Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Energy Under Your Feet

IMHO, a LOT MORE attention should be paid to geothermal energy. Recently, SciAm discussed the release of a new study by M.I.T. on the subject:

"...Tapping this geothermal resource is the subject of a new study prepared for the U.S. Department of Energy by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.). The researchers estimate that more than 13 million exajoules (EJ), or 1.23 x 1022 British thermal units, lurk deep beneath U.S. soil and 200,000 EJ--or '2,000 times the annual consumption of primary energy in the United States in 2005'--is recoverable, without taking into account cost..."


Even though the initial capital investment for geothermal can be more significant than other forms of electrical generation, factor in the costs of relocating the cities that will someday be below sea level or the costs of another disaster like Chernobyl. According to the latest Newsweek, China and India are planning on building 650 [sic] coal power plants, which will increase CO2 emissions 5X the proposed Kyoto decrease and heaven only knows what it will do to the mercury levels in our oceans and lakes. Tuna will probably become a key component in thermometers.


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