World Geothermal Congress 2020+1
March - October, 2021

Supercritical Geothermal Cogeneration on the Threshold

Jim SHNELL, John ORCUTT, William OSBORN and Eric WACHSMAN

[Ocean Geothermal Energy Foundation, USA]

The Accord signed by 177 nations at COP 21 in Paris in 2015 demonstrated the breadth of the consensus around the world that the problems of global warming and climate change must be solved. At the same time, it betrayed the lack of consensus on the best means and methods to achieve the solution. It left the choices of means and methods to the discretion of each of the various countries. Variations in the relevant conditions and circumstances in different countries led them to various approaches to their solutions. In the same year, the World Geothermal Congress 2015 convened a large conference in Melbourne to consider new research and developments in geothermal science and industry, many of which have led to progress over the past five years. A global solution of the global problems, however, will require a new foundation to replace the coal, oil and natural gas that provided the foundation in 2015, and still do today. Some of the solutions that were proposed in 2015 have lost support, while some innovative new solutions have gained support. High-enthalpy geothermal resources from around the world is one of the solutions that is gaining support. Massive amounts of supercritical geothermal resources are in the ocean floor all around the world and science and engineering are already developing the innovations in core fields like geophysics, exploration and power generation that will enable supercritical geothermal generation and electrolysis to balance the other renewable resources. Together, they will power the grids in various countries while, at the same time, supercritical geothermal energy will provide the clean hydrogen to replace fossil fuels for transportation, industrial and other uses around the world. These steps will not only transform the geothermal industry but will unify the entire energy industry. Making the science and engineering innovations effective will require the development of accompanying innovations in cross-cutting and general fields such as advanced technologies (like advanced electrolysis and desalination), minerals extraction and processing, integrated energy systems (like cogeneration), software for geothermal applications, new business strategies (like hydrogen transportation) and new financing, policy, legal and regulatory aspects. These innovations will support the science and engineering developments in the new, supercritical geothermal industry to enable it to work economically and achieve the efficiency and power needed to solve global warming and climate change and become the cornerstone of the new, unified, clean energy industry.

        Topic: Advanced Technology (Magma, Geopressure, etc.) Paper Number: 37015

         Session 44C: Advanced Technology 3 [Tuesday 6th July 2021, 02:00 pm] (UTC-8)
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