In June this year, a U.S. government report highlighted the “enormous untapped potential” of the renewable geothermal energy i.e. the use of naturally produced heat beneath Earth’s surface for the generation of electricity.
Now, a Canadian company Eavor Technologies is developing a first-of-its-kind geothermal system in Alberta that could help the world finally tap into this potential. This project is being hailed as a “game-changer” as it doesn’t need to use fracking or water and has no greenhouse gas emissions.
CEO of Calgary-based Eavor Technologies, John Redfern told CBC News, “You can put it almost anywhere. It’s not like a windmill or solar panel… almost everything’s underground so you can literally put it in someone’s backyard.”
The closed-loop system, dubbed the Eavor Loop, is being constructed by drilling two wells a few kilometers apart. After each well is a few kilometers deep, Eavor will drill horizontally to connect the two to subsequently circulate a proprietary fluid through the huge U-shaped well. That liquid will accumulate heat from below the Earth’s surface and transport it above ground where it can be transformed into usable electricity.
Redfern explains, “So, it creates this radiator effect.”
As the Eavor Loop requires no fracking and has no greenhouse gas emissions, it could potentially allow the world to finally tap into the latent energy right beneath our feet with minimal damage to the environment.
Redfern told CBC News, “It’s just a much more benign system and it’s something that you can implement across 80 percent of the world instead of five percent of the world like traditional geothermal.”