Not all geographical locations have sufficient solar radiation or wind energy to support the large scale development of these intermittent renewable energies. Another type of renewable energy is possible however in many locations. Geothermal Energy uses the Earth’s heat to produce persistent electrical energy. It is renewable in the sense that the Earth produces it with internal thermal processes not associated with Man and it is naturally replenished – but it is up to us to access it efficiently and as cleanly as possible.
A major benefit is the consistency of geothermal energy – unlike Solar radiation and Wind which can be variable and intermittent requiring significant Energy Storage Systems to ensure lack of curtailment. Geothermal energy is able to be used for heating and/or be transformed into electricity.
Medium to high temperature resources are generally required for economic electricity production, but there are good geographical locations for these resources. Modern power generation technologies are allowing lower temperature resources to be utilised. The amount of heat within 10,000m of the surface has been estimated to contain ~50,000 times more energy than all oil and gas resources in the world.
The technology to access this energy is fairly conventional and well proven.
The first geothermal electricity production was in Italy in 1904 (five lightbulbs worth). Today geothermal plants of hundreds of MW exist very successfully. For locations with less persistent Solar radiation (e.g., clouds) and low Mean Wind Speeds (e.g., Tropical Equatorial regions), the use of Geothermal Energy offers another path to clean energy from naturally occurring resources beneath the ground.
Geoscience technologies and tools familiar to the Upstream oil & gas industry can be used and many countries have this local expertise. Drilling technologies and tools are also similar to the Upstream oil & gas industry. Facilities for the power generation (i.e. wells, pipelines, separators, turbines, and generators) are similar to onshore oil & gas and petrochemical industries. The supply chain for these items and services are well established.
A useful comparison is to understand the similarities and differences between Geothermal Energy Resources and conventional Oil & Gas Resources:
Stellae Energy is working with several solutions for persistent, renewable Geothermal Energy
There are several types of Geothermal reservoirs:
Different locations have Geothermal potential:
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For those of you who are already working with us on these exciting opportunities, thank you so much for your continuous support.