Why Geothermal? Like many best solutionis, the simple ones are often the most
viable and make the best sense. Is Geothermal Energy a simple solution that has been overlooked?
EARTH VS EGG
If we are to consider the everyday chicken egg we have for breakfast as a model for our own planet earth we would realize some simple similarities. Both have a hard outer crust, or shell, and relatively speaking both have an abundance of stored energy within, or just under the shell. Consider that just like the egg, the crust of the earth is very thin, and has some leaks and “hot spots” such as the “ring of fire” also known as the Pacific Rim; that under the “shell” the earth contains a tremendous amount of heat that is also energy.
GEOTHERMAL VS FOSSIL FUELS:
If we were to measure all the energy we have expended thus far from fossil fuels and project our future consumption for the next 1,000 years, using the energy from heat just under the earth’s crust, and ask how much this would diminish the earth internal energy reserve, it would be so minimal that it likely would be difficult to measure; certainly a negligible amount. For our purposes geothermal energy is a limitless energy source very close at hand. We must ask one simple and obvious question, why not geothermal energy? Is it technically not feasible? Financially not viable? Or is the reality that it would destroy our “oil economy” and have an adverse effect on some very well calculated business and political agendas? Not to be too synical, I would like to think that is just something that has been too easily dismissed and overlooked.
It would likely, at a minimum, change our economy and perhaps even tip the scale of world power to some measurable degree. This aside, we certainly have many uses for fossil fuels in all sorts of products that would sustain the "oil economy", and they very likely will always be in demand for their chemical nature and applicability in a myriad of components for a multitude of products. We should question if we are indeed using our fossil fuel resource sensibly when we consume them for energy? Are its inherent components more valuable in other applications, in medicine, agriculture, and manufacturing? It is indeed a valuable commodity and one that we should utilize to its greatest benefit with its limited supply. We have to question if the burning of fossil fuels for heat and transportation is very smart, when their chemical components may be much more valuable than using them as an energy source. Again, why not geothermal energy? MIT says we can using a relatively new method of harnessing energy called "enhanced geothermal". The chart below shows what geothermal could contribute to our energy needs.