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“Supercritical” geothermal could power everything

By District Energy posted 06-22-2022 06:07


Energy Monitor


Wind and solar technologies are the poster children of renewable energy: their resources are widely available and increasingly low-cost, but the variability of wind and sunlight means turbines and photovoltaics are not standalone solutions. They leave generation gaps that remain to be filled, and some of the leading contenders to do so – like nuclear power or fossil fuel-fired power plants coupled with carbon capture and storage – are controversial, or in the case of long duration energy storage, not sufficiently developed.

Geothermal energy and hydropower can also provide a complementary supply of energy. Their constant and high-capacity generation can complement wind and solar installations, or even operate autonomously.

Geothermal can provide perpetual baseload power. Because it is an underground operation, it does not interact with the local environment and is sheltered from weather and human disasters. An added benefit is that the same energy source can also help decarbonise buildings by fuelling district heating systems and heat pumps.

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