The world might be making strides in its quest for renewable energy. No we are not talking about wind nor solar which are not logical for most areas of the world. Countries cannot rely upon intermittent energy. This is something that much of the EU is facing at the moment.
Remember how Germany kept setting all kinds of renewable energy records? This is something the media promoted like they were onto something. Isn't it interesting how things change?
One of the biggest dilemmas being faced is the fact that the world, but the EU in particular, depends heavily upon Russian oil and natural gas. Germany was so over the top about their move into renewables that they even shut down their nuclear plants. Turns out the energy they were getting from the newest sources was not near enough to power the country. Like much of the EU, Germany started to turn to coal.
Of course, Putin is well aware of this. He is the largest exporter of natural gas. While a bit might be made up by the US shipping over LNG, the simply fact is that would make up for 20% of the natural gas the EU is going to lose from Russia.
People are going to remember this when they are suffering without heat or power.
That said, there is a bright spot in all this. It appears we are seeing a true renewable solution on the horizon that could change the world, starting by the end of this decade.
Geo-Thermal Heating Up
We discussed the impact the quest for nuclear fusion could have upon the geo-thermal realm. This is one of those instances where the technological breakthrough that took place could enhance another form of energy.
Quaise Energy, a spin off from MIT, is seeking to drill down 12 miles into the Earth's core. This will allow it to access energy that is over 500 degrees F. Water pumped at this temperature would instantly be steam which can be efficiently transformed into electricity.
By 2028, the company aspires to retrofit coal-fueled power plants into geothermal energy hotspots, reports ScienceAlert. The process of drilling out these super-deep holes would take a few months, but once the setup is complete, they could provide limitless energy to a region for up to a century, according to Araque.
There is little to dispute about this set up. Here we have a company turning to gyrotrons that are used in the quest for nuclear fusion to help drill to depths never seen before. This allows the company to access much hotter temperatures, providing energy for about 100 years.
As promising as this sounds, there are still other developments taking place.
From Shipping To Geo-Thermal Energy
Most know the name Maersk. This is the largest shipping company in the world. It is hard to see any shots of commercial ships and not see this name plastered all over the place.
Now it is going to heat thousands of homes in Denmark.
Innargi, part of the firm's holding company, is going to set up the plant.
The Danish plant, which will be the EU's largest, is expected to be completed in 2029 and will provide up to 20% of Denmark's second-biggest city Aarhus' district heating demand, Innargi said in a statement.
This is going to use the older technique. We can see this in the levels the company is looking at reaching.
Water will be extracted two to three kilometres below the surface at a temperature of 60-90 degrees Celsius. At the surface, the water's heat is captured and transferred to the district heating network, it said.
That is a much lower level than what Quaise Energy is looking at attaining. Nevertheless, this could be a profitable venture since drilling, even in the traditional sense, has come a long way from the early 1990s when geo-thermal was the rage.
A World With Limitless Energy
We are starting to see the possibilities. When we look at something such as geo-thermal, we can literally see how the prospect of limitless energy is on the horizon. It might take a while to get there but these projects are going to pave the way to bigger developments.
Right now the price is costly compared to what it will be. Drilling technology is advancing. Even though Quaise is looking to change the landscape, we can surmise that it will be even more affordable 30 years from now. What gains can be made over that time?
This is the key to technology and how our path forward is changing greatly. What was talked about for decades is now becoming a reality in some ways. Geo-thermal always offered enormous potential. Yet, the cost was simply prohibitive. Now, we are seeing how it is at least efficient enough to make it viable.
The next phase will be to push things to the point where energy costs drop off a cliff.
Part of the reason we cover these types of stories is to help us remember that the world is changing rapidly. Technology is altering all of society. In 20 years, very little will be the same.
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