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Scientists Find Way To Easily Find Source Of Geothermal Energy, Can Lead To A Boom

Scientists Find Way To Easily Find Source Of Geothermal Energy, Can Lead To A Boom
It is touted that one of the cleanest sources of energy is geothermal energy because it is free of any carbon emissions, is renewable and efficient, so much so that even those who are indifferent to clean energy at the United States Department of Energy cannot but praise this energy source saying, “this vital, clean energy resource supplies renewable power around the clock and emits little or no greenhouse gases -- all while requiring a small environmental footprint to develop.”
And despite it being one of the more natural and widely acceptable sources of clean energy there is a lot more to be done because before its advantages can be harnessed to the fullest extent by humans.
According to experts, for geothermal energy sources to have any real environmental impact or significant market share compared to what position it currently holds in the energy market, harnessing this energy source needs to be massively scaled up. Currently, this source of renewable energy can be viewed as a minute speck when compared to the total market of fossil fuels. Additionally, the initial phases of exploration and infrastructure of this energy source requires high costs along with other significant barriers.
One of the most important aspects is where to drill for this energy source.
“This is the basic question in the exploration of underground energy resources, such as geothermal energy. Water in rocks flows along permeable pathways, which are the main target for geothermal drilling. Borehole, core and micro-earthquake data show that the pathways are spatially connected, permeable structures, such as fractures or faults in the rock. However, the geothermal potential of these structures cannot be fully exploited with the techniques available to date,” says a report published in research based website Science Daily.
Science Daily points out to the work of a team of research scientists from the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, based in Potsdam who have recently been able to make an important breakthrough in the field of geothermal energy exploration and in the location of the hotspots of geothermal energy sources.
The findings of the research have been published in the a Scientific Reports journal article titled “Geothermal sweetspots identified in a volcanic lake integrating bathymetry and fluid chemistry” where in the researchers have claimed to have solved the problem of identifying the underwater drilling sites by devising a method that makes use of mapping of the submerged geological structures so that it is possible to identify the inflow information that is crucial for developing geothermal energy production.
In the context of development of geothermal energy sources, this finding is important because, according to the researchers, most of the sources of geothermal energy can be found occurring naturally in volcanic areas that are either near or below the waterline of crater lakes.
"However, these lakes hide structures that are important for geothermal energy," explains research team leader and TU Delft Associate Professor Maren Brehme. "In the study, we showed that volcanic lakes such as the Lake Linau in Indonesia, which we investigated, have so-called 'sweet spots', deep holes with fluid inflow from the surrounding rock."

Christopher J. Mitchell

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