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Renewables - Nov 27

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Low Temperature Geothermal Power

Big Gav, Our Clean Energy Future
... Low temperature geothermal power is a relatively new (and very low profile) form of extracting energy from geothermal sources that provides yet another option for meeting our energy needs cleanly and sustainably.

Low Temperature Geothermal Power

When geothermal power is mentioned, people usually think of traditional high temperature geothermal power stations using water from volcanic areas, such as those found in Iceland, New Zealand, the US and elsewhere around the ring of fire.

More recently, interest in enhanced / engineered geothermal systems (EGS) - also known as hot dry rock (HDR) or hot fractured rock (HFR) geothermal power - has been high, with a number of experimental projects underway in Australia and Europe.

Low temperature geothermal power is also starting to attract significant interest, as lower temperature water resources are common in many countries (for example, waste hot water produced by oil and gas wells - in Texas alone, more than 12 billon barrels are produced, with oil companies usually re-injecting the waste water into the earth) and new technologies are beginning to appear that allow these resources to be developed commercially.

... Conclusion

Low temperature geothermal power has the advantage of being clean, continuously available energy that can be generated in a wide variety of locations.

Plants will likely to continue to be relatively small-scale, making it a classic distributed energy generation alternative (like biogas and solar PV), with growth probably remaining low profile for some time.

In the long run, I expect we'll see a useful and significant amount of our energy needs being produced using this technology.
(25 November 2008)

Villaraigosa unveils solar plan for Los Angeles

David Zahniser and Phil Willon, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa unveiled an ambitious long-range plan Monday for securing enough solar power to meet one-tenth of the city's energy needs by 2020, a move aimed at making L.A. a hub of the solar-energy industry.

Appearing at a South Los Angeles manufacturing plant where solar panels are made, Villaraigosa said the initiative will help the Department of Water and Power wean itself off of fossil fuels -- natural gas and coal -- as part of the effort to address global warming.

The plan calls for enough solar panels to produce 1,280 megawatts of power, a goal that would be reached through a combination of private and public generating facilities and the installation of solar panels on homes.
(25 November 2008)

Vatican set to go green with huge solar panel roof

Philip Pullella, Reuters
The Vatican was set to go green on Wednesday with the activation of a new solar energy system to power several key buildings and a commitment to use renewable energy for 20 percent of its needs by 2020.

The massive roof of the Vatican's "Nervi Hall," where popes hold general audiences and concerts are performed, has been covered with 2,400 photovoltaic panels -- but they will not be visible from below, leaving the Vatican skyline unchanged.
(25 November 2008)

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