Imagine if the fastest, most efficient way to meet the nation's need for clean energy was to tap into its most treasured natural resource: Yellowstone National Park.
Self-proclaimed problem-solver Steve M. Green claims that the geothermal energy of the Yellowstone caldera could generate enough steam-powered electricity to power man's needs across the globe.
One hundred years ago, one of the most famous attractions in Yellowstone was a small spring called Handkerchief Pool. Visitors threw dirty handkerchiefs into the water. The cloths were sucked into the depths, only to emerge a few minutes later, considerably cleaner. Other objects were also thrown into the hot spring, including coins, broken bottles, rocks, hair pins, and a small horseshoe.
The plumbing system of Handkerchief Pool was damaged and eventually the spring became dormant. Today this hot spring has nearly been forgotten.
Could make one's hanky need a good cleaning.
How much power can be extracted from Yellowstone with even today's primitive technology can only be guessed until Steve and his plumbers go to work but it ain't gonna happen. Steve won't even get to see Handkerchief Pool put to use.
Besides all other considerations you would need one hell of an extension cord to power up the rest of the world. Maybe Sarah Palin can see Russia from her house but how is she going to zap some bolts over there? With a bolt box maybe?
Others can't wait and even kinda like Yogi Bear and all his friends in one of the great places on earth. Yellowstone ain't no Craters of the Moon but not bad, not bad at all.
One of those doing for itself without waiting on Yellowstone to be eviscerated is Germany.
Last year the first German geothermal plant for commercial use went online and it now produces enough power for 6 thousand homes.
...The plant is capable of producing 3 megawatts, enough power for 6,000 and heating for 300 households. This kind of scale means the technology becomes very promising.
Umm, well, yeah. Ain't nothing like the giant Geysers field but then nothing is today.
The Germans are real happy with deep geothermal wells needing advanced technology for low temperature waters. Have big plans for the future. Not as big as Steve's plans but beats the hell out of Al Gore dreaming of hotspots somewhere away from Tennessee.
BTW the French are doing EGS (Enhanced Geothermal Systems). The Germans aren't near as I can make out, despite reports to the contrary. Stolid Germans just don't seem to have the same fanciful dreams as French people.
Where is geothermal energy available?
Everywhere on planet earth.
Rest easy, Yogi Bear. We don't need ya.