The Case for Geothermal Energy

Like, come on, what else is there?

The potential for nuclear energy blew up at Fukushima in Japan after the earthquake. The potential for solar energy sets every day with no, nothing to get through the night. The potential for wind is, yes, blowing away, off and on and in far away places. Fossil fuels are running out to dribbles and drabs. While fossil fuels will take quite a few years (decades) to totally exhaust, like what kind of future is that?

Geothermal energy is every where beneath our feet. The interior of the earth is hotter than the surface of the sun and 93 million miles closer. In every civilized place the ground is warm in winter and cold in the summer. Heat pumps clearly fill the bill.

Every, now obsolete, nuclear power plant heats steam to drive turbines to make electricity. The same effect is made with a hole in the ground a couple of kilometers deep. Why bother with risk of a reactor?

There is a bit of a problem with cars and transportation in general. Gasoline is actually the best of what it does in the chemical chart of compounds. It’s energy density is simply magnificent. Oh, well, it was nice while it lasted. Batteries will do around town. If a liquid fuel is actually, truly necessary methanol can be manufactured from carbon dioxide and water when heated by the limitless, free geothermal energy!

There! What more needs to be said? Geothermal energy is inevitable since all the other possibilities don’t work or are too limited.

Now to the development of geothermal energy. In the 1950’s billions of dollars were spent subsidizing nuclear energy when it was naively thought it would provide boundless energy. Even today all nuclear power plants are heavily subsidized. Even the costs of storing their nuclear waste is not counted economically. Give geothermal energy its due.

Today there are tax credits for installing solar energy. Why is that? Who’s home during the day? Where does energy come from at night? The energy density of dim sunlight barely able to illuminate through thin clouds has long been declared superior to the heat of the earth radiated through the surface of the earth. Like measure a light bulb through its shade. The heat of the surface of the sun is available only a few kilometers from anywhere. Where are the tax credits for that?

Wind has been known to drive a windmill pump to water cows on the great american prairie. That it does well. Intermittent pumping attached to storage for intermittent use. Plus windmills make strange noises, kill birds and occupy a lot of land. A simple shed housing a geothermal plant could replace them all. Let those credits fall where they can be useful.

The case for geothermal energy is that it is ubiquitous and inevitable. The drawback to geothermal energy is that it is available everywhere to everyone without distinction. No monopoly cost is possible. Think about it: there are no “haves” and “haves not” in geothermal energy! Geothermal energy is universal energy universally available everywhere without cost of fuel forever. What’s not to like?