Geo­ther­mal en­ergy could help cut emis­sions

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By JU CHUANJIANG and ZHAO RUIXUE in Ji­nan

A source of geo­ther­mal en­ergy that has the po­ten­tial to sup­ply mil­lions of peo­ple with heat­ing and elec­tric­ity for decades has been de­tected in Shan­dong prov­ince.

The prov­ince’s No 1 In­sti­tute of Ge­ol­ogy and Min­eral Re­sources has de­tected rock tem­per­a­tures as high as 110 C at a depth of 1,240 me­ters be­neath the earth’s sur­face.

Jing Xiaodong, from the in­sti­tute, said tem­per­a­tures could reach 150C to 200 C at the drill hole max­i­mum depth of 4,000 me­ters.

“This hot dry rock re­source can be used to pro­duce power in a very en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly way, and the cost of gen­er­at­ing power from hot dry rock is much lower than with coal,” Jing said.

The in­sti­tute has lo­cated two re­gions of hot rock un­der the cities of Wei­hai and Yan­tai.

If just 2 per­cent of the geo­ther­mal en­ergy con­tained in those two re­gions was uti­lized, it could sup­ply Shan­dong with heat and elec­tric­ity for 38 years, Jing said.

“We still need two more years to carry out de­tailed sur- veys on the two re­gions to col­lect data for over­all ex­plo­ration work,” Jing said.

China started de­vel­op­ing geo­ther­mal en­ergy from hot dry rock in 2012. Ge­o­log­i­cal and min­eral re­sources ex­plor­ers in North­west China’s Qing­hai prov­ince de­tected rock tem­per­a­tures as high as 153 C at a depth of 2,230 me­ters be­neath the earth’s sur­face in 2014, mak­ing the re­gion the first known hot dry rock re­source in China.

“Hot dry rock could make a great con­tri­bu­tion to cut­ting China’s emis­sions and solv­ing our en­ergy prob­lems,” said Wang Bingchen of the Na­tional Geo­ther­mal En­ergy Cen­ter at a geo­ther­mal en­ergy fo­rum held in Beijing in Novem­ber.

Wang said the most com­plex tech­nol­ogy for de­vel­op­ing hot dry rock in­volves the drilling of the pro­duc­tion well.

“The tech­nol­ogy for drilling the pro­duc­tion well to reach the hot rock is in its fledg­ing step in China. Sup­port­ing tech­nolo­gies of de­vel­op­ing hot dry rock should be de­vel­oped as soon as pos­si­ble,” Wang said.

Hot dry rock could make a great con­tri­bu­tion to cut­ting China’s emis­sions and solv­ing our en­ergy prob­lems.” Wang Bingchen, of­fi­cial from Na­tional Geo­ther­mal En­ergy Cen­ter

Con­tact the writ­ers at zhaoruixue @chi­

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