Carol Linnitt, DeSmog Canada | Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Like a stand of eager horses chomping at the bit, Canada’s young geothermal industry is waiting impatiently at the starting line, ready for the race to begin.
But there’s no starting pistol in sight. At least, not yet.
Getting geothermal projects up and running in Canada “has been harder than it needs to be,” according to Alison Thompson, founder and president of the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association (CANGea).
Thompson, along with a group of delegates from Canada’s geothermal industry, is currently in Reykjavik at the Iceland Geothermal Conference where delegates, experts and scientists from around the world are swapping stories from the geothermal trenches.
Despite having the second largest delegation at the conference after Iceland, Canada has little to show or tell.
“Canada has an incredibly high quality resource and we can’t even get out of the starting gate,” Thompson told DeSmog Canada.
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Please join us on Saturday, July 16th for our Introduction to Geothermal Exploration with our very own Chief Geologist, Craig Dunn.Spend the day learning from geo-scientists. Ask questions. Be informed. Understand what’s happening in Geothermal exploration in Valemount. Instructor Craig Dunn will be explaining the basics of Geothermal resource development in this one-day workshop! Lunch included.
For information, and to register, please call the Valemount Learning Centre at 250-566-4601 or 1-888-690-44229AM – 12PM: Classroom Session 1PM-5PM: Field Exploration
Best Western Inn & Suites Canoe Reach (Kinbasket Lake)
Please join us on Wednesday June 22, 2016 where we will have a discussion on insights in Western Canadian applications of geothermal geology, drilling & completions, and power generation operations.
Brief: The Alberta Oil and Gas Industry has been hit by numerous downturns, most recently from November 2014 up to present. Almost 140,000 jobs have been lost and the oil price is still at or below $50 per barrel. How can we bring back the use of the drilling rigs and use our Alberta oil and gas skills to develop energy?
Learn more about the event here. Hope to see you there!
Written by Carol Linnit; Huffington Post.
Abandoned oil and gas wells in Alberta are on the rise — but where many see a growing liability, Alberta’s fledgling geothermal industry sees massive opportunity.
“We’ve got these old wells that we know are hot and we’re going to fill them with cement and walk away,” says Tim Davies, CEO of geothermal company Turkana. “It’s just stupid.”
There’s currently no permitting framework for geothermal in Alberta, leaving the renewable energy out of play.
“I own the well, I own the land and I own the oil. But I can’t own the heat,” Davies said. “There’s just no mechanism for that in place.”
“The oil business has drilled 400,000 wells in Alberta alone,” Alison Thompson, president of the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association, told DeSmog Canada. “They’ve already found all the hot water the province has.”
“The oil patch has those skills to get the most out of every well,” Thompson said, adding the workforce has been hamstrung by a lack of forward thinking policies.
The number of orphaned wells — left in the wake of a mass exodus of oil and gas producers — has quadrupled in the last 12 months.
Ben Lee, owner of Raven Thermal Systems, says the oil and gas sector’s loss could be the geothermal industry’s gain.
“For the first time in more than a decade you’ve got very skilled workers that have exactly the skillset that a successful geothermal project needs,” Lee told DeSmog Canada.
Geothermal energy draws on the earth’s natural warmth to create a renewable form of energy with a low environmental footprint and virtually no carbon emissions. Importantly, geothermal provides reliable base load capacity, similar to a hydro dam or gas-fired power plant, enabling system stability.
Despite being home to enormous geothermal potential, Canada is the only country on the Pacific Ring of Fire that doesn’t use the resource to produce commercial-scale energy.
CanGEA released a report in late 2014 that found geothermal could supply all of the energy needs of British Columbia for much cheaper than the Site C dam, currently under construction.
“You’ve got top-notch geologists, reservoir engineers, drilling and completion engineers, surface engineers and all the associated landmen and everything else that comes along with a successful drilling program,” Lee said.
“They are available, and available on the cheap to some extent right now, because there is so much supply.”
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