July 17, 2020
New Twist On Geothermal With Roots In Canadian Oilpatch Set To Spread Worldwide Part 5 - Scalability is Essential
A fantastic article posted on the Daily Oil Bulletin written by Maurice Smith, which can be found in full here - Link.
The full article is quite long, so we’ve broken it down by section for you, we’ll post a new section each day.
This is part of an ongoing DOB series, titled “New Directions, New Possibilities,” which examines energy innovation, sustainability challenges and opportunities. Previous articles looked at petrolithium development (Link) and how Alberta start-ups are in a global race to grab a piece of the booming lithium supply chain (Link).
Scalability is Essential
One of the major drawbacks for Shell and other big oil companies has always been the lack of scalability of geothermal. Largely limited to geologically active areas like those found in Iceland and California, it has been too niche a market to interest large companies.
Closed-loop technology changes the calculus in that respect since it can go anywhere there’s heat — which is virtually everywhere if drilled deep enough. By removing the need to nd shallow high temperatures and permeable aquifers, Eavor provides “a uniquely scalable source of emissions-free baseload power,” notes Redfern. “Traditionally geothermal hasn’t been very scalable because it only works in a few rare places efficiently. That’s why despite being around for 100 years, there’s only [a handful of] geothermal power projects on the entire planet.”
The Eavor-Loop also provides greater flexibility in scale. Theoretically, it can go from powering a neighbourhood to powering a city and everything in between. “We can do it in smaller increments. So you could invest $30 million, do the first loop, and for other $30 million do the second, and just grow it so it becomes, after a few loops, self-financing — and much lower risk as well.”
Each Eavor-Loop installation is capable of generating industrial-scale electricity or producing enough heat for the equivalent of 16,000 homes. The company has a stated goal to convert the energy equivalent of ten million homes in 10 years to the EavorLoop solution