry hot rocks are expensive to drill.
  3. Unless (like Iceland) sitting just on top of magma, hot rocks are actually not real hot so the useful electricity their steam can produce is very limited by Carnot thermodynamics.
John
Reply to  Rud Istvan
December 6, 2021 4:01 pm

Geothermal is used extensively in places like Indonesia, New Zealand, US etc since the 1950’s

the biggest problem is these geothermal fields are no different to oil or gas fields after a while you deplete them

then you need to find a new one

Patrick MJD
Reply to  John
December 6, 2021 7:20 pm

Or, in the case of NZ, you ban people from using geothermal sources like in Rotorua where people were tapping in to the local geothermal sources and they started to disappear. That was in the mid-1990s IIRC.

John
December 6, 2021 3:52 pm

This is not hot rocks this is just pure and simple a hot artesian aquifer

but at 60deg C it is hardly hot enough to generate geothermal power

normally you would be looking for at least 150 – 200 deg C which is what the normal geothermal boys use

DMacKenzie
Reply to  John
December 6, 2021 6:51 pm

The amount of mechanical energy you can extract is proportional to how much heat you can flow from the heat source to the colder hear sink, Q= UAdeltaT….and the maximum efficiency you can do it with, is determined by the Carnot efficiency (Thot-Tcold)/Thot. When the hot temperature is 1000 degrees you can flow a lot of heat to say 40 C but at 60 degrees, you need the heat exchanger area to be 50 times bigger than at 1000. And that’s just to heat your tomatoes. Converting to mechanical horsepower is also far less efficient due to Carnot efficiency. So general rule of producing mechanical power to run a generator or whatever….fire is good, exchangers small, fuel pumps small, kilowatts out big……hot water is bad, exchangers big, circulating pumps big, very expensive, kilowatts out small.

On the other hand a dip in hot springs has always been more pleasurable than fighting bush fires.

Last edited 1 month ago by DMacKenzie
DMacKenzie
Reply to  DMacKenzie
December 6, 2021 6:54 pm

Interesting…Icelandic geothermal brings a lot of CO2 up with the water….but “it’s natural”….

John
Reply to  DMacKenzie
December 6, 2021 10:18 pm

but it is still CO2 and is bad – really bad according to the bad wolf numpties

ATheoK
Reply to  DMacKenzie
December 7, 2021 5:40 pm

A feature common to every hot spring globally.

It is Odd, that alarmists refuse to believe hot springs, rifts, ring of fire are sources for CO₂.

Stephen Mueller
December 6, 2021 4:16 pm

Let me get this right , they think we have a heat problem on the planet caused by C02 so they want to dig a really deep hole in the earth and bring up heat to make electricity in doing so release energy that has been stored in the ground for ever is that not adding to heat on the surface.

Derg
Reply to  Stephen Mueller
December 6, 2021 8:21 pm

Ding ding ding…give this man a cigar

Chris Hanley
December 6, 2021 4:26 pm

600 meters is less than the depth of fracked oil and gas so those opposed to hydraulic fracking as a risk to surface structures must also oppose this.

Last edited 1 month ago by Chris Hanley
PaulH
December 6, 2021 4:36 pm

“I think it was talked up too much — it’s a very nice concept on the front page of a newspaper, looks very easy to do, and I think it was over-spruiked,”

I have no idea what “over-spruiked” means (or even just plain ol’ spruiked), but I can guess the meaning from the context. 😉

Alan M
Reply to  PaulH
December 7, 2021 4:11 am

ie ” You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear”

Alan M
Reply to  PaulH
December 7, 2021 4:19 am

Or more formally

Spuiker

(Australian English) someone who tries to persuade people to buy something, use a service, etc often in a dishonest or exaggerated way
The recent steady rise in property prices has heralded the return of the property spruiker.

So “over spruiked” we’ll leave that to your imagination

Last edited 1 month ago by Alan M
Gerard
December 6, 2021 4:39 pm

The same area also has large reserves of natural gas, and we have proven technology to use that.

Peta of Newark
December 6, 2021 4:41 pm

65°C water is a complete joke for any kind of power generation – might heat a greenhouse or something that’s it.
In a power ‘station’ with a cooling-tower temp of 30°C you’d get an efficiency of 10%
i.e. 90% of your energy goes into/out-of/up the cooling tower

I always understood the problem with hot rocks was/is that rock has very low thermal conductivity.
It might be hot but there ain’t a great deal of power there – you cannot pull the energy out very fast.
..
..

=Exactly how/why the GHGE is garbage.
Yes there is ‘trapped heat‘ but it is trapped in the low thermal conductivity of the main atmospheric gases – and effect compounded by their ultra low emissivities.
Heat is ‘trapped’ in the atmosphere exactly because it is NOT re-radiated in all directions – it is barely radiated at all
Thus the atmosphere is warm because of its low power flow capability – the exact reason why geothermal doesn’t work.
Unless unless unless, the ‘hot rocks’ are incredibly hot so that when you introduce (lets say) water as a device to extract the heat, the thermal gradient becomes steep enough to get decent energy flow (power output)

See where the ‘geologic fellow’ above has gone wrong and ffs, how can he be a ‘fellow’ and have gone sooooo wrong?
He’s confused temperature with energy and energy with power

How bad can this thing get

Last edited 1 month ago by Peta of Newark
Rod Evans
Reply to  Peta of Newark
December 7, 2021 4:34 am

It is already very bad. Clearly as the woke folk take ever greater control of important energy decisions, it will get very very bad.

Pat from Kerbob
December 6, 2021 4:53 pm

We do have efficient geothermal. Its called nuclear power

ChrisB
December 6, 2021 5:06 pm

ah academics, they only know how to compute the grant dollars but not the P&L statements.

Kip Hansen(@kiphansen2)
Editor
December 6, 2021 5:31 pm

Geothermal is a grand and good idea. Imagine using the heat of a local volcano or the volcanism at Yellowstone.

How the extracted heat is turned into usable electricity is a critical factor. You don’t need super-heated water — you just need water substantially hotter than the surface conditions. The heat differential can drive spinning wheels — thus generators. h

PCman999
Reply to  Kip Hansen
December 8, 2021 10:30 pm

300°C, like in nuclear reactors, is superheated, and the most efficient reactors (and the newest supercritical coal fired plants and of course cc nat gas plants) take that up to 750 and beyond. If the working fluid or gas can’t be heated that high it just won’t be worth the investment or risk.

Kip Hansen(@kiphansen2)
Editor
Reply to  PCman999
December 10, 2021 10:26 am

PCman999 ==> That kind of thinking is what led IBM to fail to strike early and hard on personal commuters — they were sure that only massive room sized computers were of any real use to anyone — and considered the potential so low that they gave away the rights to the basic PC operating system to Bill Gates.

Our present understandings are not always true in the future.

Loren Wilson
December 6, 2021 5:31 pm

Hmmm, let’s look at the efficiency of this process. The thermodynamic efficiency of a heat engine, which this is, is the difference between the hot and cold reservoirs divided by the temperature of the hot reservoir, all in absolute temperature. The hot reservoir is at 65°C or 338.15 K and the cold reservoir is the temperature that the cooling tower can get to, which I estimate to be 35°C or 308.15 K. This gives a maximum efficiency of (338.15 – 308.15)/338.15 = 8.9%. There was no way any of this was ever going to make money except the guy getting the grant. This is just the first challenge of geothermal. Corrosion, scaling, the reservoir cooling down and other factors limit geothermal to a few select areas. In these areas, they can compete with other reliable sources of energy. Not anywhere else.

Felix
December 6, 2021 5:50 pm

“geothermal energy is now the cheapest option for heating”

“the cost of implementing the technology and also the cost of delivering the electricity that was produced to a market was just greater than the revenue stream that we could create,”

One of these is not like the other.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Felix
December 7, 2021 4:09 pm

“geothermal energy is now the cheapest option for heating”

But, those who don’t live near the source can’t afford it!

Mike
December 6, 2021 6:45 pm

65 degrees? What are you going to do with that? Warm your hands?
Maybe if you used the hot water in a coal fired boiler you could save a few dollars. Maybe…

Last edited 1 month ago by Mike
Jeff Alberts
December 6, 2021 6:59 pm

over-spruiked”

That sounds painful. Does it leave a mark?

MarkW
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
December 7, 2021 9:11 am

It leaves a mark on your wallet.

H.R.
December 6, 2021 7:40 pm

“This time we’ll get it right”


Where have I heard that before?

Forrest Gardener
Reply to  H.R.
December 6, 2021 10:51 pm

Rocky and Bullwinkle had the similar “this time for sure”.

nankerphelge
December 6, 2021 9:49 pm

What Tim Flannerys’ brainchild was talked up too much?
Will wonders never cease!

December 6, 2021 10:38 pm

65℃. Now that is really hot! All they need to do is develop a steam turbine that runs on warm water.

GregK
December 7, 2021 12:23 am

I once invested in a small mineral exploration company that went geothermal. It had great ideas but unfortunately none of them were economic. That’s a problem with quite a few great ideas.

Anyway the company changed its name, persuaded a few more investors to cough up and is now chasing graphite in Africa while keeping the principals employed [which is the chief function of small mineral exploration companies].

Oh well, such is life.

tom0mason(@tom0mason)
December 7, 2021 1:35 am

And the cost/benefit ratio is?
(We’ll exchange what you got for nothing you need!)

Another professional eejit pretending to have some academic rationality and knowledge when all he wants is for the University to keep paying him (otherwise he might have to get a real job)

guidoLaMoto
December 7, 2021 3:07 am

Like EVs, geothermal has its niche…My earthberm house (Zone 4 WI) required no extra digging, drilling, piping or motors. I use only 4 cords of firewood to stay cozy all winter (neighbor with smaller, “log cabin style” house uses 10) and we need no AC….But being so simple, is that un-American?

PCman999
Reply to  guidoLaMoto
December 8, 2021 10:36 pm

That’s not the same thing. The article is about electricity generation for widespread use. And not everyone wants to live like a hobbit!

Full disclosure: I love my finished basement in the summer!

guidoLaMoto
Reply to  PCman999
December 9, 2021 2:01 am

That geothermal is an inefficient &/or impractical way to generate electricity goes without saying (so I didn’t). I said GT had a niche and described it….and my house with a 60 ft front side covered by 39 ft of French doors & picture windows over looking a picturesque valley is hardly living like a Hobbitt…Earth bernm design is an under used & under appreciated, efficient construction technique.

ResourceGuy
December 7, 2021 6:04 am

Remember to overhype the temperature and energy yield like in the U.S. where some former politicos made those excuses after getting their payday from Obama waste fraud and abuse funding plus hapless investors. It was the geothermal equivalent of the Crescent Dunes solar scam, Solyndra, and Ivanpah.

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