New geothermal plant in Utah will send 7 megawatts of power to California-

This is what should not be done. Seven megawatts, relatively speaking, is nothing. Most coal and nuclear plants are built in 300 to 1000 megawatt units. At any rate, small sources like this should be used locally.

One good thing about this is that it is a technological advancement. In the past geothermal electricity generation has required very hot water. This one does not.

I fear most hot springs are going to end up becoming an industrial site.

Raser ready to flip the switch on Beaver geothermal plant. Clean energy. Utah company cites milestone in green energy production. By Steven Oberbeck. The Salt Lake Tribune

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Here is a closely related story.

The most efficient use of solar may be to heat water for “passive use” (meaning not to turn turbines and create electricity with the solar heat)- Solar Water Heating Pays For Itself Five Times Over. Science Daily.

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I think the ultimate beneficial use of geothermal energy will come when technology allows us to tap the heat of the Earth using the heat gradient as you drill down. This way, geothermal power could be tapped anywhere on the planet. Ralph Maughan

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

3 Responses to Raser ready to flip the switch on Beaver, Utah geothermal plant

  1. avatar Ken Cole says:

    Solar water heaters work! Growing up we had one that heated our water before it went to the water heater and it saved a lot of money and electricity.

    Also we had an outdoor solar shower at our place in Cascade that was great.

    One of the first things I plan on doing when my wife and I move into our new home is build a solar water heater for our roof and insulate the attic much better.

  2. avatar Ken Cole says:

    Here is the basic design of a solar water heater system.

    http://www.homepower.com/basics/hotwater/

  3. avatar JimT says:

    Can one of the engineer types on this list explain why heat exchange systems would or wouldn’t work in the typical mountain west environment?

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Quote

‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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