Tag: Geothermal Power

Geothermal Power From Abandoned Oil Wells

Al Jazeera making case for utilizing abandoned oil wells for geothermal


Sorry, Americans, Time-Warner has decreed you cannot watch Muslim propaganda – at least for those of us who subscribe to Time-Warner.

The principle is simple enough.  Hot water from deep oil or gas wells can generate electricity without drilling.

The hot water is a burden today for active producers as it is not only produced in far greater quantity than the methane and petroleum from which it must separated but is loaded with often noxious chemicals and may even be radioactive.

Abandoned mines also produce hot water in quantity. Entrepreneurial firms offer portable geothermal power platforms to miners but they may require some drilling.  Miners and water don’t mix well.  A Papua New Guinea gold miner has struck gold with its use of hot water for power that has expanded to use far away from the mine.

But you should understand it’s not the expensive sometime energy from solar and wind beloved by politicians and fossil fuel purveyors so we care little about such ways of producing energy.

Thanks, Time-Warner, for helping keep those coal mines open and drillers busy.  The Koch brothers and Exxon must be appreciative.

Best,  Terry

Lions Set To Roar

There is not so much good news around today but here is some great news:

There has been much made of the idea of African ‘lion’ countries, mimicking Asia’s famous ‘tigers’. There is no reason Africa shouldn’t start behaving like Asia – hordes of international businessmen should travel to air-conditioned offices and lavishly appointed bars in cities like Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam well within my lifetime. There are many thorns that need to be removed from the paws of these lions. But I do propose that renewable energy, in particular geothermal energy with its formidable baseload potential, can help provide both the energy and cultural electrification that sub-Saharan Africa needs, bringing international partnerships and healthy and competitive economies with it.


While Nigeria to Libya struggle with the corruption and warfare involved in fossil fuels – and truth be told in the infernal solar and wind sometime power – a real revolution is occurring in some of the poorest and most blighted lands of the planet with earth power.

Kenya is established in the geothermal sector, and the next hot markets are likely Djibouti, Ethiopia, and especially Tanzania.

In fact Kenya is only beginning to exploit its geothermal resources while even Rwanda is getting into the act.

Unlike extractive industries, there are only rarely any manner of terrorist attacks on geothermal power plants though initial resistance to exploiting the abundance of power offered by Mother Earth is often ferocious.  Hard to top the wild celebration in Hawaii when a geothermal power development was stopped cold over such reasons as the insult to Pele, the Goddess of Fire.  The revered Sen. Inouye was there to brag on getting a federal grant to aid in ending the project.  An also-ran was an environmentalist parade and celebration in San Jose when the reputed most promising project area of the time was halted after a couple decades of struggle.

May the Lions roar.

Obama, a boy ought to keep in contact with his grandmother.  Your Kenyan grandmother could probably explain to you what your advisers can’t.

Best,  Terry

Dirty Talk – Climate Change

Climate scientist James Hansen has said that it is “game over” for the climate if the Keystone XL pipeline is allowed to be built as it would lock us into unsustainable use of the dirty tar sands crude for the foreseeable future. And climate activist and author Bill McKibben has written about Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math which states that we must leave the oil industries massive oil reserves in the ground if we are to have a chance at mitigating climate change.


Then why don’t these worthies do something about it?  Are they on Exxon’s or the Koch Brothers’ payroll?  [ A small bit of snark.  I am sure they are not paid by the dirties but they surely work in their interests though they would deny it.]

Today mountains of solid waste are disposed of, at best, in landfills while they could be used to convert coal and natural gas plants to biomass burning plants with little modification.  Natural gas may be dirtier than even coal for reasons that have been elucidated many times.

Years ago a car burning cow manure made a continental run.  In that case the manure was converted to methane with anaerobic digestion but it is not necessary for vehicles to make any conversions to liquid or gaseous fuels with today’s technology derived from ancient times.  Instead money is being wasted on electric vehicles with limited use and further pollution of the planet.

Biomass, whether from waste, forest slash and kindling for forest fires or even – the worst option – agriculture devoted to growth of biomass only, is fought tooth and nail by purported environmentalists like the above gentlemen.

Then again, the most potent and cheapest of all energy sources put together – Mother Earth herself – has an even harder time with the nitwit “environmentalists.”

Filling a summer news hole with news on earthquakes

The never ending story of scientific studies proving that geothermal activities cause earthquakes continue and it seems the recent wave of articles is simply another run at the same topic in this case likely to fill a news hole over the summer period.


Surely but it’s hard to top word that increased tapping of the vast geothermal potential of California’s Salton Sea area may start the San Andreas fault in motion with ginormous consequences beyond anything ever imagined.

Geothermal plants trigger small quakes near San Andreas fault

Geothermal plants on the Salton Sea cause tremors, study finds, but it isn’t clear if they could touch off a major quake on the San Andreas fault.


It’s not as if the Dirty Bunch, blasting away underground with abandon and pouring poisonous chemicals into the breech giving a whole new meaning to fire water for people with water wells, was the real threat drilling for water is.

The geothermal folks at the link above speculate the oil and gas drillers may have paid for the harum-scarum.

No need.  It is impossible to plumb the depths of human stupidity.

Best,  Terry  

Geothermal Power and Bad Blondes

From an ancient post with dead links about geothermal power development in The Philippines, second only to the aging pioneer work in the U.S. for generating power from geothermal brines:

Bad Blondes

>>Local Critics Worried by GMA’s Dev’t Plan for Central RP

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s critics in Negros Occidental have a different view of her development plan for Central Philippines, with most saying it will only worsen the “already acute exploitation and oppression of the people” and the “plunder” of the region’s rich resources.

“The Visayans would naturally be mesmerized dreaming of having around more ‘RORO’ boats, fast crafts, modern ports and airports, linking bridges and mega malls, blondes, tourists in topless suits…

[dead link]

i suppose.


The theme plays out endlessly despite the huge improvement in the economies of poor countries, most spectacularly Iceland [“yeah, they are just lucky to have such a superior resource”] alongside great kindness to Mother Earth.

And now to Indonesia, former OPEC member, desperately trying to replace fast dwindling oil production with the greatest of all energy sources on earth – Mother Earth herself:

Unresolved land acquisition issues delaying Gunung Tampomas project of PT Wika Jabar Power in Sumedang, Indonesia.

“The land acquisition process is hampered due to public concerns about the impact of environmental pollution resulted from the geothermal project,” [the geothermal engineer] said.

This misconception has led to an opposition from the surrounding communities, hampering this geothermal project that is actually eco-friendly.

However, he added, the company understands that the opposition emerged because of the people’s limited understanding.


Tell me about it.

The misunderstanding is universal outside of small pockets like Iceland.

Indonesia is widely reported to have the best geothermal resources of any country but no landmass anywhere is without splendid resources as advanced technology can generate electricity with heated geothermal brines barely sufficient for a warm cup of tea.

Sarah Palin could probably see volcanic action for real from her front porch if she lived at Chena Spa, Alaska’s record busting low temperature and low cost electricity geothermal power producer that is the only geothermal power producer in Alaska. Alaska is the state with the mostest geothermal assets of any state. Ironic that Chena keeps its ice museum frozen in summer using hot water.

Even in New Zealand, a country bearing down on Iceland for the greatest producer of renewable energy, a government corporation, Mighty River, is buying into geothermal assets all but abandoned in the U.S. because of growing opposition in New Zealand.  Geothermal was given a huge boost when a lady prime minister courageously vetoed plans to build a string of coal-burning power plants. Prophets of doom predicted disaster if they couldn’t have their coal plants.  Of course.

The huge investment in sometime wind power is a rocky detour but New Zealanders are hardly the only people on the planet fooled by the worst of the renewables, barring only solar.

Best,  Terry

Kenyan flower company utilizing geothermal power and heat


The son of a Kenyan father prefers fossil fuels or nukes for light and heat like most all Americans.

I don’t know how much heat is needed to grow roses in Kenya.  It wouldn’t seem to be much, not as much as a greenhouse in Iceland growing bananas but it is cheap either way.

They also grow roses with geothermal heat in New Mexico.  Lots of roses and other things. And now they will have power too.

New Mexico utility plans with 10 MW geothermal PPA


TenMW may not sound like much to today’s megathinkers but this is low temperature, distributed geothermal power that is available most anywhere and never quits on you like wind and solar do.

The wind and solar worshipers deny it even exists.

When will they ever learn?

– Never, probably.

Mother Earth will probably have start afresh like she did 250 million years ago after the Great Dying.

Then maybe Mother can evolve an intelligent species.

Best,  Terry

Geothermal Power For Unangans

[crossposted on DKOS]

Life has never been easy for Unangans, an indigenous people of the Aleutians.

Recent archaeological investigation in the Unalaska area provides evidence that the Unangan (the People of the passes, according to linguist Moses Dirks) have inhabited the Aleutian Islands for at least nine thousand years.

The last thousand years seem to have been the worst.

The Russian Fur Traders: The Unangan culture thrived for centuries until the Russian fur traders discovered the Aleutian Islands around 1750. At this time, the Unangan population was estimated at 12,000 to 15,000. At first, they resisted the invasion, even resorting to warfare, but were eventually subjugated by the foreigners and forced to hunt sea otters and fur seals.

In the late 1700’s, the traders discovered the Pribilof Islands to the north were a rich source of hides, and forced a group of Unangans to move there to hunt for them.

The population of Unangan people was greatly reduced after Russian occupation due to disease, war and malnutrition.

World War II: In June 1942, nearly six months to the day after Pearl Harbor, the Japanese struck again on American soil. The bombing of Dutch Harbor signaled the beginning of the Aleutian Campaign and was quickly followed by the Japanese landing on Kiska and Attu Islands in the Western Aleutians, over 1,000 miles from Dutch Harbor. On Kiska, the Japanese took a small naval weather crew captive; on Attu, they took the whole village hostage, later shipping them back to Japan as prisoners of war.

In the aftermath of the Japanese invasion, U.S. authorities scrambled to get civilians out of the war zone. As a result, nearly 900 Unangan people were suddenly uprooted, evacuated from their homes with only a suitcase each, crammed onto crowded transport ships, and taken to internment camps in Southeast Alaska. They would remain in dismal, crowded conditions, suffering from disease and malnutrition, for three long years.

Courtesy of the National Archives: St. Paul residents gaze at their homes in 1942 as the U.S. Delarof pulls away from the dock, taking them to internment camps in southeast Alaska.

Somehow I bet most here knew only knew about later arrivals being incarcerated.  Native Americans don’t get a whole lot of attention except when they are doing their native dances or something.

Today the total estimated population Unangans is estimated at 2,000.

Those 2,000 Unangans, as well as others who live alongside them, still like to eat and get around.  Getting harder these days.

One answer in a place where there isn’t a whole lot of sun or even trees is geothermal.  Al Gore may never have heard of geothermal but Unangans have.  

The Unalaska Island is the site of deep drilling conducted for geothermal resources. In the 1980’s, there was an Unalaska Geothermal Feasibility Study prepared for Alaska Power Authority by Dames and Moore that comprised of an exploration program, consisting of three phases. The exploration program confirmed the existence of a highly productive geothermal reservoir at a depth of 1,949 feet, approximately 14 miles west of Unalaska/Dutch Harbor.

That’s mighty fine and all but this is way up north where it gets a mite difficult to get around in winter even yet.


Some of the native fauna might help if they weren’t wild and a bit shy:

And too smart to go some places in the wintertime.

More pictures and other information on Unalaska can be found here.

So what to do about tapping the heat of Makushin Volcano where wild horses won’t go when it’s needed most?

Why the answer is so simple Al Gore might have thought of it if he had ever heard of geothermal power.

– Drill way down in the valley where the Unangans are.

Well you got to know where to drill and that is why there are some people who want to help, even a Republican or two who need votes something awful these days.

There is no shortage whatever of green energy.

There is a great lack of intelligence.  Good thing there are Unangans who have lots of smarts.  Needed it to survive in wild, beautiful country.

Best,  Terry