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What's new in geothermal energy news? Earth tremors in Switzerland after injecting water into bore holes to imitate naturally-occurring geothermal heating?

At least this did not occur in other countries like Germany and Australia who also have begun similar trials. With its commitment to switch off nuclear fission power in the nearer future, Germany will need to generate significant alternative energy.

Geothermal Energy News With Power Station Diagram - iStockPhoto

At least, that is, if they want to use more clean energy rather than burning coal which is one of its easiest options.

With the influence of emissions trading and carbon taxes Germany will be pressured, at least economically, to use as much renewable and low-carbon energy sources as possible.

As noted in the carbon footprint information open geothermal power generation has a relatively high equivalent carbon dioxide output in the alternative energy options - similar to solar panels, but at least less than biofuels.

This is for the geothermally active areas venting those geologically active gases into the atmosphere.  Much of these areas are situated around the Pacific's rim of fire and in geologically active areas such as around Iceland.

Even here there is a need to develop new fields as older ones either become exhausted or whose use needs to be greatly attenuated to prevent this happening.  The chart of the commissioning of new and reduction in older fields is germane in this overview from New Zealand.

Geothermal Energy News And Deep Drilling For Heat Energy - iStockPhoto

But injecting water into the ground through pipes to cause heating and subsequent utilisation of this for energy generation is a closed-loop system which has the lowest footprint of all the forms currently available.

As an option for Germany it would therefore tick a lot of boxes.

Effectively this is the same way geothermal home heating works.  This approach is being used more and more. Effectively available as a free source once the collecting system has been built, it has huge appeal for the long term.  

Building the collecting tube network, including the necessary trenches or bores if vertical, and the heat exchanger are the costly items.

The latest geothermal home news will be similarly important for future possible improvements on such free energy ulitisation.

As will general geothermal research to power generation for the community as well.

So far ideas of using low boiling point liquids to benefit from lower geothermal temperatures have already proved useful.

Other means of accessing these temperature changes in even more efficient ways will give us more renewable energy at least cheaply for the fuel.

Geothermal energy news will be worth tracking in the years ahead for increasingly interesting options. As long as it does not lead to earth tremors!


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