Posted by keelynet on December 27, 2009
A side effect of a most promising energy producing technology.
“The company in charge of a California project to extract vast amounts of renewable energy from deep, hot bedrock has removed its drill rig and informed federal officials that the government project will be abandoned.
The project by the company, AltaRock Energy, was the Obama administration’s first major test of geothermal energy as a significant alternative to fossil fuels and the project was being financed with federal Department of Energy money at a site about 100 miles north of San Francisco called the Geysers.
But on Friday, the Energy Department said that AltaRock had given notice this week that “it will not be continuing work at the Geysers” as part of the agency’s geothermal development program.
The project’s apparent collapse comes a day after Swiss government officials permanently shut down a similar project in Basel, because of the damaging earthquakes it produced in 2006 and 2007. Taken together, the two setbacks could change the direction of the Obama administration’s geothermal program, which had raised hopes that the earth’s bedrock could be quickly tapped as a clean and almost limitless energy source.” – Full Article Source
And this incredible post;
Swiss Geologist On Trial For Causing Earthquakes – “”BBC reports that Markus Haering’s company had been working with the authorities in Basel, Switzerland to try to convert the heat in deep-seated rocks into electricity, but the project was suspended in 2006 when drilling triggered earthquakes, one of them with a magnitude of 3.4, leading Haering’s company to pay out $9M in damages.
Haering’s team planned to drill a series of holes penetrating up to 3 miles (4.8 km) underground with water being pumped onto rocks with a temperature of more than 195C. Basel’s location on top of a fault line – the upper Rhine trench – had been deliberately chosen because the heat was closer to the Earth’s surface.
A risk assessment has since shown that the prospect of further quakes is too high to continue drilling in the city. Haering faces up to five years in prison if the judge finds he intentionally damaged property.
Haering has admitted the 3.4 magnitude earthquake was stronger than he had expected and that his team ‘had very little knowledge of seismicity’ before starting to drill, but called the quakes ‘a learning process for everyone involved.’ Despite Haering’s trial, the Swiss appetite for geothermal projects has not diminished.
Engineers are beginning preliminary drilling in Zurich to see whether that area was suitable for a similar scheme, and St. Gallen, in eastern Switzerland, plans to start work on its own geothermal project next year.
Drilling efforts are being closely watched in the US, where the energy department is sponsoring more than 120 geothermal energy projects in several states.” – Full Article Source
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