Thursday, October 22, 2015

Oil wells can help geothermal energy development?

Geothermal energy is renewable energy source with massive potential but sadly the use of this renewable energy source on global scale is still minuscule,  way below solar and wind, and light years from fossil fuels. This is mostly because of the high drilling costs.

Can this high drilling costs somehow be avoided? Well, there is even a potential solution in which oil and gas drilling can help the global geothermal energy development, and even reduce high drilling costs.

The concept is really quite simple, namely every single barrel of oil also brings out several barrels of boiling hot water which can be used to generate electricity through geothermal turbines. Many oil wells, from all around the globe, contain hot water at the adequate temperatures for geothermal power production.

For instance, famous Denver basin, where oil and gas have been produced from 1901, was said to have the highest capacity for large-scale, economically viable geothermal power production.

Oil prices have been fairly low which resulted in drilling and oil field services companies cutting thousands of jobs as they try to reduce their operational costs. These jobs could go to geothermal power production instead.

Some companies, like Hungarian MOL Group have already been testing systems that pump scalding-hot water present in the oil well through equipment that uses the heat to turn electricity-generating turbines.

The potential is certainly there. Technology and science have to do the rest.