May 17, 2020
Eavor CEO John Redfern Responds To CBC OPINION | "For Alberta, the potential of geothermal energy is clear, if it's done right"
I am writing in response to “OPINION | For Alberta, the potential of geothermal energy is clear, if it's done right” published recently in on CBC:
An opinion column from Sara Hastings-Simon, a research fellow at the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary, and Brendan Haley, the policy director for Efficiency Canada at Carleton University.
We believe in order to rapidly scale, a key learning is to think big, think globally, as some Canadian companies have a tendency to think that we can’t compete internationally. With Eavor, this is not the case, other markets like Germany and Japan have the exact market conditions ripe for Eavor. In fact, we are currently working on a dozen separate potential Eavor projects in Germany right now.
In order to bring this technology home, two weeks ago, The Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors (CAODC), Clean Energy Canada, the Clean Resource Innovation Network (CRIN), and the Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC) joined together to create an alliance with the existing geothermal industry participants to promote Canadian geothermal development and to create jobs for displaced oil and gas drilling contractors and oilfield service workers. A sector in which the recent funding announcement of 1.7bn for orphan wells and $750 ERF does not impact or support.
Under this program, Eavor believes Alberta could attract up to $4 billion in foreign investment capital, to create 400 MW of clean dispatchable power and eliminate 2,000,000 tons of CO2 per year, all the while eventually employing 5,000 displaced oil service workers. Such a plan could kickstart a geothermal ecosystem in Canada that could lead the world and represent a clean sunrise export industry for Canada.
The technology that could make such a geothermal moonshot possible is a made-in-Canada solution called Eavor-Loop™. Our successful demonstration project, which was completed last year was supported by funding from NRCan, SDTC, Alberta Innovates and ERA. This geothermal technology eliminates the need for a permeable reservoir to produce brine and instead works purely via conduction. Eavor’s system is not highly restricted by geology and thus can be placed anywhere, making it highly scalable where traditional geothermal is not.
The Eavor-Loop™, combined with the repurposing of many orphaned wells, dramatically reduces exploratory cost, risk and delays as well as ongoing operational uncertainties which are all typically found in traditional geothermal projects. This allows Eavor-Loop™ to be scaled up rapidly, without the need for governments to derisk or subsidize an exploratory phase, which again, is only required for traditional geothermal projects.
The writers of the CBC Opinion Article are correct about a lot of things, in particular the need for smart policy, regulatory, and royalty structures that generate certainty. Such an incentive plan will need to include the same things that make geothermal attractive in places like Europe and Japan: a properly designed long-term PPA. Such a PPA would recognize the true value of Eavor’s reliable geothermal power, but could be set far lower than international PPA’s given the lower (world-beating) drilling costs available in Canada as well as not needing an exploratory phase. The incentives found in this type of PPA would be focused on improving overall project economics in a technologically neutral way as well as provide a fair market value for the clean dispatchable power that Eavor can produce.
Eavor’s brand of geothermal is the missing link in Earth’s energy mix as it’s the one solution that is clean, baseload and dispatchable. Traditional geothermal has not been able to be this missing link because it’s many shortfalls. Eavor has solved all of these shortfalls, so now with this new technology, and initial support from governments, we can implement it at scale. Without a clean, baseload and dispatchable power source, the grid will struggle to replace all the legacy coal, gas and nuclear power, with intermittent sources like wind and solar (even with better batteries than exist today). Eavor, however, can fill this gap.
We can do this by building on the same world-leading assets and expertise that sit idle in the oil service industry today. We can lead the world simply by using this expertise to convert our old abandoned well sites to geothermal use.
Thank you again for the opportunity to respond to your article, how is this for a geothermal strategy Canada can get excited about?
Eavor Technologies Inc.
President & CEO