[LINK] o/t please .. no carbon or uranium

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Thu Jan 29 23:47:13 AEDT 2009

I doubt you'd notice a geo-thermal power-plant .. completely green, sans
emissions, and low-cost power for your Aussie cities 24/7 .. and forever.

The Australian Government’s Geothermal Drilling Program grant-scheme will
be our $50m brilliantly spent .. but with prudent investment, we may well
have 7 Snowy Mountain size power stations releasing not an atom of carbon
well within a decade .. with wise infra-structure spending .. yes we can!

And pls .. solar, wind, wave, tidal, psychic, my nan's knitting whatever
power, pick yr fav, and tell your polly .. NO burning carbon and uranium.


"I was contemplating titling this article ‘Full Steam Ahead’ but any 
reference to steam in the Australian geothermal context would only 
reinforce popular misconceptions that geothermal energy is all about 

The reality is that, like the USA, nearly all of Australia’s geothermal 
energy potential lies in the sourcing of hot water (150-200°C at the 
moment), and pumping this water through a ‘heat exchanger’ which heats a 
secondary working fluid for a binary Rankine cycle. Hence the decision to 
go with the less-steamy name.

Despite the general gloom which has engulfed international commodity 
markets, (it's) a hectic period in geothermaland .. most notable was 
activity surrounding the looming Australian Government’s Geothermal 
Drilling Program (GDP) grant scheme. 

It is now looking like the $50 million drilling bonanza will be before 
the GDP assessment panel in early 2009 ..  with a wide field of punters 
eligible for one of the seven $7 million drilling grants.."


For (an earlier) ABC TV's Inside Business program, Kathy Swan reports ..

TRANSCRIPT: 'Most would agree that technically it's very simple to 
extract energy from hot rocks. The technology is still commercially 
unproven, but power utilities are now looking to hot rock electricity 
generation. While it offers renewable base load power with no emissions, 
the big challenge .. may be in the economics rather than the technology.'

KATHY SWAN : Scientists are no longer alone in their fascination for hot 
rocks. The corporate world and the Federal Government are sniffing around 
the commercial possibility of harnessing geothermal generated electricity.

beneath parts of Australia are the hottest non-volcanic rocks in the 

Australia has kind of unique geology, which makes our rocks, at least in 
part of the country, surprisingly hot compared to what you might find in 
North America for example or Europe, and by hot we're talking about 250 
degrees C at about 5 kilometres. 

. my work is crushing. There's a lot of interest from the commercial 
sector, some of it's coming from some of the major mining players .. 

There's also a lot of small start-ups who see it as a huge opportunity in 
a growing industry and the great white hope if you will, for the future.

KATHY SWAN : Hot rock research is nothing new. It's been going on for 
more than 30 years, but the promise of a price on carbon has energised 
the race for alternative energy sources, particularly one that's 
renewable and has zero emissions. 

KERRY BARWISE : A carbon price is just over the horizon, isn't it? And 
any non zero carbon price is going to make the potential for things like 
geothermal power very attractive to investors I'm sure of it. 

ADRIAN WILLIAMS, GEODYNAMICS : If there's no charge on emissions the 
world will keep generating most of its power from coal. Because there's 
no cheaper way of doing it. 

KATHY SWAN : Geodynamics won't be the first to have its turbines driven 
by deep heat .. but plans for the Cooper Basin are ambitious. 

ADRIAN WILLIAMS : We're targeting a 500-megawatt project and we're 
looking to get that generating by the end of 2015. 

500 megawatts is a very significant project that will have, if you like, 
an annual power output that's similar to the whole Snowy scheme. 

GRAEME BEARDSMORE : If it's a competitive energy source it has to be 
cheaper than other energy sources or people aren't going to use it. 

KATHY SWAN : There are expensive hurdles to be overcome in setting up a 
new industry. 

ADRIAN WILLIAMS : Well drilling is an obvious one but you know it's the 
power station that's the biggest cost element, not the drilling. 

. The point is that if you have a large amount of energy, and it's of 
high quality, you will take the infrastructure to it. 

KATHY SWAN : But there's more than one lot of hot rocks, and some may be 
within, though a little way under city limits.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, TORRENS ENERGY : Our main aim is to explore for hot rocks 
and find them in the heart of infrastructure, which is why we have 
licenses which start within the city limits of both Adelaide & Melbourne.

KATHY SWAN : Torrens energy is a fledgling company but it's already 
attracted a $3 million federal grant to help fund its project to map 
heat, and the type of rocks it comes from, with 3D modelling software.

CHRIS MATTHEWS : We will know where the hottest temperatures coincide 
with those really good conditions to be able drill into and circulate the 
water, to extract the heat, and in addition by doing this we should be 
able to model the size and shape of resources that have been found so we 
will know the best places to drill and we will be able to reduce the cost 
and risk associated with the expensive deep drilling phase.

KATHY SWAN : Geothermal's potential as a clean green renewable energy 
source, with the added bonus of being able to provide base-load power, is 
alluring but yet to be proven as a commercially sustainable alternative.
But there are now more than a dozen geothermal companies, some listed, 
others not, positioning themselves just in case. (end quote)


Here's here's an interactive map of our Australian geo-thermal stake-outs:



Cheers, people
Stephen Loosley
Victoria, Australia

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