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  •  Dont get me wrong (3.50)
    Im not saying it wont work.  Like all things it has certain practicalites that have to be considered.

    I think these things are far more attractive than these "wave generator" schemes.  Ever put anything in salt water for 5 years ?  I wouldnt want to be the engineer on that one.

    Geothermal is vastly over looked.  Some hundreds of miles below are vast seas of molten rock waiting to be tapped for heat.  The problem is that in order to reach it you need a really deep hole.  But wait- who drills really deep holes... hmmmmm.... the oil industry ?  Perhaps geothermal could be a win win for us all.  The oilers get their holes, we get clean unlimited energy.  Hopefully we DONT get a volcano :)

    Dont be shy about rating this post.  I know Im an asshole but I really am trying hard here.

    If Nixon was on dKos he would say "I am not a troll." I AM NOT TROLL !!!

    by Stink Tank on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 05:15:57 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  you're making fair points (none)
      geothermal works, but only in a limited number of locations which have pretty much all been put in production, so I doubt that the potential is so big. Drilling for superhot steam is a lot harder than for oil, sadly...

      European Tribune - bringing dKos to Europe
      in the long run, we're all dead (Keynes)

      by Jerome a Paris on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 05:24:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  asdf (none)
        I think what he was referring to is water-injected geothermal, where you just drill a hole and fill a hot rock structure with water to produce your own steam, rather than hoping it'll be there already. It's being pursued in Australia, see below.

        I have a delay pedal and I'm not afraid to use it.

        by droneboy on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 05:28:04 PM PDT

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      •  Seeing as how you are in France (none)
        Im sure you are quite familiar with nuclear power as well...

        Now I can hear it coming AAAAAAAGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH !!!

        But wait-  Most of the operating nuclear reactors in the world are primitive in design.  These new pebble bed reactors show a lot of promise.  Now, I know there was a really negative post about a pebble bed reactor in germany.  I would point out that it was an EXPERIMENTAL reactor.  I would also point out that chernobyl was the result of an EXPERIMENT as well (fuckin dumbasses...If you keep tripping safety interlocks and overriding them thats the reactor trying to TELL you something).  Modern control systems are vastly improved over what was available in 70's.  Not to mention the communication systems (which was a big factor in Three Mile Island).

        The drawback to nuclear is that most of the fuel is in the Ukraine.  I guess we'll have to invade them too...  Oh wait- their president is a CIA backed US stooge so maybe he'll deal.

        As far as the waste disposal, we could drop it down a really deep hole.  See ?  Another application for really deep holes.  So if we could  just drill really, really deep holes (like 20 to 100 miles) we could solve the geothermal and the nuclear problem at the same time.

        If Nixon was on dKos he would say "I am not a troll." I AM NOT TROLL !!!

        by Stink Tank on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 05:55:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The biggest drawback to nuclear (none)
          Is the vast amount of carbon burned in the process between the ore in the ground and something that is loaded and ready for use in a reactor.

          While the reactor itself is relatively low-output on the global warming side, the crap that's spewed in the mining, transport, and enrichment processes outstrip that drastically.

          And that's only the tip of the iceberg for nuclear drawbacks. There are estimated to be about 100 years worth of fuel-grade ores in the ground right now.  If we build the number of plants necessary (thousands) to significantly offset oil, we would reduce that to 15 to 20 years worth of ore - not long enough to even buy us time to find another solution.

          We need to conserve [I know, that's an evil word for Americans, but it's crucial] NOW, and we need to begin implementing multiple alternative energy production methods - in both point-source (aka wind farms, solar power plants, ...) and dispersed locations (people's houses, farms, etc.). Because even if the alternative technologies are more expensive than oil-fired solutions today, they won't be soon.  The break-even poiint is approaching for alternative energy, across the board.

          Beware the everyday brutality of the averted gaze.

          by mataliandy on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 08:13:12 PM PDT

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          •  Hundreds of years of uranium (none)
            With all due respect, I must point out that you repeat several misconceptions.

            We have hundreds of years of uranium worldwide.  It is a common element in the earth's crust and the ocean.  If we reprocessed spent fuel as other countries do, we would have a virtually unlimited supply.  We have vast reserves in the US without even looking further.  But if the price of uranium keeps going up, prospectors will start looking for more ore veins.  That has already begun in other countries where people have realized that if they are to have an energy future it will have to be predominantly nuclear.  If all the uranium were exhausted, say in 300 years, and we still had not made fusion workable, we could start using thorium in reactors.  It's also a common element in the crust.

            Nuclear energy has spared the world a huge amount of carbon.  in 1997, the approximately 430 nuclear reactors worldwide reduced carbon dioxide emissions by about 500 million metric tons.

            In the United States, nuclear plants helped reduce total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 168 million metric tons of carbon equivalent in 1999. Without nuclear energy, U.S. electric utility emissions of carbon equivalents would have been approximately 30 percent higher.

            The mining and processing of uranium could not possibly emit more carbon than the mining, processing, transport, and burning of coal.

            A single pellet of uranium fuel weighing seven grams is equal in terms of energy provided to 3,548 barrels of oil,
            21,200 cubic feet of
            natural gas,
            or 1,960 pounds of coal.

            A 1000 megawatt nuclear fueled reactor to produce 7.4 billion kwhrs equivalent would require: 3.4 million tons of coal, 12 million barrels of oil or 77 billion feet of natural gas.

            All the spent nuclear fuel in the US from the beginning of the nuclear era until right now could fit in a single football field if it were piled ten feet high.  All the spent nuclear fuel in the country has been successfully shielded and isolated for over forty years.  During that time it has been transported around the country without mishap.

            The several signers of the Kyoto Treaty could not meet their goals to reduce greenhouse gases without nuclear power.

            A number of prominent environmentalists have become supporters of nuclear power because of their concerns about global warming.

    •  Re: geothermal (none)
      wrt geothermal, you might find http://www.geodynamics.com.au interesting as they're seriously pursuing deep-drill geothermal. Hopefully australia will develop a geothermal industry where it missed out on wind and wave.

      No volcano danger i'm pleased to say, these holes go into granite a few miles down but the molten core is many many miles further.

      I have a delay pedal and I'm not afraid to use it.

      by droneboy on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 05:26:32 PM PDT

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      •  Drilling granite (none)
        Boy-howdy, I'll bet it's a whole lot tougher to drill through that there metamorphic rock than it is to push a bit through the sedimentary stuff.

        In Your Face From Outer Space

        by mike101 on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 07:03:30 PM PDT

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        •  Drilling granite (none)
          I'll bet. Presumably that's why it hasn't been done years ago. Still, they've got a successful test well and steam cycle running so it's proven do-able.

          I have a delay pedal and I'm not afraid to use it.

          by droneboy on Mon Jul 11, 2005 at 04:01:33 PM PDT

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