Panel to talk geo­ther­mal en­ergy

Austin American-Statesman - - LOCALBRIEFING -

The CleanTX Foun­da­tion hosts a panel dis­cus­sion tonight on geo­ther­mal en­ergy

n the­ory, there are megawatts to be had be­low the Earth’s sur­face. Com­pa­nies are fig­ur­ing out ways to pump out the heat (ba­si­cally in the form of hot wa­ter) from a mile or more be­low the sur­face to power elec­tric­ity plants.

Maria Richards, who will mod­er­ate the con­fer­ence and is the South­ern Methodist Uni­ver­sity geo­ther­mal lab co­or­di­na­tor, said there is noth­ing on­line in Texas that is pro­duc­ing geo­ther­mal elec­tric­ity. Low gas prices are the chief stum­bling block to devel­op­ment of the re­new­able geo­ther­mal in­dus­try, she said.

Re­cent changes in drilling technology make geo­ther­mal en­ergy more ac­ces­si­ble.

The panel dis­cus­sion, at the Uni­ver­sity of Texas’ West Pickle Re­search Cen­ter (for­merly the MCC Build­ing) at 3925 West Braker Lane, be­gins at 6:30 p.m. and fea­tures in­dus­try ex­perts and aca­demics. Reg­is­tra­tion at the door is $30. Ad­vance reg­is­tra­tion is avail­able at cleantx.org/ geother­mal_event.html, or call 305-0024.

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