Sunrise above the tree tops of South Beach – gazing at what WILL BE the physics of Earth’s forever energy – partially from the sun with solar energy, but more DIRECTLY from the same nuclear energy that boils deep within our own Earth – Geothermal.
Exciting new technologies are brewing to tap the same kind of energy from the Sun trapped within our own planet. The Earth’s white hot core fuels not only volcanoes but also direct and indirect geothermal energy that is being explored and mastered right here in Oregon near Bend.
The indirect power approach is the most exciting because it can be tapped generally throughout the world without having to rely on near surface lakes, like we see at “Old Faithful” at Yellowstone, or the huge geothermal geysers in Northern California. Injection geothermal is where you shove water down a well two miles deep, where Earth-crust rock is very, very hot all around the world, then pump it back up to the surface where you get 600 degree water that flash steams, spins a turbine and generates electricity. Then you send the water back down for another helping of “hot.” Just about anywhere in the world, you drill down two miles and there’s a LOT of HOT ROCK!
Injection geothermal is not a new concept – it’s just never been explored thoroughly – but it IS today, 35 miles southeast of Bend and the idea has caught fire world-wide. Offshore wave energy, which is HUGELY EXPENSIVE as well as wind energy will begin to fade with the ascendance of injection and hybrid geothermal along with solar.
Besides, who wants to “uglify” the world with millions of square miles of solar panels when you can tap all the energy humanity could ever need from power plants you drive by and never know are there because they can be 100% underground. When you drive by one, all you see is flat ground screened by trees.
By the way, injection geothermal will be cheaper than coal. You heard it here first.