Welcome to Hot Rock Energy
Hot Rock Energy otherwise known as Geothermal Energy is a term that is increasingly used to describe the process of extracting heat from rocks that have been heated by centuries of radiogenic activity several kilometers underground.
Australia "the lucky energy" country is one of the world's leaders in Hot Rock Energy research and development as a result of Australia's almost unique combination of abundant, relatively shallow, massive, horizontally fractured, richly radiogenic granite lenses covered by thick sedimentary layers acting as thermal insulators.
The potential rewards for Australia of having almost limitless, emission free, base load electricity have been well recognised by our current Labor Government and several parliament members who are actively promoting funding for research and ongoing development. A lot of interest is also being generated overseas and a 2007 paper, excerpted here, encapsulates many of the benefits that apply to both the USA and Australia.
Currently Australia has dozens of non-listed and eleven ASX listed Hot Rock Energy / Geothermal companies and while the market cap of eight of the ASX listed companies is below AUD$20m, a great deal of attention is being focused on being the first company to bring a commercial development on-stream.
Australia's largest by market cap company has reached "proof of concept stage" and is about to bring electricity to a very small remote Australian town via a small 1mW pilot plant and plans to have a full commercial scale plant operating by 2012.
As Australia has hotter, shallower hot rocks than those in the USA and other countries and as the amount of energy available for "mining" is said to equal several hundred years of demand, it is reasonable to suggest that this new, very green, renewable energy source makes Australia a very lucky country.
Geoscience Australia’s Onshore Energy Security Program
The Geothermal Energy Project
"if a low estimate of 1% were taken, Australian geothermal sources could provide
26,000 years of energy supply."
The Hon Martin Ferguson Minister for Resources and Energy
Following the launch of the $50 million Geothermal Drilling Program
"The industry has a significant role to play in securing Australia's energy future"
"The potential of the geothermal industry in Australia is truly staggering"
The largest geothermal countries by installed global capacity (2010) are United States (29%), Philippines (18%) and Indonesia (11%).
Indonesia is showing the strongest growth rate up ~13% over the last 12 months.
Australia is on the verge of developing a commercial hot dry rock project with two South Australian companies racing to become the first to production