RE: Geothermal energy

From: pbrunt (
Date: Thu May 30 2002 - 01:37:28 EDT

  • Next message: Jonathan Clarke: "Re: Geothermal energy"

    I thought it worth responding to Glenn's and David's posts on the above this
    exact point has happened in New Zealand where we used to have more than 200
    geysers at Wairakei, Rotorua and a few other smaller geothermal fields and
    now have less than seven. The ground at Wairakei is sinking at the rate of
    1mm each year and so many thousands of tonnes of steam are removed that a
    neighbouring valley can no longer be called Wairakei Geyser Valley because
    there are no geysers. it is a joke to call it a Thermal Valley.

    At Ngawha in the far North of my country the thermal activity is
    dramatically reducing as steam is removed for power generation using and
    ORMAT Sytem. This closed system using isopentane is reducing the viability
    of the springs and pools at Ngawha and costing people their livelihood.

    NZ has sacrificed short-term energy gains for its long term natural wonders.
    Other countries are following.

    Even so, geothermal systems are used to generate electricity in Italy, NZ,
    USA, Eastern Russia, Indonesia, Philippines and some S. American countries.
    Invariably geothermal geologists report a stabilising of the groung and
    activity by the removal of energy as steam. So now people can live and work
    in previously dangerous areas.

    Peter Brunt

    As Glenn noted, geothermal energy is only potentially available in
    relatively few areas. Iceland may be able to get much of its energy
    needs from it, but not most other countries. Geothermal development
    risks disrupting hot springs and geysers, thus disrupting tourist
    revenue and unusual biological systems.

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