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[en] After very high growth in the 1980s, geothermal electricity production has slowed in the mid- and late-1990s. While Japanese, Indonesian and Philippine geothermal growth has remained high as a consequence of supportive government policies, geothermal electricity production has been flat or reduced in much of Europe and North America. Low prices for coal and natural gas, combined with deregulation, means that in much of the world electricity from new fuel-burning electricity plants can be provided at half the cost of new geothermal electricity. Cost-cutting must be pursued, but is unlikely to close the price gap by itself. Geothermal production is widely perceived as being environmentally clean, but this is not unambiguously true, and requires reinjection to be fully realized. Strategies for monetizing the environmental advantages of geothermal, including the carbon tax, are discussed. (author)
[en] This paper describes a comparative study of the thermal behaviour of drilling fluids and the surrounding rock when air-water mixtures and conventional muds are used as drilling fluids in geothermal wells. The computations were performed with two numerical simulators: TEMLOPI/V.2, which is used to compute the transient temperature disturbance when mud is employed, and GEOMIST, which is used when air-water mixtures are employed as drilling fluid. Data from a well from the Las Tres Virgenes Mexican geothermal field are used in this analysis. The results of simulation include temperatures computed during circulation and shut-in, and the latter results are compared with temperatures logged during drilling stoppages. It was found that the thermal disturbance caused by circulation of an air-water mixture has a smaller thermal effect than the thermal disturbance caused by drilling muds
[en] In the mid-1990s, several pilot plants were constructed at Wairakei to either improve the operational and economic performance of the power station or to mitigate the environmental effects of discharges to the Waikato River. The results of the following investigations are discussed: (1) fluid flow dynamic effects on silica scaling; (2) production of silica sols of predetermined particle size to evaluate the potential for generating commercial grade silica products; (3) use of 'sulfur oxidising bacteria' for the abatement of dissolved hydrogen sulphide in cooling water; (4) removal of arsenic from separated geothermal water; (5) steam line condensate corrosion; and (6) measurement and modelling of steam scrubbing in Wairakei's long steamlines. (author)
[en] Development and diffusion of new renewable energy technologies play a central role in mitigating climate change. In this context, small-scale deep geothermal power has seen growing interest in recent years as an environmentally friendly, non-intermittent energy source with large technical potential. Following the first successful demonstration projects, the German geothermal industry is currently experiencing an internationally unparalleled growth. In this study we explore the factors driving this development, and the role geothermal power production could play in the future of the German electricity market. For this, we apply the scenario technique, based on literature analysis and interviews with companies operating actively in the field. Our findings highlight the importance of political support and framework conditions in the electricity market, with the best prospects in a decentralised energy system based on renewable energy sources, where high investment costs and the risk of discovery failure are balanced by the benefits of low-carbon base load power. (author)
[en] Highlights: ► Applying exergy, economic, environment and sustainability analyses to the GDHSs. ► Assessing energy and exergy efficiencies, economic and environmental impacts. ► Calculating the energy and exergy efficiencies of 34.86% and 48.78%, respectively. ► Proposing GDHSs as the most economic heating system. ► Providing a significant contribution towards reducing the emissions of air pollution. - Abstract: This study deals with an energetic and exergetic analysis as well as economic and environmental evaluations of Afyon geothermal district heating system (AGDHS) in Afyon, Turkey. In the analysis, actual system data are used to assess the district heating system performance, energy and exergy efficiencies, specific exergy index, exergetic improvement potential and exergy losses. And, for economic and environmental evaluations, actual data are obtained from the Technical Departments. The energy and exergy flow diagrams are clearly drawn to illustrate how much destructions/losses take place in addition to the inputs and outputs. For system performance analysis and improvement, both energy and exergy efficiencies of the overall AGDHS are determined to be 34.86% and 48.78%, respectively. The efficiency improvements in heat and power systems can help achieving energy security in an environmentally acceptable way by reducing the emissions that might otherwise occur. Present application has shown that in Turkey, geothermal energy is much cheaper than the other energy sources, like fossil fuels, and makes a significant contribution towards reducing the emissions of air pollution.
[en] Sustainable development by definition meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The Earth's enormous geothermal resources have the potential to contribute significantly to sustainable energy use worldwide as well as to help mitigate climate change. Experience from the use of numerous geothermal systems worldwide lasting several decades demonstrates that by maintaining production below a certain limit the systems reach a balance between net energy discharge and recharge that may be maintained for a long time (100-300 years). Modelling studies indicate that the effect of heavy utilization is often reversible on a time-scale comparable to the period of utilization. Thus, geothermal resources can be used in a sustainable manner either through (1) constant production below the sustainable limit, (2) step-wise increase in production, (3) intermittent excessive production with breaks, and (4) reduced production after a shorter period of heavy production. The long production histories that are available for low-temperature as well as high-temperature geothermal systems distributed throughout the world, provide the most valuable data available for studying sustainable management of geothermal resources, and reservoir modelling is the most powerful tool available for this purpose. The paper presents sustainability modelling studies for the Hamar and Nesjavellir geothermal systems in Iceland, the Beijing Urban system in China and the Olkaria system in Kenya as examples. Several relevant research issues have also been identified, such as the relevance of system boundary conditions during long-term utilization, how far reaching interference from utilization is, how effectively geothermal systems recover after heavy utilization and the reliability of long-term (more than 100 years) model predictions. (author)
[en] The paper offers a brief overview of the current direct geothermal uses in Greece and discusses their characteristics, with emphasis to the economical and technical problems encountered. Greece holds a prominent place in Europe regarding the existence of promising geothermal resources (both high and low-enthalpy), which can be economically exploited. Currently, no geothermal electricity is produced in Greece. The installed capacity of direct uses at the end of 2009 is estimated at about 155 MWt, exhibiting an increase of more than 100% compared to the figures reported at the World Geothermal Congress 2005. The main uses, in decreasing share, are geothermal heat pumps, swimming and balneology, greenhouse heating and soil warming. Earth-coupled and groundwater (or seawater) heat pumps have shown a drastic expansion during the past 2-3 years, mainly due to high oil prices two years ago and easing of the license requirements for drilling shallow wells. (author)
[en] Highlights: ► The ground can be used as a storage tank to store hot or cooled water in Jordan. ► The stored energy in rocks was utilized to provide heating cooling, and hot water for homes. ► The underground geothermal horizontal loop in rocks was technically approved. ► It can extract up to six times the heat energy that used in electrical energy. ► Its low capital cost and zero environmental emissions. - Abstract: Earth Energy Systems (EESs) utilize the thermal energy that is stored in rocks and ground water under the earth’s surface to provide homes, commercial buildings, and industrial facilities with heating, cooling, and hot water. Solar energy is absorbed by the earth’s surface which stores up to 50% of the sun’s energy that radiates on it. Consequently, the earth and groundwater’s temperature is relatively constant compared to that of the surface air. The earth’s temperature is generally warmer than the surface temperature during the colder months of the year, while it is generally cooler than the surface temperature during the hot months of the year. In this study, energy was extracted from the underground rocks at Mutah University in Jordan by using the geothermal horizontal closed loop system. Two-meter holes were drilled into the earth’s surface; copper pipes were inserted for liquid to pass through them into the heat exchange system. Then, the liquid was circulated back into the ground. Several temperature differences were measured and reported in the cold and hot months. The experimental results showed that thermal energy stored in rocks can be used to provide homes with heating, cooling, and hot water with low capital cost and zero environmental emissions.
[en] Market penetration of renewable energy sources, such as geothermal energy, could be promoted even by small cost reductions, achieved through improved development design. This paper deals with optimization of the exploitation system of a low enthalpy geothermal aquifer, by means of the method of genetic algorithms, which has been successfully used in similar problems of groundwater resources management. With respect to water flow, the aquifer consists of two zones of different transmissivities, while from the thermal point of view it may bear any number of zones with different temperatures. The optimization process comprises the annual pumping cost of the required flow and the amortization cost of the pipe network, which carries the hot water from the wells to a central water tank, situated at the border of the geothermal field. Results show that application of the proposed methodology allows better planning of low enthalpy geothermal heating systems, which may be crucial in cases of marginal financial viability. (author)
[en] This 2001 edition of the guide to UK renewable energy companies examines the geothermal heat pump sector, and discusses the technology involved, installations of geothermal heat pumps, the activity in the UK market with increased interest in UK geothermal heat pump products from abroad, and developments in the building sector. The UK government's increased support for the industry including its sponsorship of the Affordable Warmth programme, and the future potential of ground source systems are discussed