Geothermal pitched as Alberta's next big energy source


B00Mer
Republican
#1
Geothermal pitched as Alberta's next big energy source



Standard thinking for decades has been that geothermal technology is too expensive and inefficient to be a significant source of energy.

But a growing number of experts say the time may be right for geothermal to assume a higher profile, especially in oil-rich Alberta.

The economics of renewable energy projects are improving as governments begin to introduce carbon taxes and other fees on large carbon-emitting facilities, such as coal power plants.

Geothermal power plants turn hot water into electricity. Companies drill underground for water or steam similar to the process of drilling for oil. The heat is brought to the surface and used to spin turbines. The water is then returned underground.

"I think Alberta is perfectly situated to make the technology work," said Todd Hirsch, chief economist with ATB Financial. "All the geothermal energy experts say it is all wrong for Alberta. You have to go down so deep to get any heat. Well actually, we have experience drilling through four miles [6.4 km] worth of rock to get at other things that are valuable."

Hirsch describes geothermal as "a perfectly green, perfectly renewable source of electricity." He also suggests geothermal could be a boon for the province, where companies have had a knack for developing "marginal resources" such as the oilsands.

"I think geothermal energy might be one that Alberta wants to champion specifically because it doesn't work here," said Hirsch. "If we can make it work here in Alberta, then it is a cinch to sell the technology to the Chinese and the Germans and everyone elsewhere geothermal doesn't work."

Alberta lacking program

While no geothermal electricity is currently produced in Canada, companies are trying to build facilities. Some are proposed in B.C. and Saskatchewan.

Calgary-based Borealis GeoPower would like to have a project in its home province, but instead is pursuing opportunities in neighbouring B.C. The main reason is because B.C. has a geothermal program in place for companies to develop electricity, while Alberta does not.

"That's a massive hurdle," said Craig Dunn, head geologist with Borealis GeoPower. "With a lack of a geothermal policy for development in Alberta, it makes a number of developers, including ourselves, apprehensive about approaching that market."

A geothermal company wanting to secure the rights to a thermal deposit would have to compete with oil and gas companies for the subsurface permit, since there is no separate program for geothermal, says Dunn.

The Alberta government's Energy Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Borealis GeoPower has geothermal projects under development in Terrace and Kinbasket Lake, B.C.

"I joke it's a great way to make your kids rich. You are creating the infrastructure for a resource that has no fuel costs," said Dunn. "I'm developing something that could be around for generations."

What are the costs?

Geothermal power plants cost more money than natural gas facilities. For some perspective, consider the Neal Hot Springs plant in Oregon that was constructed in 2012 for $139 million for 22 megawatts of production.

The Shepard natural gas power plant in Calgary began operating this year with a total cost of $1.4 billion for 800 megawatts of electricity. In this comparison, the geothermal facility costs three times as much per megawatt of power.

Enbridge, a part-owner of the Neal Hot Springs plant, has said the plant saves about 159,000 tonnes per year of carbon dioxide emissions compared to a similar-sized natural gas facility, and about more than 340,000 tonnes per year compared to a coal power plant.

Coal facilities supply nearly 40 per cent of electricity in Alberta.

While the NDP government has yet to announce a specific policy, the party ran on a campaign platform in the recent election pledging to phase out coal.

Premier Rachel Notley has announced an increase to the province's carbon pricing rules and is expected to announce significant climate change policies this year. Such changes improve the economics of renewable energy projects, such as geothermal.

"It requires a long-term vision to develop," said Dunn. "How much do we want to invest in the future?"

source: Geothermal pitched as Alberta's next big energy source - Business - CBC News
 
petros
#2
It's not worth it.
 
B00Mer
Republican
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

It's not worth it.

NDP Gov't, green energy is better, no matter the cost.

Solyndra, cough.
 
petros
#4
It's simply unsustainable.

https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j...96952980,d.b2w
 
B00Mer
Republican
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

It's simply unsustainable.

https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j...96952980,d.b2w

Call Notley, I'm sure she will be glad to hear from you..
 
petros
+1
#6
Disappointed more like it.
 
mentalfloss
#7
Geothermal pitched as Alberta's next big energy source

Economist suggests the renewable electricity could be a boon for the province

Standard thinking for decades has been that geothermal technology is too expensive and inefficient to be a significant source of energy.

But a growing number of experts say the time may be right for geothermal to assume a higher profile, especially in oil-rich Alberta.

The economics of renewable energy projects are improving as governments begin to introduce carbon taxes and other fees on large carbon-emitting facilities, such as coal power plants.

Geothermal power plants turn hot water into electricity. Companies drill underground for water or steam similar to the process of drilling for oil. The heat is brought to the surface and used to spin turbines. The water is then returned underground.

"I think Alberta is perfectly situated to make the technology work," said Todd Hirsch, chief economist with ATB Financial. "All the geothermal energy experts say it is all wrong for Alberta. You have to go down so deep to get any heat. Well actually, we have experience drilling through four miles [6.4 km] worth of rock to get at other things that are valuable."

Hawaii shows world the way to a zero-carbon future: Bob McDonald
Oil industry pushing for carbon tax in Alberta
Hirsch describes geothermal as "a perfectly green, perfectly renewable source of electricity." He also suggests geothermal could be a boon for the province, where companies have had a knack for developing "marginal resources" such as the oilsands.

"I think geothermal energy might be one that Alberta wants to champion specifically because it doesn't work here," said Hirsch. "If we can make it work here in Alberta, then it is a cinch to sell the technology to the Chinese and the Germans and everyone elsewhere geothermal doesn't work."

Alberta lacking program

While no geothermal electricity is currently produced in Canada, companies are trying to build facilities. Some are proposed in B.C. and Saskatchewan.

Calgary-based Borealis GeoPower would like to have a project in its home province, but instead is pursuing opportunities in neighbouring B.C. The main reason is because B.C. has a geothermal program in place for companies to develop electricity, while Alberta does not.

"That's a massive hurdle," said Craig Dunn, head geologist with Borealis GeoPower. "With a lack of a geothermal policy for development in Alberta, it makes a number of developers, including ourselves, apprehensive about approaching that market."

A geothermal company wanting to secure the rights to a thermal deposit would have to compete with oil and gas companies for the subsurface permit, since there is no separate program for geothermal, says Dunn.

The Alberta government's Energy Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Borealis GeoPower has geothermal projects under development in Terrace and Kinbasket Lake, B.C.

"I joke it's a great way to make your kids rich. You are creating the infrastructure for a resource that has no fuel costs," said Dunn. "I'm developing something that could be around for generations."

What are the costs?

Geothermal power plants cost more money than natural gas facilities. For some perspective, consider the Neal Hot Springs plant in Oregon that was constructed in 2012 for $139 million for 22 megawatts of production.

The Shepard natural gas power plant in Calgary began operating this year with a total cost of $1.4 billion for 800 megawatts of electricity. In this comparison, the geothermal facility costs three times as much per megawatt of power.

Enbridge, a part-owner of the Neal Hot Springs plant, has said the plant saves about 159,000 tonnes per year of carbon dioxide emissions compared to a similar-sized natural gas facility, and about more than 340,000 tonnes per year compared to a coal power plant.

Coal facilities supply nearly 40 per cent of electricity in Alberta.

While the NDP government has yet to announce a specific policy, the party ran on a campaign platform in the recent election pledging to phase out coal.

Premier Rachel Notley has announced an increase to the province's carbon pricing rules and is expected to announce significant climate change policies this year. Such changes improve the economics of renewable energy projects, such as geothermal.

"It requires a long-term vision to develop," said Dunn. "How much do we want to invest in the future?"

http://www.cbc.ca/m/news/business/ge...urce-1.3132416
 
petros
#8
Yet another wet post.

BOOmer beat yeah and guess what? Geothermal isn't sustainable. 35 years then kaput.

Geology says NO!
 
B00Mer
Republican
#9
Do you even bother to check if there is another previous post on CC before you start you rampage of BS??

http://forums.canadiancontent.net/ne...-next-big.html

Somebody merg this please.
 
petros
#10
He got wet.
 
taxslave
Free Thinker
+2
#11  Top Rated Post
So fracking for hot water is OK but fracking for oil is bad?
 
petros
#12
And it has a 35 year life therefore unsustainable.
 
taxslave
Free Thinker
+1
#13
Longer than the attention span of most leftys.
 
B00Mer
Republican
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslave View Post

So fracking for hot water is OK but fracking for oil is bad?

I don't see a problem with geothermal..

My parents homes is heated and cooled by geothermal. It keeps the house a steady 22C.

1900 feet of buried pipe below the frostline.
 
petros
#15
Malarkey 100ft and it's sucks at -30C or colder.
 
B00Mer
Republican
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

Malarkey 100ft and it's sucks at -30C or colder.

It's works just fine, and they live in Ontario, not as cold as Alberta & Sask.. only twice it got cold enough that the compressor had to kick in with electric heat in 15 years, and for a very short time.

They have a backup wood burning fireplace.

I get it, any threat to the oil and gas people and you're all bent out of shape.

Geothermal is also big in Iceland.. and works swell up there.

A lot of farm homes in Ontario are going geothermal. All around my parents home, they started putting in geothermal ground source.
 
petros
#17
I'm against geothermal or know the reality of it?

Yes Iceland has geothermal a dD Iceland is in s unique position to do so.
 
B00Mer
Republican
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

I'm against geothermal or know the reality of it?

Well my parents have had great success with it, and their neighbors also had it installed and are very happy with it.

So, whatever experience you had with it, obviously is not that same as my parents and their neighbors.

Nevertheless, I wouldn't suggest it to somebody living in Western Canada anyhow.. winters are too damn cold. I suspect, what the NDP want to try here would have to be very deep into the ground to work over the winter months.
 
petros
#19
My problems with it aren't unique and are the same as they have in ON, it slow to build up. EVERYBODY who has it knows this.

ON doesn't have special pumps that heat or cool better or quicker.
 
B00Mer
Republican
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

ON doesn't have special pumps that heat or cool better or quicker.

No they have milder winters in southern Ontario than in western Canada. Maybe that point eluded you.

Also, I will reiterate, my parents and their neighbors have had great success with it, so I'm guessing your talking through your azz.

If the Government of Alberta has done a study on this, I'm also going to go with the "active" young and intelligent geologists that have experience with the newer systems, not some retired old fart, that's been out of the loop for 20 years.

 
petros
#21
Dipsh-t climate won't change the equipment.
 
B00Mer
Republican
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

Dipsh-t climate won't change the equipment.

Time and advancement in technology will.

Go back to your rocking chair and your boob tube, ol'timer. The nurse will be around shortly for your sponge bath.
 
petros
#23
And my geothermal AC.
 

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