Is geothermal energy, the energy of the future?

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People talk all the time about energy and if you listen careully they actually mean electricity.

source greenwell energy

Energy use is mainly about heat which makes 50% of the total energy use.

The energy use is mainly dived in these three areas — for heating 50% , electricity 20% and other like transportation etc 30%.

Some 50% of the Austrian energy consumption is used for heating, and this is almost powered by natural gas. And only a fraction of this heat it is produced from renewable sources -8% of the total energy use.

Similar looks transportation where a very small part of it comes from renewable sources ( 2% of the total energy use).

On the other hand, electricity make only 20% of the total energy consumption and it is produced mostly of renewable sources. Only a small fraction is NOT produced from renewable sources. (5% not reneable of the total).

Still everyone is talking (including the government local and federal) about this small part of non-renewable electricity.

source greenwell energy

Growing demand for heat due to local agroproduction

Not only have a great demand for heat, but this demand is growing tremendously every year. Not just because the winters are longer and colder but also due to increased regional agricultural production.

Yes there is a growing trend of consuming regional and local agricultural products. Also innovative products like shrimps breeding, ginger, rice, lemons or watermelons from Austria are not anymore exotic topics.

On the other hand everybody would like to become sustainable and buy local fruits and vegetables also in January and February. Forgetting that those products don't grow in Austria in January.

And how are these trends being satisfied at the moment?

How can this all year around demand for local agricultural products be satisfied without importing products?

Of course by growing fruits and vegetables in greenhouses and then heat the greenhouses with oil or gas ( best cases with biomass)

But is there any common sense of reducing transports from ie Spain and increase use of fosssil fuels in Austria for heating greenhouses???

There are studies that show that strawberries and tomatoes beeing imported form Italy or Spain are more environmetal friedly that those grown locally in Austria in winter.

Is there another renewable energy solution?

Yes there is a renewable solution and it is at our doorstep. It has always been.

Geothermal energy which is an exellent energy source and it is reneable and environmental friendly.

It is available 24 hrs and not just when the wind blows, when the sun shines or when there is plenty of rain.

Geothermal energy, the energy mother earth gives us is green, renewable and practically a hidden treasure in our garden.

What is deep geothermal energy und why is so expensive?

The earth temperature in Central Europe increases with 3–4°C every 100m deep. That means at 1000m the temperature is 30°C at 2000m it is 60°C and so on.

Technically seen is very simple to get geothermal energy. A deep well of 2000–3000m deep is drilled. A cool fluid is pumped into the well and it gets heated from mother earch. The hot fluid returs to surface and is used in an endless cycle to heat for example a greenhouse.

Indeed these geothermal wells are very expensive because the drilling alone consists of more than 90 % of the costs and this is a couple of millions of euros.

These energy sources are not an option for the traditional central European farmer because it poses significant disadvantages like deep drilling using heavy “oil and gas” equipment, months of site work with a significant CO2 footprint.

Greenwell energy is using a diffrent approach. It is using the existing old oil and gas wells by retrofitting them to geothermal wells without using electricity intesive heat pumps.

Currently, the technology is being demonstrated for use in compact greenhouses. A single well can generate enough energy to heat up to 1000 m2 of greenhouses.

By recycling the old wells greenwell energy reduces 98% of the CO2 footprint of a traditional geothermal site, significantly broadening the type and size of suitable agricultural productions.

Using retrofitted geothermal wells the principle of harvesting the earths heat has become an attractive addition to existing sources of sustainable energy.

Is geothermal energy, the energy of the future?

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AseTila Köstinger 🐝 von Sonnenland

An innovation economist. A futurist, impact entrepreneur and startup mentor. Enthusiast about the SDGs, blockchain and the future of energy.