Geothermal energy could replace Texas’ dirty coal power plants

W.A. Parish Coal Plant, Thompsons, Texas (source: flickr/ Roy Luck, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 5 May 2016

Moving from theory to reality, geothermal energy could become a real factor in the oil and gas sector, as highlighted by the recently held Power Plays: Geothermal Energy in Oil and Gas Fields conference by SMU in Austin, Texas.

Following the “Power Plays: Geothermal Energy in Oil and Gas Fields” conference held last week for the eight time by SMU’s geothermal laboratory in Austin, Texas, there are some positive news in local papers.

Generally, geothermal energy is essentially not well known in the oil country of Texas, but this is changing. With low oil prices and a struggle on the job front, geothermal energy could provide some hope, as a nice article in Dallas News describes.

It describes the hope that “some scientists — and even some people in the oil and gas business — say that heat from deep underground may become a significant source of power.”

The event organized by SMU pulled together a rather interesting mix of participants, including academics, oil company bosses, people hawking heat-transfer equipment, geothermal experts and a few environmentalists.

The conference has been aiming at showcasing how geothermal energy could build upon developing in the oil and gas sector and this year – so many participants agreed on – the event finally shifted from theoretical case studies to presentations of data from actual projects.

One particular presentation was highlighted, which was the one from Will Gosnold of the University of North Dakota ended his talk about a demonstration project with a slide of an email saying it had started generating electricity from a geothermal pilot from oil/ gas wells.

Susan Petty of AltaRock Energy presented on the possibility of replacing older coal plants, that won´t be able to meet clean-air requirements and need replacing in the coming years, could actually be replaced by geothermal plants. This could particularly apply to existing plants and transmission lines close to actual coal mines. “Waste water used in coal mines could be injected into wells where natural heat would make the water hot enough to drive geothermal power generators”, she said.

TexasTo read more on the author’s article at Dallas News, with the link below.

Source: Dallas News