Ground Water Canada

Features Geothermal
U.S. DOE announces geothermal R&D at Stanford workshop


January 28, 2015
By Ground Water Canada

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Jan. 28, 2015, Stanford, CA– Jay Nathwani, acting director of the U.S. Department of Energy's
Geothermal Technologies Office, was to discuss plans to
accelerate development of geothermal energy at the Stanford Geothermal Workshop.

Jan. 28, 2015, Stanford, CA– Jay Nathwani, acting director of the U.S. Department of Energy's
Geothermal Technologies Office, was to discuss plans to
accelerate development of geothermal energy at the Stanford Geothermal Workshop.

Geothermal energy produces five per cent of California's electricity and is
used to heat buildings in 43 countries, said a news release from the university.

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However, it could become a far
larger global resource with the successful development of some
technologies, like the application of hydraulic fracturing to get water
to hot, dry rock thousands of feet below ground. The three-day workshop, held Jan. 26-28, featured research and development results from
universities around the world, U.S. federal research laboratories and
private companies.

Some research results on the agenda:

  • First progress report on AltaRock Energy Inc.'s
    Newberry volcano project in Oregon, which is the first U.S.,
    commercial-sized enhanced geothermal system (EGS).
  • Some physical mechanisms of injection-triggered
    seismicity near a fault – such as fluid pressurization and stress due to
    cooling of reservoir rock – have the potential to control earthquakes
    during injection, a new Stanford study finds.
  • Researchers at the Raft River EGS in Utah have
    experimented with water temperature, injection rate and wellhead
    pressure in low-rate thermal fracturing as an alternative to hydraulic
    fracturing. Greater permeability and water conductivity have improved
    injectivity rates tenfold.