Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Push For Wider Use Of Geothermal Energy


NEWS RELEASE, 10 JUNE 2008
Push For Wider Use Of Low Temperature Geothermal Energy

New Zealanders will have more opportunity to use heat energy drawn directly from the ground in the future as a result of research being led by GNS Science.

Government-owned research and consultancy organisation, GNS Science, has been awarded funding of $2.6 million over the next three years to lead a research programme aimed at increasing the use of low temperature geothermal energy in New Zealand.

Low temperature refers to geothermal heat sources that are generally less than 150OC, with some below 80OC. The funding has been allocated by the Foundation for Research Science and Technology.

The programme is aligned with an objective in the Government’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy of increasing the direct use of low heat resources by at least 20 percent by 2025.

A number of end-user organisations are contributing financially to the research including Contact Energy, the Ministry for Economic Development, and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority.

Project leader Brian Carey, of GNS Science, said New Zealand’s landmass is a large source of heat, with different types of natural energy available for harnessing with the right technology in various locations.

“ Low temperature geothermal resources are widespread throughout New Zealand and there is significant potential to increase their use. They are capable of providing long-term energy and heat supply with low carbon emissions,” Mr Carey said.

Natural heat energy sources include springs and borehole fluid discharges, shallow aquifers, water and steam discharges from thermal power plants, warm water associated with oil and gas wells, and flooded underground mines. Also, ground-source heat pumps can be used to harness the heat contained in dry rock.

Mr Carey said the benefits of harvesting energy this way included low environmental impacts and increased security of supply.
Foundation Business Manager Anna de Raadt said the use of low temperature geothermal resources is an economic opportunity that warrants further exploration in New Zealand.

“The Foundation for Research, Science and Technology considers this research programme to be an important move forward in the development of this indigenous, renewable and widely-distributed resource,” Dr de Raadt said.

Assisting GNS Science with research are specialists from The University of Auckland and Coal Research Ltd.

The research will start with a nationwide inventory of low-heat energy sources and a study of the heat energy transfer characteristics of the ground at a number of places in New Zealand.

There will also be an analysis of socioeconomic factors and energy and tax policies that might influence the uptake of this energy type.

Another arm of the research programme will address technical and scientific areas that will need development to enable the growth of this type of energy. This is likely to include geophysical techniques for locating and better characterising low temperature sources, and development of specific technology.

Finally, the programme will recommend ways to increase the use of low temperature geothermal resources across New Zealand.

Mr Carey said the main uses of low heat resources internationally were space heating for homes and offices, bathing, domestic heat pumps, greenhouse heating, and aquaculture. Other uses include food processing and numerous industrial applications, all of which could achieve substantial cost savings over traditional heating methods.

The new research programme complements the ongoing work GNS Science does in helping land owners and energy companies develop high temperature geothermal energy resources in the central North Island.

In addition, the Government has recently allocated $4 million to investigate the potential of geothermal resources that are deeper and hotter than those currently tapped. Geothermal wells that are up to 5km deep have the potential to produce significantly more energy than shallower wells. Research providers will submit proposals for this funding under the normal competitive funding process.

END


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Launched: NASA's Super Pressure Balloon Takes Flight From NZ

NASA successfully launched its football-stadium-sized, heavy-lift super pressure balloon (SPB) from Wanaka, New Zealand, at10:50 a.m. Tuesday, April 25 (6:50 p.m. April 24 in U.S. Eastern Time), on a mission designed to run 100 or more days floating at 110,000 feet (33.5 km) about the globe in the southern hemisphere's mid-latitude band. More>>

ALSO:

Trade Agreements: TPP Minus US Starting To Gain Ground

The Japanese government is picking up the pace on reviving the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade and investment deal, with talks scheduled next month among the 11 countries left in the pact after the withdrawal by the US after the election of president Donald Trump. More>>

ALSO:

PACER:

Prices Up 2.2%: Annual Inflation Highest In Over Five Years

"Rising petrol prices along with the annual rise in cigarette and tobacco tax lifted inflation," prices senior manager Jason Attewell said. "Petrol prices in New Zealand are closely linked to global oil prices, and cigarettes and tobacco taxes rise in the March quarter each year". More>>

ALSO:

Undertaxed? NZ Income Tax Rate Second Lowest Among Developed Nations

New Zealand workers pay the second smallest portion of their income to the government among developed nations and less than half the average ratio of their Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development peers. More>>

ALSO:

Cyclone Cook: Round Up Of This Week’s Weather

One of the significant impacts this week was flooding due to excessive rainfall amounts. Rainfall amounts topped out at 350mm over the past 60 hours in parts of northwest Nelson, with 200mm+ measurements recorded about Coromandel Peninsula, and between 150-200mm in the Kaimai Ranges. Rainfall amounts of between 30-50mm were commonplace elsewhere. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier: Batten Down The Hatches For Cyclone Cook

Although fast-moving, Cyclone Cook will be destructive and MetService Expert Meteorologists have issued Severe Wind Warnings for the whole of the North Island apart from Northland... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news