Western Australia Rekindles Geothermal Energy Exploration


Western Australia (WA) enables businesses to explore potential geothermal hotspots as the state rejuvenates Australia’s dormant geothermal energy ambitions.

With the release of the new acreage, applicants will be able to bid on a total of 21 land exploration zones across the state, covering a total area of ​​approximately 82,000 square kilometers, slightly smaller than the island of Ireland.

The close proximity of some of these could take advantage of the high temperatures found deep in the earth’s surface to power the WA capital, Perth.

Western Australia’s mining agent and oil minister, Rita Saffioti, explained that renewable energy sources could also help power remote control without emitting emissions.

“Geothermal energy is clean and renewable, so it can play an important role in ensuring WA’s domestic energy supply and reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” says Saffioti. Said..

Epoch Times Photo
2022 geothermal area release in Perth. (Western Australia)

“Geothermal energy produced from these regions can power the center of the region, ports, infrastructure, as well as the operation of mining and industry.

Traditional steam turbines used in geothermal power plants around the world are typically located near volcanoes above 350 degrees Celsius or other hot areas. In Australia, these temperatures are deeper than 5,000 km (3106 miles), at which point drilling becomes uneconomical.

Alternatively, you can use special turbines that can take advantage of temperatures as low as 90 degrees Celsius, but they are less than half as efficient as converting heat to electricity.

However, decades of analysis have shown that it is very likely that geothermal energy will be used throughout Australia, but there is currently no commercial production of geothermal energy in Australia.

Peter Newman, a professor of sustainability at Curtin University, who is now the lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) transport and became a member of the Australian Infrastructure in 2008, said that geothermal is Australia. He told the Epoch Times that it had been a viable option for many years.

“I was a board member of Australia’s infrastructure for four years. I did a large survey of all energy sources across Australia. I wasn’t impressed by the magnitude of geothermal potential, along with wave power. I couldn’t stay in. Wind power, solar power, “said Newman.

Epoch Times Photo
On September 1, 2020, sheep were grazed in front of a wind turbine on Lake George on the outskirts of Canberra, Australia. (Photo courtesy of David Gray / Getty Images)

According to Geoscience Australia, many factors contributed to the lack of technology adoption in Australia, including the surge in costs for geothermal projects in other parts of the world.

Concerns continued after the operation of the Swiss geothermal project, resulting in a magnitude 3.4 man-made earthquake.

However, Newman pointed out that one of the main factors that caused geothermal heat to flow under the floor covering was the emergence of other, more proven renewable technologies.

“The reality is that solar power has won,” Newman said.

“It’s a very special time for us to compete between solar and everything else, not between renewables and fossil fuels.”

As technology evolves, and reports, solar power continues to fall in price (pdfAccording to the US Energy Information Administration, this is the cheapest form of electricity in the long run.

Solar adoption is accelerating in Australia as well, currently covering more than one in four homes and non-homes.

Daniel Kumerev

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Daniel Khmelev is a Perth-based Australian reporter working on energy, technology and politics. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, physics and computer science. Contact him at [email protected]