There’s enough heat flowing from inside the earth to meet total global energy demand twice over. But harnessing it requires drilling deep underground and transforming that heat into a usable form of energy. That’s difficult and expensive, which is why geothermal power—sometimes called the forgotten renewable—makes up only about 0.3% of electricity generation worldwide.
Now, though, it’s getting a boost. The recently passed US infrastructure bill set aside $84 million for the Department of Energy to build four demonstration plants to test enhanced geothermal systems, an experimental form of the technology.
The funding is only a tiny fraction of the DOE’s $62 billion allocation in the infrastructure bill, which also includes money to build more long-distance transmission lines, strengthen the supply chain for batteries, and help nuclear power plants stay afloat. But geothermal researchers say even these limited funds could go a long way in helping transition enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) to commercial use.
“Geothermal is really ready for prime time,” says Tim Latimer, founder and CEO of the EGS startup Fervo.
Geothermal’s appeal is all about consistency: while the electricity output of wind and solar plants varies with the weather and time of day, geothermal power is always on, providing a stable source of electricity.
“It’s really the only baseload renewable,” says Jody Robins, a geothermal engineer at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Nuclear power (which is carbon-free but not renewable) can serve a similar role, although cost, issues with waste, and public perception have limited its deployment.
Modern geothermal power plants have been running in the US since the 1970s. These plants generally pump hot water or steam from underground up to the surface to move a turbine and generate electricity. Then the water is pumped back down to maintain pressure underground, so the process can keep going.
Prime geothermal sites share certain characteristics: heat, rock with fractures in it, and water, all close to each other and within a couple of miles of the surface. But by now the most accessible geothermal resources—in the US, they’re largely concentrated in the west—have been tapped. Though researchers think there are many more potential sites yet to be found, it’s hard to figure out where they are. And in most of the eastern US and many other places around the world, the rock underground isn’t the right type for traditional plants to work, or the water isn’t there.
Some researchers and startups are trying to expand geothermal into new places. With EGS, they’re attempting to engineer what’s underground by pumping fluid down into impermeable rock to force cracks open. This creates space where water is free to move around and heat up, producing the steam needed for power. The process has the potential to trigger earthquakes, as early projects in South Korea and Switzerland have shown. However, EGS is similar to fracking, which is widespread across the US, and the risks are likely manageable in most places, Robins says.
This approach could expand geothermal to places that don’t have the groundwater or rock types needed for traditional plants.
Still, reaching these resources won’t be easy. Commercial drilling doesn’t usually go much deeper than seven kilometers (four miles)—for cost reasons, it’s often even less than that—and many places that might benefit from geothermal aren’t hot enough at that depth to reach the 150 °C needed to generate electricity economically. Reaching sufficient temperatures may mean going deeper, which would require new techniques and technologies that can withstand high heat and pressure.
Courtesy DOE Geothermal Technologies Office
Fervo is working out some of those details in its own projects, including one announced earlier this year with Google to install geothermal capacity near the company’s data centers in Nevada. It’s also recently gotten involved in a DOE project in central Utah, called FORGE (Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy).
Academic and industry researchers at FORGE are trying to find the best practices for deploying EGS, including drilling and
By: Casey Crownhart
Title: What it will take to unleash the potential of geothermal power
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2021/12/08/1041511/potential-geothermal-power-infrastructure-bill/
Published Date: Wed, 08 Dec 2021 12:00:00 +0000
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LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys
Bitso, a leading cryptocurrency platform operating in Latin America, and the Mexican Football Federation (FMF), today announced the joint launch of the first collectible NFT of the Mexico National Team’s jerseys that was acquired in cryptocurrencies.
This morning through their social media platforms, the FMF and Bitso announced the opportunity to acquire the new official National Team fan jerseys ahead of the team’s participation in the 2022 World Cup. In just 20 minutes, the entire collection sold out.
The NFTs of the jerseys have an exclusive design for the metaverse – each is unique on the blockchain and can be resold by its owner in subsequent transactions.
The collection consisted of 100 official physical jerseys, each with a corresponding NFT version of the jersey that fans’ avatars can wear within the Decentraland metaverse. Each physical and NFT jersey set sold for the equivalent of $1,800 MXN in ethers.
“Our mission is to make cryptocurrency useful in the everyday life of Mexicans; we are committed to spreading the technology through innovative opportunities that help people throughout the country familiarize themselves with this new world. We are very excited to offer the incredible, historic opportunity for the fans of our National Team so that through their Bitso account, they can wear the colors of the National Team on and ‘off’ the field in the metaverse.”
– Bárbara González Briseño, General Director of Bitso México
Created by Bitso, the virtual jersey sports the official colors of Mexico and the new National Team shield, characteristics that will make it stand out when users wear it in the virtual world of Decentraland.
The post LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys appeared first on CryptoNinjas.
Title: LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2022/07/29/latam-crypto-exchange-bitso-and-fmf-launch-nft-of-mexicos-national-team-jerseys/
Published Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2022 15:19:02 +0000
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Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth
EXMO, a crypto exchange platform operating since 2014, announced this week a rebranded visual identity with includes a new logo, brand colors, and design features. This new branding comes as EXMO continues to grow its crypto platform while also seeking to expand its presence in other jurisdictions.
Some new developments underway at EXMO:
Soon, users will be able to earn passive income from EXMO’s new staking platform.Plans to launch an EXMO crypto debit card.Expansion of its services in international markets with the opening of offices in Poland and Lithuania.
EXMO’s new logo
The rationale for the re-brand:
“At EXMO, we have a vision of a world where crypto is in every wallet. Hassle-free. We want to achieve this by making crypto as simple and accessible to everyone as possible. And we know that you already appreciate EXMO for offering user-friendly services and helpful support. Also for the opportunity to trade anywhere and anytime, closing deals in just a few taps. Such important changes required a rethinking of our corporate style, which has long needed a massive upgrade. So today we are introducing a new brand identity for EXMO with a completely new visual concept. We are launching a new logo, brand colors, and design elements. Our key design principles are simplicity, boldness, and a pinch of fun. But most importantly, we have changed our logo. Simple and easily recognizable, it represents the humanity of our brand. The logo stands out due to the wavy letter ‘m’ which symbolizes exchange rate charts and also resembles a spring that will launch you into the crypto world.”
– The EXMO Team regarding the re-branding
The post Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth appeared first on CryptoNinjas.
Title: Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2022/07/26/long-running-crypto-exchange-exmo-unveils-lively-rebrand-amidst-growth/
Published Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2022 08:10:38 +0000
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Stitching together the grid will save lives as extreme weather worsens
The blistering heat waves that set temperature records across much of the US in recent days have strained electricity systems, threatening to knock out power in vulnerable regions of the country.
The electricity has largely stayed online so far this summer, but there have been scattered problems and close calls already.
Heavy use of energy-sucking air-conditioners is the biggest problem. But intense heat can also reduce the output of power plants, blow transformers, and force power lines to sag. Severe droughts across large parts of the country have also significantly reduced the availability of hydroelectric power, according to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC).
It’s unlikely to get better soon. A number of grid operators may struggle to meet peak summer demand, creating the risk of rolling blackouts, the NERC report notes.
The nation’s isolated and antiquated grids are in desperate need of upgrades to keep the lights, heat, and air-conditioning on in the midst of extreme weather events that climate change is making more common, severe, and dangerous. One clear way to ease many of these issues is to more tightly integrate the country’s regional grids, stitching them together with more long-range transmission lines.
If electricity generated in one area can be more easily shared across much wider regions, power can simply flow to where it’s needed at those moments when customers crank up air-conditioners en masse, or when power plants or fuel supply lines fail amid soaring temperatures, wildfires, hurricanes, or other events, says Liza Reed, a research manager focused on transmission at the Niskanen Center, a Washington, DC, think tank.
The problem is it’s proved difficult to build more long-range transmission and grid interconnections for a variety of reasons, including the permitting challenges of erecting wires through private and public lands across cities, counties, and states and the reluctance of local authorities to forfeit control or submit to greater federal oversight.
The case of Texas
The unreliability of the US grid is not a new problem. Severe heat and winter storms have repeatedly exposed the frailty of electricity systems in recent years, leaving thousands to millions of people without power as temperatures spiked or plunged.
One of the fundamental challenges is that the grids today are highly fragmented. There are three main electricity networks within the US: the Eastern Grid, the Western Grid, and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). But there are numerous regional transmission organizations within those first two systems, including the California Independent System Operator, Southwest Power Pool, PJM Interconnection, New York ISO, and more.
These grids form a complex web of networks operating under different regulators, rules and market structures, and often with limited connections between them.
A variety of regional transmission organizations oversee different parts of the nation’s aging and fragmented grids, which operate under different rules and with often limited connections between them.
ERCOT is especially isolated, in part because of the desire among local politicians, citizens, and power companies to avoid added competition, the hassle of following other states’ rules, and oversight from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). But the state offers a case study in why that can be a serious problem amid increasingly harsh climate conditions, Reed says.
The Texas grid operator pleaded with customers several times earlier this month to cut electricity use as blistering summer temperatures created demand surges that threatened to outstrip supply and require rolling blackouts. Low wind conditions, cloud cover, and outages at fossil-fuel power plants added to the strains.
Shutting off the electricity needed to run air-conditioning in triple-digit temperatures
By: James Temple
Title: Stitching together the grid will save lives as extreme weather worsens
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2022/07/28/1056483/stitching-together-the-grid-will-save-lives-as-extreme-weather-worsens/
Published Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 08:00:00 +0000
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