Saturday, January 28, 2012

Leave it better than you found it.

As an advocate for a clean sustainable energy future and the policy to achieve it, I like to say, "there is unlimited energy within 10 miles of everywhere on earth ... straight down." In my mind, the logical, core component of such a policy is the development deep geothermal energy -- and the sooner, the better.

Borehole drilling for a typical geo plant is about 10 to 20 percent more expensive than for equivalent oil or gas wells, but external support costs for the energy plant after completion is infinitely less expensive (literally!) ... there is no mining, drilling, farming, refining, storage or transport of coal, oil, gas, biofuel, or nuclear material to burn simply to boil water.

As you know, deep geo plants produce no CO2 or GHGs -- none. These pollutants, other environmental impacts and waste disposal issues associated with combustible fuels and nuclear products are eliminated with deep geo. The real footprint of a geo plant with equivalent output can be smaller than hydrocarbon-burning or nuclear plants that use identical steam turbine technology to generate electricity.

A strategic energy policy that encourages regional geo plants located on public land -- such as airports, military bases and appropriately located interstate rights of way -- combined with local solar and wind and staged reduction of subsidies for petroleum and biofuels would provide a secure, environmentally neutral, and economically beneficial energy future for the US -- and the earth.

Please read and for background and references.

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