This Week in Sustainability: New Geothermal Energy Technology and Long-Term Solutions for Battery Storage

| Josh Henretig

geoThis week Treehugger reported on a new geothermal energy technology, which could use CO2 from fossil fuel plants to produce 10 times the electricity as traditional geothermal generation. Essentially, CO2 from fossil fuel-burning facilities would be captured and condensed into a liquid, similar to existing plans for carbon sequestration. But here comes the difference: the liquid energy is pumped into underground wells, where it flows through porous rocks, using the resulting pressure to create and collect heat, and ultimately more energy. Even more exciting? The technology would enable geothermal energy even in regions without traditional geothermal energy sources. Even more so, excess energy from wind or solar farms could also provide the necessary energy needed to compress the CO2 in these new wells, therefore making use of excess energy from renewable energy installations.

Greentech Media also reported on three new technologies that could offer long-term solutions for energy storage of renewable energy. Worries about the challenges of intermittency have created hesitancy about continued growth for renewable energy. The piece though outlines three new solutions to solve just that. One possibility? Chemical energy storage could turn excess energy into methane or hydrogen. Other solutions include compressed air energy storage which would store the excess output of wind energy for later use and pumping hydro from lower to higher elevations which would store water for potential energy. As the piece notes, these new technologies could be cost-competitive and could displace some of the gas that was previously generated to fill the energy gaps. While work needs to be done, there’s no shortage of innovation that will ensure that over time the planet’s energy consumption will include more and more renewable energy.

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