Geothermal Project in California Is Shut Down

NY Times:

Geothermal Project in California Is Shut Down

The company in charge of a California project to extract vast amounts of renewable energy from deep, hot bedrock has removed its drill rig and informed federal officials that the government project will be abandoned.

The project by the company, AltaRock Energy, was the Obama administration’s first major test of geothermal energy as a significant alternative to fossil fuels and the project was being financed with federal Department of Energy money at a site about 100 miles north of San Francisco called the Geysers.
But on Friday, the Energy Department said that AltaRock had given notice this week that “it will not be continuing work at the Geysers” as part of the agency’s geothermal development program.

The project’s apparent collapse comes a day after Swiss government officials permanently shut down a similar project in Basel, because of the damaging earthquakes it produced in 2006 and 2007. Taken together, the two setbacks could change the direction of the Obama administration’s geothermal program, which had raised hopes that the earth’s bedrock could be quickly tapped as a clean and almost limitless energy source.

Well, it’s stupid and smart at the same time. They figured out that it’s not a good idea to drill into areas that are naturally prone to earthquakes, ie. near fault lines, that’s not a problem. Drilling elsewhere, inland in a more stable part of the country is not an option why?

Drastically lower rate of return. More stable areas dont’ have near surface magma to produce the kind of heat present at the pilot site. Thus, you need to build MUCH more bore holes and piping and use more pumping energy to do the heat exchange.

Even if the earth is a million degrees under its crust like Al Gore claims?

I say they should plow on. Plenty of beautiful ocean front property available in Nevada should it not pan out. It’s not as if California were working out economically anyways – lots of upside on this project if you think of it.

Boston MA

Of course…California is broke.

These have been out there for quite some time, and as you take note, they are not accepted into use mainstream for some reason…perhaps someone doesn’t want any competition in the energy creation department, which is why other forms often get scrapped as well, with the exception of wind and solar power, of which, is not competing in this venue due to the overall costs of them being not practical to use, thus no threat at all to the current powers that be in this area.

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