Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS)

Uploaded by Googleorg on 18.08.2008

>>The planet is heating up and energy prices are rising.
The need for cheaper, renewable energy on a vast scale is greater than ever.
Dr. Chu: It's a crisis. It's not too late. I have extreme confidence in the ingenuity
of people if they recognize what needs to be done.
There's no single answer. There are many, many answers.
>>One answer with the potential to be both utility scale and cheaper than coal lies deep
in the Australian Outback. The world's first commercial Enhanced Geothermal
System is underway. Geothermal energy has been used for over 100
years to create electricity from hot water and steam coming from deep inside the earth.
Geothermal has primarily been developed in regions along continental plate boundaries
such as California, Indonesia, and Iceland. Now Enhanced Geothermal Systems technology,
or EGS, could extend the potential of geothermal energy to almost anywhere on Earth.
Here's how EGS works. A well is drilled several kilometers into
the Earth's hot crust. Water is injected to fracture the rock, creating
thousands of small pathways for water to flow and be heated.
The hot water and steam are piped to the surface to power a turbine, generating electricity.
The water is then recycled back into the hot rock in a continuous loop.
Dr. Chu: The reason Enhanced Geothermal is exciting is because it's a reliable form of
Dr. Tester: It's providing baseload continuous power with high availability.
It's essentially emissions free and therefore carbon neutral.
And it has this distributed indigenous nature so that it's not just in the southwestern
parts of the US. It is extendable and scaleable on a national
Dr. Chu: The Earth is going to be hot. You can bank on it.
Dr. Tester: In the US on an annual basis, we use about 100 exajoules of energy.
All primary energy for all of the homes we need, the buildings we supply electricity
to, all our transportation needs and if we added up the geothermal resource for the whole
country, we come up with a number which is about 14 million exajoules.
Dr. Chu: You can consider the energy source to effectively be an unlimited supply.
Dr. Tester: We have to improve the amount of fluid that we can pump through this reservoir
to get much more access to that stored thermal energy.
So increasing productivity and decreasing drilling costs simultaneously makes the overall
enterprise much more attractive.
>>EGS could provide renewable power 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and on a large scale
around the world.
Dr. Tester: Once you get large and do this large on a national basis, then the costs
will come down naturally.
>>Dig deeper at www.google.org/egs.