Tag Archives: geothermal

Clean Energy Districts & Local Ground Source Heat Pump Utilities

Be in on the ground floor as the
Lafayette Clean Energy working group expands

Monday, May 12, 2014, 6:30 pm -8:30 pm
Lafayette Public Library
775 W. Baseline Rd, Lafayette, CO

Power Locally announces the next in a series of public meetings to discuss local clean energy action. Paul Boney of ClimateMaster will present his findings on forming a local ground-source heat pump (GHP) energy efficiency utility to leverage public/private financing; provide residential, commercial and municipal energy customers with great terms to invest in big energy efficiency retrofits; and give local governments and REAs a potential revenue stream—all while taking real action to address climate change.

Joel Poppert will put the possibility of starting an energy efficiency utility into local context by discussing how his work at forming a GHP utility could apply to Lafayette.

Robb Menzies will give an update on the progress made at the RMI e-Lab Accelerator workshop and will facilitate a discussion regarding next steps in Lafayette to Power Locally with clean energy. For more information, or to receive an advance copy of Paul Boney’s GHP utility whitepaper, e-mail Robb Menzies at robb.menzies@gmail.com.

Enhanced Geothermal Systems promise dispatchable zero carbon power

Icelandic Geothermal Power Plant by Scott Ableman at Flickr

Geothermal energy is the Earth’s own internal heat. It’s a huge potential resource, but so far it’s seen only very limited use. Traditional geothermal power can only work where there are naturally existing hydrothermal systems that bring the heat of the interior to the surface. A new technique called enhanced (or engineered) geothermal systems (EGS) may make geothermal power much more widely available. If it can be scaled up commercially, EGS will enable us to create hydrothermal systems anywhere there’s hot rock not too deeply buried — which includes a large swath of Colorado. This is potentially significant in the context of creating a zero-carbon electrical system because like hydroelectricity, and unlike wind and solar, geothermal power can be dispatchable: you can turn it on and off at will. This makes it a great complement to intermittent renewable power, as it can be used to fill in the gaps then the wind’s not blowing or the sun’s not shining.  It remains to be seen whether it’s technically feasible, and if so at what price, and on what timeline, but it’s certainly worth investigating.

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