Japan May Tap Geothermal Power to Offset Atomic Loss

Japan has found that geothermal power can replace nuclear. There is a viable alternative and they need once since their disaster a few months back. Japan is on earhtquake faults, so they have plenty of geothermal power available. Sometimes I smell the nuclear industry being much more politically connected in the past few decades so it got the contracts instead.

A while back the nuclear industry felt it was in the running to supply the oil sands with energy, why doesn't geothermal energy make it into the debate? It is safer and has very low emissions. Nuclear energy should be mothballed.

Japan May Tap Geothermal Power to Offset Atomic Loss, BNEF Says - Bloomberg (external - login to view)

Japan May Tap Geothermal Power to Offset Atomic Loss, BNEF Says

By Stuart Biggs - Jun 5, 2011 11:47 PM PT

Japan (external - login to view) can increase the amount of electricity it generates using geothermal resources to offset power shortages as the government reconsiders its reliance on nuclear energy, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said.

The country has the potential to be one of the “world’s biggest generators of geothermal power,” the renewable energy research arm of Bloomberg LP said in a report. There have been no major projects since 1996 and geothermal plants, which use underground hot water and steam to drive turbines, account for 0.2 percent of Japan’s power capacity, according to the report.

Projects are hindered by regulations including a ban on drilling wells in natural parks, which contain about 82 percent of Japan’s estimated 23.5 gigawatts of geothermal resources, according to the report by Tokyo-based analyst Yugo Nakamura. A gigawatt is about equal to the output of a new atomic reactor.

“If the government wants to bring about a step-increase in the development of geothermal power, it will have to review all existing regulations, in particular on access to natural parks and streamlining the project application and approval process,” the report said.
Opposition to development also comes from Japan’s “onsen,” or hot-spring owners, concerned that the use of underground hot water to generate electricity may harm their businesses.

Japan plans to introduce a feed-in tariff, or subsidized power price, of 15 yen ($0.19) per kilowatt-hour next year to cover the added cost of generating electricity from underground steam, a measure it forecast will add as much as 500 megawatts of capacity within a decade, the report said. Japan currently has 537 megawatts of installed geothermal capacity.

The government is preparing a long-term energy strategy in the wake of the crisis at Tokyo (external - login to view) Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant, where three reactors melted down after they were hit by an earthquake and tsunami in March. The plan is expected to emphasize the role of renewable energy.
OMG. Some GOOD news?
It does seem like it. Geothermal is extremely green power, yet it gets no respect. And there are all these lame excuses about high up front costs. The nuke industry is so politically connected, you'd think they'd signed eternal sacred treaties with the govt. Unless the nuke industry comes up with a reactor the size of a breadbox that powers a city, nuke'em. Duke. Or, decomission.
bill barilko
As I understand it geothermal requires a large initial investment.

OTOH what power project doesn't?
Last edited by bill barilko; Oct 25th, 2011 at 11:06 PM..
Geothermal is like the geeky kid, if he's not being ignored, gets beat up and kicked around by the big boys from fossil land and nuke country.
Says here that the CIA helped push nuke energy in Japan. The Walt Disney Co. was also roped into the effort. The 1957 cartoon “Our Friend, The Atom,” was released as part of the company's Tomorrowland project and depicting the positive benefits of a world harnessing atomic energy, was run on Japanese TV.

Tepco's 'deal with devil' (external - login to view)
Quote: Originally Posted by dumpthemonarchyView Post

Geothermal is like the geeky kid, if he's not being ignored, gets beat up and kicked around by the big boys from fossil land and nuke country.

How come Chevron is the world leader in geo-hydrothermal?
www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&...nr4MfA&cad=rja (external - login to view)

No govt. support.

We want oil, dammit, the costlier the better.

All youse hippies and yer geo thermal better git yer heds outa yer asses.
Gee what a great future for Japan. A geo thermally heated radioactive waste dump. So they got heat? What will they eat?
Quote: Originally Posted by darkbeaverView Post

Gee what a great future for Japan. A geo thermally heated radioactive waste dump. So they got heat? What will they eat?

A huge customer for our non wheat board wheat producers. Or our wheat board wheat producers too.
Ocean Breeze
This bears watching as Japan is very resourceful. And it certainly has been challenged in recent times. Interesting how they cope with disasters. Little if any hysteria or dramatization. A strong and stoic group of fine people.

Best to them all. as they continue to regroup from natures nasty visit. Smart to consider various options.
Bar Sinister
#12  Top Rated Post
About time. Anyone who knows anything about Japan knows that the country has literally hundreds of thermal springs. Why there has not been more development in this area is anyone's guess. It certainly is no more disruptive to the environment than nuclear and if there is an earthquake the side effects of damage to a geothermal plant will be negligible. As for start up costs there is a great deal of technological information available from Iceland and it certainly won't be any more expensive than the cost of the construction of the nuclear plants it is replacing. Nuclear power by the way, is notorious for going over budget even after almost seventy years of development.
Quote: Originally Posted by WindWalkerView Post

OMG. Some GOOD news?

My Alterra Power stock should take off! AXY-TSX Sitting at 44.5 cents. My Budget only has room for 1000 shares. Wish I had more.

Canada has a huge resource that could be tapped. There are several Hotsprings throughout Alberta and BC. Moose Jaw has taped one there for a downtown Hotel and Spa.

Like everything -Geothermal is only expensive because so few bet on the viability. If Japan goes ahead with this, they will soon have a system that works and is affordable, and will be selling it to the world in no time.
Geothermal or geo-hydrothermal?
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

How come Chevron is the world leader in geo-hydrothermal?

They are in the energy business. Don't matter what kind.
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslaveView Post

They are in the energy business. Don't matter what kind.

Indeed and saying "oil companies are in opposition" is ridiculous.;
According to the link below, Chevron, the "worldwide leader" operates in two countries, Indonesia and the Philippines. Count'em two.
Chevron Bets on $30 Billion Volcanoes Beneath Rainforest - Bloomberg (external - login to view)

Geothermal is just getting regulatory and legal approval in Canada, until then, investors won't touch it. I never understood what some people told me about geothermal six months ago. Now I get it a bit more. It takes time for people to figure new things out, because as of now, it barely intrudes on the public's consciousness. Greens never seem to lobby for it for one thing. It's getting respect though.

From the Tyee

The Tyee – Why Is Canada Freezing out Geothermal Power? (external - login to view)

Canadian tax law is another obstacle that in some cases favours fossil fuels over clean energy. For instance, companies doing oil or gas exploration are able to write-off dry holes whereas geothermal companies are not. Likewise companies installing steam boilers for bitumen extraction can recover these expenses from their taxes while geothermal companies installing boilers for clean energy generation are out of luck. "Geothermal energy was never contemplated when they wrote these rules," said Thompson. "We'd like an equal playing field."

From the Chevron article above, it says,

Geothermal (external - login to view) is central to Indonesia’s push for alternatives to fossil fuels such as oil, which the country once exported and now must import, driving up costs and curbing growth.
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