Boiling liquid

Australian Geothermal Energy

Geothermal energy is a naturally occurring form of energy that can be harvested from the earth. It exists as a result of hot molten rocks such as granite which act as heat reservoirs. Australia has for long been identified as one of the continents that has a high potential in the production of geothermal energy. Despite this potential, the geothermal sector in Australia seems to be stagnated as there is no observable significant growth.

The government has continuously tried to support the growth of geothermal plants through funding but all seem to fail. Over the years several geothermal projects across Australia have been initiated by big geothermal companies such as Geodynamics Limited. But all failed prematurely without making any significant impact on the country’s energy market. Currently, the energy obtained from geothermal wells in Australia cannot support any form of commercial use.

The central and southern parts of Australia have been extensively explored and in most cases, the results have been positive. The central part is known to have deeply seated granite rocks which store up heat from the earth’s core. This makes this region to be rich in geothermal power and several companies have found their way to these parts. The south of Australia has also been identified as one of the hot regions that are highly capable of boosting the country’s standing in the geothermal sector.

Research estimates made by several conservative energy sectors indicate that Australia has enough geo power that can be used to produce electricity that can run the whole country for a period of over three hundred years. These research findings say a lot about how advantaged Australia is in terms of geothermal energy. The stagnation in the growth of the geothermal market in Australia can be attributed to a few things.

Geothermal energy

Australia has Dormant Hydrothermal Systems

A good number of countries that rely on geothermal power are situated in areas that have very active hydrothermal systems. This energy can also replace air compressors used in manufacturing industries that may be harmful to the environment. Hydrothermal systems make it very easy to obtain the enormous amounts of energy hidden beneath the earth’s surface. These systems generate forces that naturally push fluids through the high-temperature rocks. The configuration of Australia’s bedrock does not support this phenomenon and this brings about the need for extra equipment which costs a lot.

Rival sources of Renewable Energy

The advancement in technology has brought about endless possibilities in the energy sector. Various factories and industries now switch from the traditional use of nitrogen generators to this energy source that helps the industry grow sustainably. With this, comes new inventions that have made it very easy to tap energy from other naturally occurring sources such as the sun. Renewable energy harvesting techniques such as the photovoltaic method has particularly affected the growth of Australia’s geothermal sector. Solar panels are less expensive compared to the extraction of geothermal power. This has made it very easy for people to invest more in solar energy than geothermal. The use of solar power is also less complicated compared to geothermal power which involves extra precaution as a result of the high temperatures.

Location of Australia’s Geothermal Wells

A good number of the geothermal wells in Australia are located in the middle of nowhere. The great distance between these wells and the city makes it very difficult to convey the energy to the city where it is highly needed. The process will further require the use of additional monetary funds and manpower which will increase the cost of production. Due to this several companies may avoid taking part in geothermal projects due to the high cost.

Limitations in Drilling Technology

Currently, the technology available only allows geo researchers to dig to the depths of about five kilometres as they search for the hot zones. This may be a limiting factor because temperatures of the earth’s core may vary from one geographical region to another. As a result, some parts of Australia may have geothermal wells that are deeply seated at depths of more than five kilometres. But since the technology available is not able to explore these wells they are left unnoticed.

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