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The rise of geothermal energy

November 22, 2011

The rise of geothermal energy

Of the big three renewable energy sources (geothermal, wind and solar), geothermal is currently the weakest link. Despite a major push across North America in recent times to increase energy generation from renewable sources, geothermal energy accounted for less than half of one per cent of all energy production between january and August of 2011.

Part of the slow rate of growth for geothermal technology comes from the accessibility issue. You can check out North America’s hot spots on Google Earth. There, you’ll quickly see that the easiest place in North America to harness geothermal energy is the Western United States. Here, it is relatively easy to drill and tap into underground water reservoirs where water is heated to well over 500 degrees fahrenheit (260 degrees celsius). The steam from these hotspots is channelled to power turbines that produce electricity.

But thanks to technology, accessibility to geothermal energy is improving all the time. For example, by using lower-temperature water (even less than 135 degrees fahrenheit or 57 degrees celsius) to heat a secondary liquid—one with a lower boiling point—the resultant steam can be used just as readily to power turbines to produce electricity.

This opens up far more of the planets crust to potential geothermal energy production.

The bottom line is that geothermal energy is a fantastic resource that should be utilized as much as possible. It’s relatively cheap to build, operate and maintain, and it produces little in the way of pollution.

PVC Plus Pipe Products are a leading supplier of PVC pipe and PVC fittings to the geothermal industry, as well as geothermal grouts, geothermal accessories, geothermal fittings and geothermal coils. PVC Plus Drilling Products exports worldwide to North American distributors, consulting firms, industrial, commercial and residential customers.

http://www.google.com/earth/index.html

 


 

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