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Alaska Looks To Volcanos For Geothermal Energy

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the don't-stamp-so-hard dept.

Power 230

Iddo Genuth writes "Alaskan state officials have recently announced their intention to begin funding the exploration and surveying of Alaska's largest volcanoes in hopes of utilizing these as a source of geothermal energy. They say this volcano could provide enough energy to power thousands of households, and according to some estimates, Alaska's volcanoes and hot springs could supply up to 25% of the state's energy needs."

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Heat + Air = Hot Air? (5, Informative)

gbulmash (688770) | more than 6 years ago | (#24380275)

While very neat, if we did tap geothermal resources nationwide to get up to supplying 25% of our electrical needs within a few decades, we'd still be behind Iceland. According to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] , Iceland generates 26.5 of its electricity from geothermal power. Strange to think that a place called Iceland has so much available heat for power generation.

Going a bit astray, has anyone seen the episode of Science Channel's "Eco-Tech" featuring the rooftop windmills [youtube.com] designed by Aerotecture [aerotecture.com] ? Pretty cool.

Re:Heat + Air = Hot Air? (5, Insightful)

LaskoVortex (1153471) | more than 6 years ago | (#24380369)

if we did tap geothermal resources nationwide to get up to supplying 25% of our electrical needs within a few decades

I'm of the opinion that the human race will eventually get close to 90% of its energy needs from geothermal sources. Wind and solar probably can't deliver the wattage. What people don't realize and what they don't want to believe, is that the world is not filled up with oil in the middle. Instead, its filled with molten rock, and beyond that, molten metals. And there is a lot of it in there. All you need to do is invest in shunting sea water a few miles into the earth and harvesting the energy as it boils out. Other than the initial investment, it wouldn't take coal or oil--both of which WILL run out.

Re:Heat + Air = Hot Air? (0)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 6 years ago | (#24380515)

Maybe we'll use geothermal as a temporary fix like we use oil now. I don't have the vision to see us doing it, but it is possible. The key is that when we run low on heat from the Earth's core in the distant future, things like the earth's magnetic field may no longer shield us from cosmic radiation. So there if humanity lasts that long, we'll probably have to reheat the Earth's core from another energy source. Its no real big deal, but you explained that coal or oil running out. I just wanted to explain that the heat in the Earth's core is not unlimited either. It is similar to the argument that we can take energy off the Earth's velocity to catapult spacecraft. We can't just keep doing that forever either unless we don't mind taking the plunge into the Sun... even though it could conveniently heat the Earth's core back up.

Re:Heat + Air = Hot Air? (4, Insightful)

LaskoVortex (1153471) | more than 6 years ago | (#24380565)

The key is that when we run low on heat from the Earth's core in the distant future

When the earth's core (the molten metal part that causes the magnetic field that deflects the solar ion radiation) finally goes solid from our geothermal harvesting, we will have mutated to a form we probably couldn't recognize as being evolved from ourselves--and we certainly wouldn't give a damn about the little alien looking marmots either.

Re:Heat + Air = Hot Air? (5, Funny)

davester666 (731373) | more than 6 years ago | (#24380657)

Yeah, once core starts to cool, we can just nuke it to warm it back up. Finally, a good use for our nuclear arsenal!

And to access these geothermal reserves, they would still have to drill down to gain access to them, and if they just "happen" to hit oil, so much the better.

Re:Heat + Air = Hot Air? (5, Funny)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 6 years ago | (#24382235)

Hmm, but for a drill like that, you'd need a drill made out of Unobtanium. With the current funding it will take years to develop! And the crew has to consist of at least a woman, a scientist, an astronaut, and a guy who dies.

Re:Heat + Air = Hot Air? (5, Insightful)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 6 years ago | (#24380667)

Oh come on, someone modded this *informative*?

Calling geothermal energy a "temporary fix" is about as useful as calling solar energy a temporary fix. Really, I don't think it's too shortsighted to consider an energy source that could provide power for millions (geothermal) vs billions (solar) of years as more than "temporary". Especially considering how we will have used up the relatively scarce (geologically speaking) oil resource we are looking to replace in the scale of hundreds of years. Hell, I'd be happy to see people think 50 years in advance, imagine what we could do with nuclear power if we'd invest for results with a payoff that far away...

Re:Heat + Air = Hot Air? (5, Insightful)

BazilBBrush (1259370) | more than 6 years ago | (#24380863)


I was going to mod him down but there wasn't a suitable category - say like 'Missing The Facts'.

First off, like how much heat energy is actually present beneath the mantle? A. Big number.
Secondly, how long it will take for the magma / iron + whatever core to cool to a point where the magnetic field decreases enough? A. Another big number.

It scares me that people with so little perception of physical reality make comments as if they understand.

Just a point for you too re nuclear power. It may outlast us but Uranium reserves are not infinite either.
Now if we could only get Fusion happening...

All in all geothermal is a great idea - as mentioned in Iceland, and I think the Kiwis (New Zealand) harvest a bit for sparks and even the UK for hot water if I am not mistaken.

No not available everywhere but whatever helps...

Re:Heat + Air = Hot Air? (2, Interesting)

Kamineko (851857) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381139)

Does retrieving geothermal energy make it harder to retrieve more energy from it in the future? If so, is there enough of it readily achievable so that it wouldn't matter anyway?

Re:Heat + Air = Hot Air? (5, Informative)

ThePeices (635180) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381247)

yes, it is definitely possible to 'deplete' a geothermal resource, but it will recover given enough time ( lots of time ). For example the Wairakei geothermal field here in New Zealand has depleted somewhat because they oversized the geothermal plant when it was built and it has been running for 60 years! ( but we forgive them, it was built in 1958, and it is the second oldest geothermal power plant in the world ). The wikipedia article on geothermal power describes depletion in more detail

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geothermal_power [wikipedia.org]

Re:Heat + Air = Hot Air? (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381047)

Power's generated mostly with coal. Current projections estimate that we have hundreds of years worth of coal left; calling coal a temporary fix isn't useful either, considering 100 years will likely bring technological changes that we can't even begin to predict.

Re:Heat + Air = Hot Air? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24381097)

ba ba blah blah I don't know why I keep reading Slashdot BS ba blah ba and when the sun actually ba blah runs out of energy then ba blah we'll...

jeeze

Re:Heat + Air = Hot Air? (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381253)

why wouldn't it be informative? he is exactly right. geothermal IS finite. solar is NOT a fix. atleast PV isn't.

Re:Heat + Air = Hot Air? (5, Interesting)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381141)

That's cute. Ummm, what on Earth (no pun intended) are you talking about and how did you get modded informative?

We will probably never get *any* energy from the Earth's core at all. The crust of the Earth alone is 3-5 miles thick under the oceans and 15-35 miles thick on the continents.

Now, the Earth's core is thought to have at least half to ninety percent of it's energy generated from nuclear decay. That means we CANT draw all that energy off at once, even if we could draw it all in the first place. We would be rationed. There is also tidal forces to consider as well. The orbit around the Sun and the Moon for example can generate large amounts of energy in the Earth's core too.

Drilling even 20,000 feet is an ACCOMPLISHMENT. To my knowledge, and I have been on drilling rigs and know people in drilling companies, we have never broken 50,000 feet commercially. So ANYTHING we do is going to be in the CRUST, and not the mantle and certainly not the core. To get to the mantle of the earth on a continent we would have to drill in excess of 75,000 feet. I am pretty sure that at that depth concrete won't do it to create a stable pipeline and you will need some pretty neat material to withstand those stresses and keep a hole open.

Furthermore, the Sun provides an incredible amount of energy. Off the top of my head I think it is near 400 watts per square meter or approximately 1.8*10^17 WATTS total at any given time. That's a lot. 90%+ of the energy present in the crust of the Earth comes from the Sun. The core is providing a negligible amount of that power and most is probably received through direct volcanic activity and not emissions. Don't quote me on that, it's just a guess.

Considering that, in 2005 we required nearly 500 quadrillion BTUs of energy for the whole planet. Nearly 700 quadrillion is projected to be required in 2030. So let's just top that off at a nice quintillion BTUs. After multiplying that by .293 to convert to WATTS we get 293 quadrillion WATTS of energy. That is also PER YEAR. How much of that can be provided by the energy received from the Sun in the crust? 100%.

So basically the Sun can give us all the energy we will need for one year in one day and probably be done before breakfast is over.

We would have to use ALL the energy from the crust of the Earth FASTER than the SUN can replenish it BEFORE we could even begin to siphon off energy from the core.

So yes, you are correct that the energy at the Earth's core is not unlimited, nor is energy unlimited in the Sun or from any orbit. However, for a VERY LONG TIME we would only be able to suck a small droplet of blood of what is sure to be a gargantuan beast of energy. To say we could ever consume enough energy to surpass the energy provided by the Sun at any one moment is just fantastic, awesome, and up there with the Tooth Fairy.

You may also want to consider that the 293 quadrillion BTU requirement represents an INCREDIBLE amount of waste and inefficiency with our processes. I bet that by the time we get to 2075 (if we are not dead already) it will be because we figured out how to survive on far less than that.

Re:Heat + Air = Hot Air? (-1, Redundant)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381221)

every single one of your arguments would have been equally applied to gas/oil/coal 50 years ago.

"So basically the Sun can give us all the energy we will need for one year in one day and probably be done before breakfast is over."

rubbish, and you know why? your assuming 100% efficent conversion. you are flatout getting 15% after a decade of solar research. honestly i'm fed up with all the poor maths people use when it comes to solar.

Re:Heat + Air = Hot Air? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24381329)

you are flatout getting 15% after a decade of solar research. honestly i'm fed up with all the poor maths people use when it comes to solar.

Too bad he was talking about geothermal energy--which is about tapping energy from the ground. That the energy in the ground might have come originally from the the sun is incidental to his main argument that we won't be depleting the earths core of its energy any time soon.

Re:Heat + Air = Hot Air? (4, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381353)

I mentioned NOTHING about solar power at all. I am simply talking about the amount of energy that the Earth is exposed to at any one moment REGARDLESS OF EFFICIENCIES OR METHODS/PROCESSES OF HARNESSING SAID ENERGY.

That energy has to go SOMEWHERE. The air, the oceans, or the crust. Try reading my post before making derisive comments.

"So basically the Sun can give us all the energy we will need for one year in one day and probably be done before breakfast is over."

If we were taking the incredible amounts of energy from the crust that the poster suggested, I simply pointed out that the Sun would put that much energy back in a very small fraction of the time it took to "pump" it out of the crust.

I never mentioned any specific technologies that were applied to convert the heat energy of the crust to electricity, nor did I mention anything about solar technologies being a suitable replacement for geothermal.

I ONLY POINTED OUT THAT WE COULD NEVER USE ALL THE ENERGY IN THE CORE DUE TO 1) WE CANT REACH IT AND 2) WE COULD NOT USE IT ALL QUICK ENOUGH.

P.S - Try reading some news on occasion. Solar cell efficiency surpassed 15% a LONG FARKING TIME AGO. It is not in production, but we have achieved it. I am open to using any technology, but I am honestly fed up with all the poor references that people use when it comes to environmental technologies. It's not a contest, and I don't give a crap WHICH technology we use. Just as long as we start using something renewable that does not kill us all in 50 years.

Re:Heat + Air = Hot Air? (1)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381331)

Off the top of my head I think it is near 400 watts per square meter

At a conservative estimate, my scientist friend Karl, told me it's around 1Kw per square metre.

MOD PARENT UP!!

Re:Heat + Air = Hot Air? (3, Informative)

Eivind (15695) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381775)

True in theory, nonsense in practice. It's ok to think long-term. But it is silly to concern oneself with problems whose first possible date of appearance is many millenia into the future. There are just so many unknowns in such speculation that it is meaningless.

Geothermal is of that magnitude -- you'd have to tap a thousand times our current energy-use for millenia to even have a measurable impact.

Don't need no stinking volcano... (5, Interesting)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 6 years ago | (#24380723)

The CSIRO in Australia has been investigating the practicality of producing electricity from granite deposits [ga.gov.au] since the early nineties. Also since the nineties the same organisation has been saying that Australia could produce all it's power and then some from either solar or wind.

The problem for the last 11yrs in this country has been purely political as we stood stubbornly by the US. Because of this misdirected loyalty our power generation remains 90+% derived from coal and we have seen many innovations payed for by taxpayers sold off to private companies in the EU and elsewhere.

Now that our breadbasket (the Murry-Darling basin) is regularly producing half of what it did just a couple of decades ago people are starting to pay attention.

Water vapor is a greenhouse gas (2, Informative)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#24380831)

Scary, isn't it? Unless we carefully condense the steam even geothermal energy doesn't solve global warming. And at present, we don't.

me <- geothermal fan

But we have to be aware of the consequences of everything. We can breed our way out of the benefits of geothermal energy in under a century even if we condense the steam.

Re:Water vapor is a greenhouse gas (1)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381569)

Scary, isn't it? Unless we carefully condense the steam even geothermal energy doesn't solve global warming. And at present, we don't.

Perhaps we could whack a turbine on it, condense most of the steam and convert some of that energy into electricity. We would have to beware of the consequences of geo-solidification freezing molten magma under the crust and reducing the gravity of the earth.

Reducing the earth's spin would be bad, people would get taller though, so it can't all be that bad.

Re:Water vapor is a greenhouse gas (1)

sonamchauhan (587356) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381811)

> geo-solidification freezing molten magma under the crust and reducing the ***gravity*** of the earth.
???

Re:Heat + Air = Hot Air? (2, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | more than 6 years ago | (#24380879)

In some places we are lucky enough that there is water already in cracks in the hot rock. Now while geothermal electricity generation of a sort has been used since the 1890s there are the two problems of drilling very deep holes and the amout of capital required to build any sort of large thermal plant. It's hard to convince people to pay for something that won't pay for itself for a decade even if it is going to last a century - even worse when it's going to take more than five years to build.

I can't resist the chance here to take a swipe at those misinformed people that demand immediate nuclear power - you are looking at a decade to plan and construct the thing even with available designs. People have to remember that this stuff is not run by magic whether it's wind, hyro, or a glowing lump of radiactive material contained by expensive technology and producing steam.

Re:Heat + Air = Hot Air? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24380995)

Volcano technology is too expensive and will take too long to implement, so we shouldn't bother with it. France has proved that nuclear technology is the only quick way to get cheap power right now, and no one really gives a crap about what might happen 500-30000 years from now. Three Mile Island and Chernobyl really weren't that bad, and maybe pretty good. We should use the volcanos to dump nuclear waste, but that's it. Alaska needs 5-10 breeder reactors and the energy problems there are solved. If we could just put a little effort into nuclear tech instead of wasting time with bullshit faggy environmentally clean energy, maybe we could all have little breeder reactors in our homes.

Re:Heat + Air = Hot Air? (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381371)

Volcano technology is too expensive and will take too long to implement, so we shouldn't bother with it. France has proved that nuclear technology is the only quick way to get cheap power right now, and no one really gives a crap about what might happen 500-30000 years from now. Three Mile Island and Chernobyl really weren't that bad, and maybe pretty good. We should use the volcanos to dump nuclear waste, but that's it. Alaska needs 5-10 breeder reactors and the energy problems there are solved. If we could just put a little effort into nuclear tech instead of wasting time with bullshit faggy environmentally clean energy, maybe we could all have little breeder reactors in our homes.

gotta love sarcasm

Re:Heat + Air = Hot Air? (1)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381513)

gotta love sarcasm

maybe the newklear sockpuppets are moderating today.

Re:Heat + Air = Hot Air? (3, Interesting)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381079)

Geothermal power is nice, but does have its limits. There are reports suggesting that heavy use of geothermal power can increase the frequency of mini earth tremors, which is probably not good. Also, you are not generally tapping the earth's core (which has plenty of heat) but some local magma reservoir (which has rather less) or a channel through which magma flows (which is not much of a reservoir at all, and could in principle be blocked, which may explain said earlier reports).

In the long term, fusion power is the best solution, but the technology necessary to achieve fusion is taking a painfully long time. I still favour rounding up the fusion scientists, locking them in a building in Alaska with as much money as they can possibly need, and slowly turning down the heat until they quit with the politicking and bitching about whose method is "better" and get something that works.

In the short term, fusion isn't going to happen nearly fast enough to handle the present or any future oil crisis. Geothermal power can. As others have mentioned, other countries use it extensively, such as Iceland and New Zealand. Alaska could probably benefit from it, and the Pacific Northwest is riddled with volcanoes and magma reservoirs. The Pacific Northwest is also a major energy user, making it an ideal place to have major generators.

Re:Heat + Air = Hot Air? (4, Informative)

tracore (1229512) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381155)

This has already been done and the research is going on now at ITER. This should be one of the last research reactors ever built. It is built to generate 500 MW for 400 seconds. After this reactor its on to large scale deployment. http://www.iter.org/ [iter.org] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITER [wikipedia.org] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic_confinement_fusion [wikipedia.org]

Re:Heat + Air = Hot Air? (1)

Andrzej Sawicki (921100) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381115)

Everybody knows that fossil fuels will run out. Bringing other energy sources into the game was a matter of price, not ideology. Past tense used due to current oil prices.

Re:Heat + Air = Hot Air? (4, Informative)

BlackPignouf (1017012) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381629)

"solar probably can't deliver the wattage".

Yeah, right, it's not like the sun would deliver 168 PW to the Earth at any given time, while mankind "only" uses 500EJ a year.
500EJ/168 PW ~= 50 minutes worth of solar radiation would be enough to power whole mankind for a year.

Geothermal sources can really be interesting, but you need to find good ones, and still dig a few kilometers if you want to get high-quality heat and produce electricity. You don't need to dig an inch to collect solar radiation.

Planets, planetoids, suns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24382089)

You've overlooked another form of energy stored in the earth and other planets/planetoids, the sun and other stars: Rotational/kinetic energy.
I once calculated some of that (namely, the rotation of the sun and the movement of the moon, because we really wouldn't want to deccelerate the earth very much), and it's quite huge.

The problems are:

a) Gravity is a bitch. If, e.g., the sun's rotation were slowed, all the sun's planets would accelerate the sun and thus move to smaller orbits.

b) Implementation. E.g. the moon's energy can be used on a small scale by tidal power, but we would want to tap this (and other) sources of energy more directly and with higher power. By the time (if, altogether) we can build a generator to slow the rotation of planets and transfer the energy back to the earth in a way that would suffice humanity's (and maybe our robot overlord's) energy needs, the latter would have increased significantly (if the developments of energy/person and popultion until now are any indication), which would question the feasibility of this energy source. Maybe, by the time we manage to harness (maybe literally?) planets, planetoids and suns, their energy would be useless to us OR we could not implement it because these are the only energy sources that would make it possible to realise it befor the inevitable demise of humanity.

Just me clogging the tubes...

Re:Heat + Air = Hot Air? (1)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 6 years ago | (#24380433)

I would be a bit surprised if Alaska can make much of geothermal energy. The reason that I feel this way is that cities can benefit but smaller towns can not stand the expense of geothermal power. I could be wrong but I thought Alaska was a bit shy on cities and rather big on small towns and rural life. Also are the cities that they do have close to good geothermal sources?

Re:Heat + Air = Hot Air? (4, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 6 years ago | (#24380889)

Win! Yep, that's what's odd about this push by the Alaskan government. The closest volcano to Anchorage (the only real city in Alaska, sorry Fairbanks but it's true) is about 100 km. Now, you can certainly run transmission lines over 100 km, but this isn't your normal, everyday terrain. It's deep water, big mountains and moose.

Even if you succeeded in running Anchorage off geothermal, what the hell are you going to do for the rest of the state? At best, this is a ploy to get more resources into the Mat-Su valley [wikipedia.org] which isn't all that bad, but I don't see this as a big starter for most of the state or, more generally, for down South (ie, everywhere else). Powerlines to Seattle would cost an awful lot of money.

Re:Heat + Air = Hot Air? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24380633)

What, is this a competition?

Re:Heat + Air = Hot Air? (0, Troll)

Ortega-Starfire (930563) | more than 6 years ago | (#24380673)

Population of Alaska: 670,053 (2006 Census)
Population Iceland: 301,391 (2007 Estimate, CIA world factbook)

25% of Alaska population: 167513 and .25 of a person or a retarded kid
26.5% of Iceland population: 79868 and .615 of a person or a village idiot

Alaska Wins! USA! USA! USA!

And yes, our retarded kid in Alaska will beat down Iceland's village idiot any day of the week.

Re:Heat + Air = Hot Air? (4, Insightful)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381241)

Uhmm, you do realize that Iceland is a teenie, tiny little dot of an island in the northern ocean do you? The actual amount of energy produced from geothermal sources in Iceland is verrry small and about equal to a single fair sized coal fired (or nuclear) power station.

Re:Heat + Air = Hot Air? (3, Insightful)

resignator (670173) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381593)

While very neat, if we did tap geothermal resources nationwide to get up to supplying 25% of our electrical needs within a few decades, we'd still be behind Iceland. According to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] , Iceland generates 26.5 of its electricity from geothermal power. Strange to think that a place called Iceland has so much available heat for power generation. Going a bit astray, has anyone seen the episode of Science Channel's "Eco-Tech" featuring the rooftop windmills [youtube.com] designed by Aerotecture [aerotecture.com] ? Pretty cool.

26% of Iceland's electrical needs is a tiny number compared to 25% of America's needs. Saying we would still be behind Iceland seems inappropriate if you take into consideration the modest 300k population of Iceland probably consumes less electricity than Baton Rouge, LA.

Re:Heat + Air = Hot Air? (0, Offtopic)

OriginalArlen (726444) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381933)

What could possibly go wrong [smso.net] ?!

2101: [snip stuff about Judge Cal the mad despot] The powerful mutant Father Earth leads a massed attack on Mega-City One, destroying Power Tower (a controlled volcano) and unleashing a flood of lava, before being stopped. A few months later, an invasion of mutant spiders leads to the burning of entire sectors.

Re:Heat + Air = Hot Air? (4, Informative)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381935)

Strange to think that a place called Iceland has so much available heat for power generation.

Legend has it that the name of Iceland is an ancient Viking fraud. Erik the Red sailed out into the ocean beyond Scotland, and discovered two new countries there: one rich and green and worth settling, and one frozen and barren and utterly worthless. He named one Iceland, and the other Greenland; when he got home, all the other Vikings rushed off to claim lands in Greenland, and Erik got to keep Iceland for himself.

Re:Heat + Air = Hot Air? (2, Informative)

daBass (56811) | more than 6 years ago | (#24382091)

Iceland generates 26.5 of its electricity from geothermal power.

And of course 73.4% is from hydro power, and only 0.1% from fossil fuels. (probably generators at very remote locations?)

So the only fuel they import is to power vehicles!

Now if only they could find a way to export electricity, they would be loaded beyond belief.

better idea (-1, Redundant)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#24380297)

what about grain power? As in feed caribou some grain, hook them up to a turbine, and make em walk around in a circle lol. Jk, this is a good idea...well then there's the whole what if that geothermal area cools down and everyone loses power for years while they build a new power plant thing. Hey guess what will never go away...THE SUN! Solar power should run the entire world cuz it's never going away.

Re:better idea (0)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 6 years ago | (#24380493)

Perhaps America could just boil all of our enemies. There is quite a bit of oil as well as carbon in humans. Our mistake is that we invade nations intending to take their oil. We could be more efficient if we reduced the population to oil as well.
              Few people are aware that the British railway ran their steam trains by burning mummies when they occupied Egypt. They had thousands of years of mummies laying about doing nothing useful at all. I mean, good Lord, there's a real pattern at work here. First we kill all the wales for oil and then we quickly turned to fish oil to power America while the Brits burned all the mummies. Now we are down to coal and we were more than willing to kill off all the workers in the coal mines as well as pay them wages that starved them while they worked twelve hour shifts seven days a week. Meanwhile the Brits, never to be out done actually had a military like draft that sent young men down into the mines. And now we are sucking petroleum dry. Go figure!

Re:better idea (1)

Nullav (1053766) | more than 6 years ago | (#24380615)

Of course it's going away! On the bright side, it'll make the planet plenty warm in the process.
Between the light from the sun, the air/water currents and the heat in this planet, there's a ton of energy just going to waste. We have all of these 'clean' energy sources, and you want to pick one?

How funny (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#24380357)

I have been suggesting that for Colorado for several years saying that we could own the market. And when I mentioned that here, I was told not a chance since the volcano's are so far south. If they were smart, they would create an x-prize for alaskan companies that build the equipment. This way they end up creating not just cheap electricity, but also multiple manufacturing companies.

Yellowstone (3, Insightful)

Telepathetic Man (237975) | more than 6 years ago | (#24380429)

Speaking of the lower 48's volcanoes. What about Yellowstone? A super-volcano close enough to the surface that the pressure is bending the crust up. Now there is a prime target for investment. Perhaps we can even vent off enough pressure to reduce the risk of another one of those major blasts that it's known for geologically.

Re:Yellowstone (0, Flamebait)

Clay Pigeon -TPF-VS- (624050) | more than 6 years ago | (#24380469)

the environazis would never allow turning yellowstone into a geothermal power source. At least not until it things are very grim.

Re:Yellowstone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24380983)

the environazis would never allow turning yellowstone into a geothermal power source. At least not until it things are very grim.

Just quote their current grim information and start welding pipe. And hurry, as you've go to refrigerate the park before it warms up another tenth of a degree.

Yellowstone is funny (2, Informative)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#24380547)

Some major right-wing relgious group did in fact install a geo-thermal. But it was shut down. They chose to use direct steam, which potentially would drain the water that feeds old faithful. But I think that a binary system would make sense. That way, the heat is used, not the water.

Yeah, I have wondered the same thing. It seems that if you lower the temps, it might make it better. Of course, it could make it worse. But hey, do research during the time that we are taking the heat.

Re:Yellowstone is funny (3, Interesting)

Serenissima (1210562) | more than 6 years ago | (#24380665)

Well, actually, if you drill a big hole in the ground, you could pipe water down an enclosed pipe. Then the steam would come up another pipe to power generator turbines. When it cools back down to water, you send it back down to heat up again.

After your initial water investment, you wouldn't really need a significant amount of additional water at all if it was a closed system. I believe that's the general principal in most Geothermal usage wells.

Re:Yellowstone is funny (2, Informative)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#24380777)

Allow that to heat a different carrier,and you have a binary system. That approach is used in Chena Alaska. It allows for lower temps to work. But to be honest, I have been wondering about Johnson's system [johnsonems.com] . Seems like that would do a better job since it bypasses large mechanical systems.

Proton Exchange Membranes (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381415)

The problem is the reliance on PEMs, which are expensive and not long-lived. Of course, thermocouples are also relatively expensive when compared to conventional engines, but at least they last.

I'll admit, this is a great idea if they can get the materials issues for the PEMs worked out (and that's a big if). It would be nice to have a heat pump/engine with no moving parts, but the same efficiency as conventional technology.

Re:Proton Exchange Membranes (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381473)

Hmmm. According to this url, http://209.85.173.104/search?q=cache:WMC1DDZdIAIJ:www.netl.doe.gov/publications/proceedings/97/97cct/cct_pdf/97CCP1_2.PDF+standard+generator+using+coal+efficieny&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=4&gl=us&client=firefox-a [209.85.173.104] , current coal is at 40% efficieny, and the industry is shooting for 45%.

If johnson really is 60%, they have the nod. But of course, the PEM is the issue.

Re:Proton Exchange Membranes (3, Interesting)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381587)

In a heat engine, there is a maximum theoretical efficiency which may be achieved. This is dependent on the difference in absolute temperatures between the hot and cold reservoirs. For example, if your hot reservoir is 1000K, and your cold is 300K, the maximum theoretical efficiency is 1-300/1000 = 70%. In the coal plant you were referring to, the actual efficiency is likely very near the theoretical efficiency (mechanical engineers have done a good job at achieving high efficiencies with mechanical systems). It is impossible to improve upon that without violating the laws of thermodynamics.

Of course, no moving parts means that you may be able to operate at much higher temperatures (you'd need a ceramic PEM to sustain the higher temperatures).

Isn't Helium 3 the Answer to Mass World Energy? (0)

nudotfm (1302163) | more than 6 years ago | (#24380393)

It the motivation behind the Nu Energy Race in Space.

woop (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24380403)

sex with ducks yo

They should do this to my girlfriend... (0, Redundant)

skaet (841938) | more than 6 years ago | (#24380423)

... she's so hot she could power all of Canada indefinitely!

What? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24380483)

You want all of /. to drill your GF? Hmmm. Does she know this?

Re:What? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24380613)

No, he wants all of Alaska to drill his girlfriend. That's like, what... two guys, a canadian, a bear and a moose?

Could be worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24380703)

It could be Wyoming. Than she would have to compete against sheep.

What do you call a truckload full of sheep? A Wyoming Whore House.

Re:Could be worse (1)

skaet (841938) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381087)

Stop stealing New Zealand jokes! It's the only thing us Aussies have on them y'know =(

Re:Could be worse (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381165)

Actually, I came up with that one back in 1980. We were driving to Denver from Ft. Collins to cash an education check (weird back then). OTW, we had a case of coors light between us (it was a DIFFERENT time) and started telling wyoming jokes and literally a truck-load full of sheep passed us. Thought that one up on the spot.

The odds are good, but the goods are odd. (2, Funny)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381441)

I know a single woman who works in Alaska. As she puts it "the odds are good, but the goods are odd".

Re:They should do this to my girlfriend... (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381021)

  1. You're on Slashdot; everybody knows that the only girlfriends you've ever had are imaginary
  2. I'm going to go out on a limb and say Alaska has the hot chick angle covered already [google.com]

Re:They should do this to my girlfriend... (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381069)

Funny, I told her the same thing last night.

SlashDot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24380439)

Sometimes [poemhunter.com] I [egothemag.com] think [sciencemag.org] people [wikipedia.org] on [rubyonrails.org] SlashDot [metagovernment.org] are [seti.org] not [nytimes.com] necessarily [necessarymonsters.com] the [thejournal.com] smartest [mynameisearl.info] in [blogspirit.com] the [nmartproject.net] world [wikia.com] .

The Tie (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24380445)

Stud dogs go about the whole sex thing rather differently than primates (or equines). Unlike us, male canines don't have an orgasm that involves a short, intense ejaculation. Instead, once they have become fully erect, they will have a continuous orgasm for from 10 to 45 minutes or longer. The "standard" procedure for dogs, when they are mating, is that the male "ties" with the bitch - which means that, after he has penetrated fully, his penis will develop a knot at its base that is several times wider than the rest of his shaft.

For reference, a 80 pound Golden stud dog might have, let's say, a cock that is 7 or 8 inches long when erect - but his knot will be at least as big around as a tennis ball. This knot swells inside the bitch, and so long as he remains erect the dogs are "tied." No, this isn't painful for her - canine females long ago developed an entire set of muscular supports for this process. Generally, once they are tied, most stud dogs prefer to step off and over, so he and the bitch are tail-to-tail. Theories abound on why this evolved - I have yet to see one that was truly convincing. Anyway, they'll stand like this, with the male having a continuous orgasm during the whole tie - until he starts to shrink and they pop apart. Bitches also have orgasms, and she'll likely have quite a few during the tie, as well - research has shown that her orgasms are essential to increasing the chances of pregnancy, due to muscular contractions.

Anyway. if a guy like me has a stud dog partner, one form of intimacy is for him to tie with us, anally. As young teenagers, many of us learned the hard way about the knot, and the tie - particularly back in pre-interweb days. So we'd suddenly find ourselves locked together, with this tennis-ball width cock inside us. Nowadays, I suspect most young zoos know all about this. However, some folks still have eyes bigger than their stomach, err their you-know-what.

It would not be accurate to say that I have a stream of visitors who show up at my house just for sex with my canine partners. However, it is true that I do not exercise any sort of unilateral control/ownership over the relationships my canine boys might develop with other people - they are adults, and if they desire to get frisky with another two-legger and I judge that the person is respectful and unlikely to do anything mean or stupid, I have no moral ground on which to say "oh, no, you aren't allowed - he can only have sex with me." That just makes no sense, so if there's a time when a friend is visiting and there's a spark between them and one of my partners, I'm ok with that. In truth, I think it's great to have the boys' enjoy other positive relationships and I love to see them happy, whatever the circumstances.

Many years ago, a friend was visiting - a zoo who had been active with his own stud dog for quite a few years. His boy was a breed that is not small, but is also somewhat known by old-school zoos as being, well, on average not so well-endowed relative to their body size. This friend had tied with his partner on a number of occasions - and he often talked about how intense and rewarding the experience was, for both of them. That's great, I said - while thinking that he'd probably not fare so well with a larger breed.

As it turns out, he and one of my canine friends hit it off quite clearly right from the get-go - the chemistry was there and the two of them seemed like they'd known each other for ages. After several visits, I could see that they were sort of getting closer and closer - my friend was worried that I'd feel he was somehow intruding into my relationship with this handsome stud dog - who had been in my own family for close to a decade. Of course not, I told him - if you guys hit it off and things get steamy, I'd hardly throw cold water on it just so I can be all possessive and insecure. HOWEVER, I warned him, that handsome boy with whom you're making goo-goo eyes is much bigger than your own long-time partner.

I tried to be nice about this, but some zoos get their nose out of joint if you suggest their beloved might not be the most-endowed canine (or equine, or whatever) around. He was a bit like that - and right off the bat tried to convince me his boy was "really quite large for his body size," and who was I to argue? I did warn him that the stud dog he was considering, in my family, was somewhat over-endowed for his body size - and he was in the range of 120 pounds of low-bodyfat muscle. Beh, my friend said, no problem - I know what I'm doing. . .

Later that evening, after I'd gone to bed, I woke to the sound of toenails on the hardwood floor. There was also a bit of panting, a giggle here and there - not hard to figure out what was going on. Feeling a sense of impending doom, I made my presence known and sort of lurked in the background, sitting on the sofa and enjoying the huge, nearly-full moon casting shadows on the farm. The two boys were doing some sort of foreplay - it seemed cute to me, but I did (once again) warn my friend that this particular stud dog was also rather aggressive in his breeding - he'd sired many litters of wonderful pups, in his own career, and knew quite well how to get a proper tie with even inexperienced or skittish bitches. Yeah, yeah - my friend was clearly not thinking with the had between his shoulders, but the one between his legs.

In a flash, the big stud dog was mounted on my friend - and this time he wasn't just going through the motions, or playing. In just a few thrusts, he was inside - and with all that muscle, he held himself tight as he began to swell. It doesn't take long - maybe 20 seconds. I'm still watching, from the sofa, somewhere between shocked and bemused. For the first ten seconds or so, my friend is quiet and still as a winter night - not a sound save the deep grunting from my stud dog as he was swelling with each heartbeat.

Then, reality started to intrude (pun intended). My friend started to make this sort of whimpering sound - no words, just a low moan. Too late to turn back, I knew, so I held my tongue. Then, as my stud dog really began to take on his full size (which I knew from years of firsthand enjoyment was just under 10 inches in length with a knot just shy of softball size), my two-legged friend began to realize the error of his ways. This stud dog was, quite likely, at least double the width of his normal canine partner - and 3 or 4 inches longer. And, as reality is dawning on him, each heartbeat is causing the cock inside him to get bigger. . . and bigger. . . and bigger.

By now, he's positively crying - literally crying like a baby. No words, just sort of a quiet blubbering. He's smart enough to know there's no backing out now - and he didn't try anything stupid like pulling loose (which can, indeed, cause massive rectal tearing if done in haste - trust me, not fun). At this point my canine friend casually steps off from the usual "doggie style" position and, with years of practice, adjusts himself into the butt-to-butt position. And to add insult to (literal) injury, my canine friend has now plastered an absolutely massive grin on his face - when we say "shit-eating grin," this is it He's having the time of his life, tied with a new friend he's met, just starting into an orgasm that will go on for nearly 20 minutes. Not only does he not really know that his fuck buddy is feeling like someone's put the better part of a baseball bat up his ass. . . I'm quite sure he doesn't care.

Just for good measure, I took a photo of the gigantic smile on the stud dog's face - nothing more than that, just his face and the grin to end all grins. Click.

My two-legged friend is now officially gibbering - it's really a verb, I didn't know that before just then. He's somehow begging for it to "stop, oh please stop" - but every now and then there's an "oh god oh GOD he's amazing" thrown in, before he's back to "oh PLEASE make it stop OOOH stop stop stop." This goes on, as is par for the course, for just shy of 20 minutes, at which point my stud dog friend begins to subside, pops free (with a characteristically loud and gushing dis-connection), and lies down to clean himself up and help his cock back into its sheath.

In contrast, my two-legged friend has simply fallen over, and curled up into a fetal ball. Well, I think to myself, I don't see any blood. . . oh, wait, I do see blood, but not really that much so it's probably ok. I get him a blanket and try to offer kindness without intruding on his pain, and to be honest without sniggering. The words "I told you so" are hovering out there, but need not be spoken at that somewhat awkward time. I do ask: "are you going to be ok, or should we head to hospital?" In between ragged breaths, he responds "no hospital, not going to die" - and indeed my own judgment is that he's far from dying, though he may feel like that would be preferable to the pain he's in.

I get him a blanket, and a pillow and get him comfortable right there on the hardwood floor of the kitchen. And our canine Casanova? Well he's cleaned up, wandered over to give a big, wet, shameless kiss to his worse-for-the-wear sexual partner and he's already asleep on the sofa, snoring - with grin still present on his face. Remorse? Regret? Not a chance!

The next day, I was impressed to see that my guest was up and at the kitchen table, with his well-endowed playmate from the previous night sharing a dish of eggs and toast, when I came downstairs with the rest of the canine crew. Impressed, that is, until I noticed he wasn't in any rush to get up from the table - ever. Turns out, he had indeed suffered some serious internal bruising - in a few days, the discoloration has spread from his lower back (which still makes me laugh, sorry, because I can visualize exactly how far in that cock had gone and, sure enough, that's where the bruise mellows out - a good bit of the way up his back and towards his ribs) down his legs, and clear to his ankles. Both legs. It's spectacular. He's walking like a rehabbed accident victim for several days, and for weeks afterwards he looks as if he'd ridden a horse for too long (again, laughing as I type). It was more than a month before he'd healed up more or less ok, and even then I'd see him wince if he bent down too quickly.

Is it wrong for me to think this is funny? If it is, so be it - it's fucking funny. The transformation from swaggering "oh I can take that big boy, I know what I'm doing" to hunched-over victim of a mind-expanding lesson in what "big" means when applied to stud dogs - all in the blink of an eye. Yes, it's definitely funny.

Of course, in those early weeks, he promised me he would NEVER do something like that again - NEVER tie with a dog bigger than his own long-term partner. And, he asked me with genuine indignation, how could I keep tying with that dog who had torn him up so badly? Didn't I know the danger I was in? I responded, casually, that I appreciated his concerns but, to put perspective on things he should remember that his dog compared to that stud dog who tore him up so badly, in terms of relative size, the same way that the tearer-upper compared to my Dane partner at the time. His eyes grew wide - comprehension dawned. . . "you don't tie with that monster, do you?" I glanced over at my beloved Dane who, looking up at me, thumped his tail a few times in flagrant collusion with my own thoughts. "Who, me? Tie with that massive dog? Now what kind of crazy fool would do such a thing?"

And that, indeed, is a different story entirely. Years later, I emailed that photo of a stud dog with a huge grin on his handsome face, to my friend - no subject, no title, no comments. I believe I could hear the laughing from several thousand miles away - the smile says it all.

Won't somebody think of the thetans! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24380453)

Xenu will not be pleased.

dangerous (0)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 6 years ago | (#24380467)

It's all fun and games until someone loses a city!

One Unexploited Natural Alaskan Resource ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24380555)

All they need to do is get that hot little governor they've got up there to do a Playboy photo shoot.

Volunteers? (4, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#24380623)

So, how many virgins per minute does it require to keep going?

Re:Volunteers? (5, Funny)

n dot l (1099033) | more than 6 years ago | (#24380883)

So, how many virgins per minute does it require to keep going?

This is Slashdot. Your question is making people...uncomfortable.

Re:Volunteers? (1)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381081)

So, how many virgins per minute does it require to keep going?

This is Slashdot. Your question is making people...uncomfortable.

Yeah, we haven't figured out how many virgins go into a Library of Congress.

Re:Volunteers? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381083)

So, how many virgins per minute does it require to keep going?

That would depend on the exchange rate for Orange Crush.

Geyserville, CA (5, Interesting)

cathector (972646) | more than 6 years ago | (#24380691)

i was surprised to read that The Geysers, just north of San Francisco, claims to be "the largest complex of geothermal power plants in the world" [geysers.com] . i guess "largest" is open to interpretation. But here's another startling claim: "The Geysers satisfies nearly 60 percent of the average electricity demand in the North Coast region from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Oregon border".

who knew ?

Who knew? (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#24380857)

* raises hand *

[thanx to some other slashdot poster who used this today]

Re:Geyserville, CA (2, Insightful)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381313)

That single setup produces about 5 times more geothermal energy than the much touted Iceland...

Re:Geyserville, CA (1)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381619)

The Geysers satisfies nearly 60 percent of the average

Lucky old geyser!

Iceland vs Greenland (5, Funny)

yorkshiredale (1148021) | more than 6 years ago | (#24380719)

Anyone else noticed that Iceland is quite a green and verdant place, while Greenland is a large lump of ice?

Re:Iceland vs Greenland (4, Funny)

cathector (972646) | more than 6 years ago | (#24380767)

not sure i would say "quite" green and verdant. "occasionally", sure. joke i learned from some icelanders: "What should you do if you get lost in an Icelandic forest? ... Stand up."

Re:Iceland vs Greenland (2, Informative)

ya really (1257084) | more than 6 years ago | (#24380847)

I think the Vikings/Erik the Red named it that to try to con people into living there after realizing Iceland wasn't such a great name for people seeking warmer temperatures or a better place to live than Scandinavia. It wasn't like you could just log onto the web or visit a travel agent back then to check the regional climate of Greenland, heh heh.

Re:Iceland vs Greenland (1)

yorkshiredale (1148021) | more than 6 years ago | (#24380887)

"What should you do if you get lost in an Icelandic forest? ... Stand up."

Made me chuckle :)

Than again, it ain't this : http://www.greenlandholiday.com/AboutGreenland/Ice/tabid/68/Default.aspx [greenlandholiday.com]

Re:Iceland vs Greenland (1)

cathector (972646) | more than 6 years ago | (#24380967)

i think you slashdotted it.

Re:Iceland vs Greenland (1)

shawb (16347) | more than 6 years ago | (#24380933)

The story that I recall is the names were basically P.R. Early explorers/settlers in Greenland wanted more people there, while those in Iceland wanted it for themselves. More likely is that they were named when they were discovered, likely at different times of the year or even under different climate conditions.

Re:Iceland vs Greenland (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381611)

Anyone else noticed that Iceland is quite a green and verdant place, while Greenland is a large lump of ice?

You can thank the Department of Contradictions Non-Department for that. It's right next door to that Department of Redundancy Department.
     

this is goatsE\x (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24380759)

[tux.Org]? Are you impaired its

Not a problem, really (2, Interesting)

Bondolon (1000444) | more than 6 years ago | (#24380867)

They've been ignoring geothermal for years, and it's good that they're finally getting into it. There's so little feasible habitable space that it could make a great effect on Alaska. However, they also have the benefit of wide-open plains that, for the most part, won't be adversely affected by more modern solar methods. Alaska is essentially a geo/solar power source that remains fundamentally untapped, and really has a ton of potential.

Re:Not a problem, really (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381085)

However, they also have the benefit of wide-open plains that, for the most part, won't be adversely affected by more modern solar methods.

I'm no scientist, but won't the extreme angle of the sun during the summer and the lack of sun during winter adversely impact their solar production?

Re:Not a problem, really (1)

Bondolon (1000444) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381151)

Adversely affect the actual output? Sure. The problem isn't the effectiveness of the output, though, it's the output itself. This may sound ridiculous, but we get enough sunlight that most parts of Earth could positively contribute, especially if much of that land is not biome-valuable. In the cases of Alaska, Texas and the Mojave, we have incredible potential for output, with little-to-no biome detriment.

Each state should fend for itself! (1, Offtopic)

alta (1263) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381035)

That's my plan. We currently have too much goverment 'wealth distribution' Each state should use its own resources. If a state has a surplus, let it sell it. If there's not enough resources to support the population the population needs to spread to more appropriate places. I hear Montana is nice this time of year. States like California have a disproportunate (sp) amount of the countries resources. All border states are moving in this direction due to illegal immigration. (BTW, I believe we have the resources to support controlled/legal immigration, not the free for all and border chaos we have now)

I'm not saying it's a good plan, but obama would like it, because it's Change! ;)

Discuss amongst yourselves.

I'm going to go ahead and mod myself -1 Troll. I am interested in yalls opinions though.

If you think ANWR is dirty... (0)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381041)

Alaska would be better off drilling ANWR and just burning 1/2 the crude for energy than it would be to invest in geothermal, then selling the rest. They would have 500 billion in cash and enough oil to last them ages. In fact, ANWR is so much money that Alaskans would almost be silly not to think of seceding from the USA to escape environmental laws since the economic impact to that state would be so huge.

Geothermal means drilling and a lot of it. Then, on top of that, you have to have a lot of water to run through your geothermal holes and basically what you've done is create a system that pumps heavy metals back from deep underground up to the surface of the earth.

LOL (2, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381129)

Hmmm. So, do a limited resource which is totally unknown, but best estimates of oil are around 10 BBL. IOW, it is just a couple of years worth of oil for America. The humorous part of this is that the oil will simply be sold to Japan or some other place. How long will it last? Maybe 10-20 years. Max. For comparisons, purdhoe bay had 25 bbls. And it is finally running out after 30 years. So, we pump about 1 BBL/year from there.

And you think that a simple 10BBL is worth a great deal more to Alaska than using their volcanos to generate electricity for the next 100 years? If developed, The YEARLY power available from these will exceed the TOTAL power that WAS stored in purdhoe bay. As to the env, you HAVE to be kidding.Geo-thermal is one of the cleanest forms of energy that we have. Obviously, you need to circulate the water back in. But that is not hard. Heck, if done right, this power can be used to power a train acorss Alaska to Russia (via tunnel). It would allow development of the area. And they would still be able to export energy back to Russia, Canada, and the northwest.
And you still push oil? Hmmmm.

Re:LOL (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381277)

what makes you think it's clean? like he said when you drill holes in the ground and run water through it bad things come out.

Re:LOL (2, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381301)

When it is a closed system, that I would call that clean. The problem occurs when you extract the water and dispose of it on the surface. When it is in the ground, extracted, use for heat, and then re-injected back into the ground, I would say that is clean. OTH, some of these do not operate in that fashion. For example, the one in CA uses waste water from local towns to inject in the ground producing steam. That steam is allowed to flow out. That will pick up the local compounds and send it in the air. But chena and most of the other Geo-thermals re-inject.

about time (1)

suzerain (245705) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381103)

So, I read the article, and I thought about commenting on little nuances and details, or about crafting some kind of painfully witty reply that would goad mods into giving me karma points, but I read the article and the most eloquent response I can come up with is "it's about fucking time".

Works in Hawaii... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24381319)

The "Big Island" of Hawaii has a geothermal plant rated at something like 25-35 megawatts, which is a meaningful fraction (though not 25%, maybe more like 10%) of demand. More geothermal could be exploited, but there are issues of land ownership (lots of the volcanic stuff is federal land) as well as cultural, religious and environmental sensitivity.

Many many holes to be drilled (1, Troll)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381335)

The problem with geothermal energy is that you need to drill hundreds of holes and then you end up with enormous quantities of toxic, heavy metal polluted water run-off. Drilling for oil requires orders of magnitude fewer holes and results in less water pollution.

heheheh (4, Informative)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381419)

That argument is the same one as saying that wind generators wipe out the birds or that CFL have mercury in them.
Yes, SOME wind generators have killed birds (esp one in CA). But over all have not. More important, these are MUCH better on birds than the pollution being put out by coal plants.
The same issue with the mercury in CFL. The CFL has a small amount of Mercury, but FAR FAR less than what is put out by a CLEAN coal plant using a regular bulb.

The geo-thermal requires anywhere from 1 to a 100 holes. But there are plenty of dried wells in places like Colorado that make a great low-temp place (esp, since many wells were already drilled close). Secondly, oil pulls up the exact same sediments. In fact worse, because most are drilling FAR deeper these days. But by using a closed system, esp. with binaries, the pollution on the land and in the air is gone. So that leaves just that below. And since the way of the hole is piping, you really do not interfere with the local water table (barring a shallow heat reservoir). As to the multiple holes, that is also a none issue. Slant drilling works wonders. A single pad with 5 holes will do the trick. Even the EPA says it is one of the cleanest form of energy.

Re:Many many holes to be drilled (1)

speedingant (1121329) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381469)

Giggidy Giggidy!

Great News (4, Funny)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 6 years ago | (#24381345)

The oil industry will need a cheap form of electricity to extract all that expensive oil. Awesome.
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