GreenFire Energy Geothermal Innovation Solves CO2 EP
Geothermal energy, which uses the Earth’s underground heat to generate electricity, is being pioneered throughout the world as a renewable energy source. Companies like Chevron, AltaRock Energy, and Iceland’s Reykjavik have led the way in geothermal power generation, but none have yet addressed a common problem with many geothermal power plants: CO2 emissions. Now, Geothermal startup GreenFire Energy has teamed up with the U.S. Department of Energy and AltaRock Energy to develop an innovation that eliminates geothermal CO2 emissions.
The geothermal process taps the heat under the Earth’s crust to release dry steam or heat water or other transfer fluids to run steam turbines for electricity generation. The problem, however, is that the process can release the CO2 (carbon dioxide) that has been sequestered beneath the surface of the Earth. Excess CO2 released into the atmosphere is the very problem that is leading to global climate change as it traps heat in the atmosphere. While geothermal is a renewable energy for the most part, few people realize that it contributes to the same type of CO2 emissions problems faced by coal, oil and fossil fuel power plants.
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GreenFire Energy, a Utah (USA) based geothermal start-up, is gaining the attention of the U.S. Department of Energy. GreenFire Energy’s innovation captures the CO2 released in the geothermal process and pressurizes it to a ‘supercritical’ state, transforming the CO2 into a liquid. GreenFire then uses this CO2 liquid as the heat transfer fluid to be cycled through in a binary cycle geothermal system. The process elminates the release of CO2 emissions and actually utilizes the CO2 as a renewable heat transfer fluid, thus conserving the water or other chemical fluids traditionally used in the process.
GreenFire entered into an innovation sublicense agreement with established geothermal company AltaRock Energy in 2010 to develop the CO2-based geothermal energy. The companies are testing the CO2-based geothermal process at the St. John’s Dome geothermal location near Springville, Arizona (USA).
W3 Energy signs technical operations contract with Luxcara
The wind farm, located outside of Piteå in northern Sweden, plans to have 137 wind turbines on full installation, with an expected capacity of more than 750 MW.
W3 Energy will be responsible for onsite technical operations management and local accounting services as well as operation and maintenance of the electrical infrastructure and transformer stations.
"This contract strengthens our position as a key player in onsite technical operations management. The Önusberget wind farm is the largest single-site wind power project in Europe and we are proud that Luxcara gives us the trust to support with the operational management of their investment", says W3 Energy's COO André Sjöström.
"The contract with Luxcara is extremely important to us and means that we take a firm grip on our home region. This contract allows us to continue to grow and we plan to continue to recruit in Piteå, Umeå, and Skellefteå."
The new contract with Luxcara means that W3 Energy manages approximately 15% of the renewable energy produced in Sweden and lays the foundation for continuing to build growth in other regions.
"Luxcara is an internationally respected asset manager in renewable energy, with high-quality investment criteria and a strong focus on diversity and sustainability. We share their view on sustainability, with a strong focus on environmental as well as social and ethical aspects", stated W3 Energy's CEO Pär Dunder.
Its past engagement with W3 combined with their track record from other large projects and their local experience were decisive factors for choosing W3 Energy, according to Philip Sander, Managing Director of Luxcara.
Global Wind Day will be held tomorrow (June 15), to promote wind's potential to reshape our energy systems, decarbonise economies and boost jobs and economic growth.
Onshore wind is now the cheapest form of new power generation in most of Europe, and offshore wind is not far behind with costs having fallen over 60% in three years, according to WindEurope.
Adrian Timbus, ETIPWind Chairman, said: “Wind energy can help electrify 75% of Europe’s energy demand and thereby deliver climate neutrality by 2050. But we must prioritise the development of the necessary technologies: next generation onshore and offshore turbines, electrification solutions for transport and for industry, and electrolysers for renewable hydrogen.”
Poland leads Europe's wind growth
Poland saw Europe's biggest increase in wind turbine energy production between 2000 and 2018, according to a Save on Energy study, and produced the fourteenth highest percentage of electricity by wind power overall in 2018.
Czechia has seen second highest percentage increase in electricity production generated by wind power. Despite having the second lowest proportion of electricity generated by wind power in 2018, the country previously produced the lowest percentage overall in 2000, so it has still seen a significant increase in wind turbine energy production over the years.
France has the third largest increase in wind turbine energy production throughout the period studied, with electricity production generated by wind power increasing from 0.009% in 2000, to 4.9% in 2018, while neighbouring Belgium experienced the fourth highest increase in wind energy production, with almost 10% of electricity produced being generated by wind power in 2018, compared to 0.02% in 2000.
Although Ukraine boasted the lowest percentage of electricity produced by wind turbines in 2018 (0.7%), the country had the fifth largest percentage increase since 2000, since only 0.003% of electricity production was generated by wind turbines.
By comparison, Denmark, Luxembourg and Spain each ranked as having the lowest percentage increases when it came to the percentage of electricity production generated by wind turbines between 2000 and 2018, and they lag considerably behind other European nations.
The EU wants wind to account for 50% of the continent's electricity by 2050. The Romanian Wind Energy Association recently launched a Code of Good Practice for renewable energy.
Top 10 countries in Europe for wind growth