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Steam Dream: Utah's Geothermal Energy Potential
Geothermal compared to other renewables as well as coal and natural gas. Raser is deploying cost-effective geothermal resources, able to harness lower-heat input (200 - 300 degrees F) compared to usual flash-to-steam geothermal processes. Unlike wind or solar, geothermal is capable of base-load power production, providing constant output.
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Today I received an email from a friend of mine, Jim Catano, informing his email
contacts of two articles he wrote that ran as cover stories two weeks in a row
in a local newspaper, the Salt Lake City Weekly. Seeing that one of
them is about " renewable energy being used to generate electricity...the
business side of geothermal," I thought I'd take a look.
I was extremely impressed. He's an excellent writer, and he covered a lot
of key issues concisely. Though the article focuses on Utah, the
principles discussed are broadly applicable. I recommend you read the
The article is primarily about Raser
Technologies' geothermal initiative in Utah, but also addresses other energy
modalities in comparison, making a strong case for the approach that Raser is
taking. He compares geothermal to solar, wind, coal, natural gas, nuclear,
and tar sands, including a discussion of some hidden down-sides and costs
involved. His information about tar sands near the end of the article was
particularly eye-opening for me. The pollution and environmental costs
involved in the process of extracting crude from tar sands, and in using that
crude for fuel, are horrendous.
brings up "fracking", which is also used in gas and oil wells. A
blend of chemicals and water are injected under extreme pressure into the rock
to force it to shatter so underground water can pass through it. The
primary problem with fracking is that it sometimes contaminates drinking water
or even the air. In some cases, natural gas actually escapes from kitchen
faucets and can be burned as it does so. (Ref.)
This process has not been adequately regulated, and has resulted in the
poisoning of many people, crops, and animals. If a geothermal proposal
includes fracking, then that proposal should probably be rebuffed.
Raser is one of the New Energy Congress' Top 100 Clean Energy Technologies.
I've written several stories about them in the past, and attended their
ribbon-cutting back in Nov. 2008, so I have a pretty good idea about how well
Jim did in reviewing their technology.
Here's the link to Jim's story about Raser. http://www.cityweekly.net/...steam-dream-utahs-geothermal-energy-potential.html?...
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FYI, here's the video we prepared a couple of years ago after attending the
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