This is an important finding that must shift policy strongly toward geothermal with a vengeance. It was obvious that geothermal combined with a national grid was a natural backbone to North American energy needs. Wind energy could be fed into that same grid as any other source could be. I have been wondering why it has been ignored, but this should end that.
If rapid development is upon us then Nevada is headed for a building boom in power plants that will be mind boggling.
The major advantage of geothermal power is not just the fact that the process is fuel free, it can also be slowed down and ramped up to meet variations in demand and makes it a great partner for wind and solar based systems.
Application of the Reverse Rankin Cycle engine should allow an efficient system without having to dump any process heat back into the environment which is sort of important in Nevada.
Then if we can ever drill deep enough there is both Yellowstone mega volcano and the recently mapped potential Cascadia mega volcano sitting under the Northwest.
Geothermal Energy Most Efficient Renewable Energy Alternative
by Staff WritersNew York NY (SPX) Jul 21, 2009
As the Obama Administration pushed the energy bill through the House, government organizations and corporations are assessing renewable energy alternatives. Which are the most efficient and improving the fastest?
According to a new study from NYU Stern, geothermal and wind energy are more efficient, and are yielding greater returns on the R and D invested in them, than most other renewable energy alternatives.
NYU Stern Professor Melissa Schilling, an expert in strategic management and technology and innovation management, finds that the cost of generating electricity with geothermal or wind energy is a fraction of the cost of solar energy.
More important, the performance of both is improving much more per dollar of R and D invested in them than solar technologies. This is the first study to explore the trajectory of performance improvement of renewable energy alternatives.
She examined data on government R and D investment and technological improvement and found:
+ Geothermal energy is the most efficient renewable energy alternative and is improving the fastest. Wind energy is second.
+ Fossil fuel technologies are no longer improving (in terms of efficiency) much - if at all. These technologies have likely reached their performance limits, though the government still spends far more on them.
+ Geothermal energy could become cheaper than fossil fuels with R and D spending of as little as $3.3 billion.
+ Both geothermal and wind energy technologies have been underfunded by national governments relative to funding for solar technologies, and government funding of fossil fuel technologies might be excessive given their diminishing performance.