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View Diary: Utilities on Solar & Distributed Power "€œIt's a potential threat to us over the long term" (307 comments)

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  •  Earthquakes (0+ / 0-)

    Forced fluid injection at some faults can cause earthquakes. Too bad, since those are some of the best places to reach geothermal sources. But they're far from the only places. We're routinely drilling many miles into the crust far from faults. There's plenty of geothermal far from faults.

    And indeed more research might find that removing lubricating oil/gas and even slippery coal from faults risks earthquakes that are mitigated by replacing the mined fuel with geothermal working fluid.

    "Batteries" (energy storage) are the most urgent energy research right now. But they're not generation - they're storage. Yes, better batteries will let us use the energy we already receive but at inconvenient times. But geothermal and other baseload generation (like wave/tide/current) is necessary. Any storage will have inefficiencies (starting with the energy invested in building, maintaining and recycling the storage system), while geothermal generation is on-demand retrieval from storage in the ground.

    Also consider that geothermal plants are mostly the same infrastructure as coal and nuke plants, differing only in the component that generates heat (and which requires no supply or storage of fuel or waste). We can directly replace most coal and nuke plants on site with geothermal generation. Existing plants can even use their off-peak capacities while in legacy operation to drill and build geothermal. So probably under 2 years construction, with possibly only weeks or months dowtime to switch. This is ideal. And any nuke plant on a fault should just be shut down anyway, without building geothermal there.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 09:37:58 AM PDT

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