Tag: Geothermal

Coast to Coast and Across the Electric System, Microgrids Provide Benefits to All

At the most obvious level, microgrids could disrupt today’s utilities and their regulated-monopoly business model, because they challenge the centralized paradigm. In a nutshell, microgrids are localized power grids that have the ability to disconnect from the main, centralized grid to operate independently when the main power grid experiences disturbances. 

Germany’s Powerhouse Feels Pinch of Merkel’s Shift to Renewables

North Rhine-Westphalia, the German state that’s home to utilities RWE AG and EON SE, is losing its standing as the country’s powerhouse as wind and solar energy begin to displace conventional sources.

Electricity consumers in the western state, which has one-third of Germany’s installed conventional power capacity, last year paid 3.1 billion euros ($3.5 billion) more to subsidize clean energy generation than producers there were awarded, the BDEW utility lobby said in a report Tuesday. The biggest recipient was Brandenburg in the east with a positive balance of 838 million euros.

 

 

Geothermal Piping Systems Get into the Groove

How do you design outdoor piping to account for changing elevation, uneven terrain, seismic and thermal movement, and the reroutes required of a drilling fluid system? This was the challenge faced by engineers and contractors for Indonesia’s largest geothermal power plant, Wayang Windu. The pipe-joining method would need to offer flexibility and superior maintainability, and project personnel sought a method that would not be susceptible to inclement weather or pose undue safety hazards. Welding and flanging couldn’t meet those parameters, but a solution was found in grooved mechanical piping.

Harnessing Indonesia’s Geothermal Potential

Located on the Ring of Fire and home to more than 200 volcanoes, Indonesia is estimated to have about 28 GW of geothermal potential for power generation, which is about 40 percent of the geothermal potential for the entire world. 41 volcanoes are found on the island of Java alone, providing abundant geothermal resources and holding the highest potential for energy production. Fittingly, this reflects the locale’s demand for energy. Home to 135 million inhabitants — about 60 percent of Indonesia’s population — Java is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. To meet energy demand, geothermal plants have been expanding to increase output.

The New Normal? Renewables, Efficiency, And “Too Much Electricity”

Just over a decade ago, the state of California faced serious concerns about whether its utilities could generate and/or buy enough power to assure that the world’s seventh-largest economy could keep the lights on. The infamous California energy crisis, which affected several other western states as well, was a complex tangle of poorly structured deregulation, significant market manipulation (remember Enron?), and other causes. Along with rolling blackouts, California endured an official state of emergency that lasted 34 months, led to the recall and replacement of Gov. Gray Davis, and cost the state and its ratepayers billions of dollars — a cautionary tale for all states of electricity supply unable to meet demand.

Summers’ Law Strikes Again

Lawrence Summers famously wrote, “there are idiots, look around” in an attack on the theory that markets are rational. What some have called “Summers’ Law” certainly applies to the markets’ response to the slide in the price of oil as it relates to stocks of renewable energy companies.

Why Fracking May Support Renewables

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is shunned by the environmentalists that laud renewable energy sources. However, by not supporting both initiatives, they may be working at cross purposes. Natural gas, booming largely because of fracking, complements…

Using Geothermal Solutions to Desalinate Oil Field Water

Clean water — it’s a precious resource in hot demand right now, for more than taking a shower or watering our crops. The United Nations projects the world’s population will grow by another billion people, to 8.4 Billion, by 2030. More people means more need for food, water, electricity, and other necessities. Beyond the obvious demands for water, our increasing appetite for electricity also requires water — and plenty of it. Most of the electricity generated in the U.S. uses water in some capacity.