Australia provides 5 new drilling grants of each US$6.4m among them Greenearth and Hot Rock
Australia announces grants in a total of AU$35 million (US$32m) for five new geothermal drilling projects needed to prove that the concept of tapping heat energy from rocks and water deep beneath the earth's surface is viable. Each grant is US$ 6.4 million.
Reported from Australia, “Federal Government is increasing efforts to solve Australia’s greenhouse problems by funding exploration of the nation’s reserves of geothermal energy.
Resources Minister Martin Ferguson will today announce AU$35 million (US$32m) for five new geothermal drilling projects needed to prove that the concept of tapping heat energy from rocks and water deep beneath the earth’s surface is viable. The heat is then used to create steam to drive turbines to generate electricity.
Mr Ferguson said he believed geothermal power represented a ”huge resource” provided Australia could achieve the technological breakthrough needed to access the energy source cheaply and reliably.
”Australia’s geothermal resource is world-class and, if we can make technology breakthroughs and drive down costs, geothermal energy could play a significant role in providing clean, reliable and affordable baseload energy for centuries,” he said.
Mr Ferguson said Geoscience Australia, the national agency for geoscience research, estimates that 1 per cent of Australia’s geothermal energy could supply the nation’s annual requirements for 26,000 years.
The $35 million (Us$32m) will support five projects with AU$7 million (US$ 6.4m) each, which will mainly be used to cover the cost of drilling holes of up to four kilometres deep to extract water heated to 150 degrees.
Two of the projects will be in Victoria: the Greenearth project near Geelong, which it is hoped could provide enough power for more than 120,000 Victorian homes; and the Hot Rock project at Koroit in the Otway Basin.
Other projects funded under the scheme include a project near Bulga in the Hunter Valley in NSW and projects in Western Australia and South Australia.
Mr Ferguson said the Government’s geothermal drilling program, worth AU$50 million (US$46m) in total, would support almost AU$180 million (US$164m) of investment.
He said in total the Government had pledged AU$200 million (US$182m) for geothermal projects, with private investment of AU$735 million (US$671m).”
Source: The Age