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What is Geothermal?

Geothermal energy is deep underground in hot rocks and water. Geothermal is an attractive resource because it provides constant baseload power 365 days a year, 24/7.

To harness geothermal energy, heat is transferred through water and steam flowing through porous rock. If the flow rate is high enough, the heat resource can be drawn to the surface through a well.

Once the geothermal brine is brought to the surface, the heat is extracted to generate electricity through a power plant or used as direct heat. Applications of direct use heat can include agriculture production, heating buildings, or tourism. Utilizing the excess heat is especially beneficial in Northern climates.

It’s easy to figure out where it’s windy and sunny on the surface, but it’s kind of hard to figure out where there are hot permeable rocks two kilometres underground.— Steve Grasby

I'm more of a visual learner. Where can I learn more about geothermal? 
We suggest watching the following videos for an introduction to geothermal energy. 

 If you would like to learn something a little more technical, Tu Deh-Kah Geothermal will be a binary cycle facility. Turboden explains their Organic Rankin Cycle technology in a video here.  

Geothermal Energy as a Renewable Power Source

Geothermal energy is heat energy extracted from the earth's core. The earth's core can reach temperatures of 4,000-7,000°C! This heat can be harnessed to spin generators for electricity or for direct heat applications like heating buildings or greenhouses.

Volcanic regions such as Iceland, Kenya and the Philippines produce very high-temperature geothermal resources.

High and mid-grade geothermal heat is located along active tectonic fault lines, such as California and the Ring of Fire. The deeper faults provide pathways for the heat to rise closer to the earth's surface.

Heat rising from the earth's core can become captured under a deep blanket of shale, such as the Western Sedimentary Basin. This type of geological phenomenon creates mid-grade geothermal temperatures which can be found in the Clarke Lake reservoir in Northeastern BC and across many countries in Europe.

Radiogenic heat is caused by the decay of naturally occurring radioactive isotopes. This can create low-grade geothermal resources. This can be found in the Canadian Shield and parts of Australia. DEEP in Southern Saskatchewan is an example of a radiogenic heat source.

The geothermal industry continues to advance, as technology progresses it will be easier to access this resource. 

Geothermal energy provides clean baseload power, which means it can produce electricity 365 days, 24/7. The footprint of geothermal facilities is also relatively small for the amount of electricity produced, overall contributing to a small environmental impact.

Yes, geothermal is a renewable energy source. The reservoir needs to be appropriately managed by monitoring the reservoir and reinjecting brine at the correct rate to maintain the longevity and pressure of the resource.

The carbon emissions from geothermal energy are very low compared to other energy sources. Tu Deh-Kah Geothermal is also relatively low because its binary cycle facility is closed-loop and does not emit excess steam. Tu Deh-Kah Geothermal minimizes its environmental footprint because it is located on a brownfield site and maximizes existing roads and infrastructure use. 

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