Australia opens round 2 of the Geothermal Drilling Program
Australia opens the second round of the Geothermal Drilling Program and Australia's Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson AM MP invites geothermal companies to submit applications for funding under this round of the A$50 million (US$39.8 million) program.
Reported today, Australia opens the second round of the Geothermal Drilling Program with “The Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson AM MP inviting geothermal companies to submit applications for funding under Round 2 of the A$50 million (US$39.8 million) Geothermal Drilling Program, which opened today.
Round 2 funding will provide grants of up to A$7 million (US$5.6 million) on a matching-funding basis to support the drilling of deep geothermal wells and help finance geothermal proof-of-concept projects.
Geothermal energy producers pump water below ground (sometimes as deep as 5 kilometers (3.1 miles)), where it is heated by ‘hot rocks’. The heat energy is then used to generate electricity.
Ferguson said: “Geoscience Australia estimates that if just one per cent of Australia’s geothermal energy was extracted it would equate to 26,000 times Australia’s total annual energy consumption. “Geothermal energy is a renewable energy source with enormous potential in Australia; however, the Government recognizes technical development costs are high.
“The Australian Government is pleased to be able to support drilling at the first stage of development as part of its A$4.5 billion (US$3.5 billion) Clean Energy Initiative.
“Geothermal energy is important because it has the capacity to produce baseload power, diversify Australia’s energy supply and increase our energy security.
“The Australian Government has set a target for 20 per cent of Australia’s electricity generation to come from renewable sources by 2020; a policy which will likely require an additional 45,000 gigawatt-hours of electricity generation from renewable sources.
“I invite geothermal companies to compete for the funding available and submit applications.”
Two successful Round 1 applicants, MNGI Pty Ltd and Panax Geothermal Limited, received A$14 million in April 2009.
Source: Energy Current