Part One of Hot Rocks: Commercializing Next-Generation Geothermal Energy
"Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, was developed in the 1990s to extract natural gas from previously inaccessible shale deposits.1"
Hydraulic fracturing was developed in the 1940s primarily to bypass wellbore damage. It was first performed around 1948 in the Kansas Hugoton field by Pan American Petroleum. Funny how overnight success often requires decades of slow progress.
Fracking and vapes are some of the most important and underrated innovations of the last few decades.
A very nice overview of one of the greatest technological revolutions of the 21st century.
Thank you for footnote 1! That is absolutely the sort of thing that someone trying to learn more about a subject will miss, and similar issues have confounded me on other subjects.
Thanks a lot for this excellent overview - it was well overdue for me to learn some basics on this fascinating and critical technology that contributed so much to reducing emission and harmful geopolitical dependencies.
On scaling up deep geothermal: there's only 40 TW of natural geothermal flux and we need some 10 TW for current civilisation, perhaps double that accounting for progress in currently poor regions. So betting on deep geothermal to get much of our energy needs takes us in a uncomfortable range of significantly changing a geophysical flux. (Recall that the whole human-induced climate change is just from modifying some 2% of the solar heat flux).
Source of figures: this excellent paper form Axel Kleidon of the Max Planck:
https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsta.2011.0316 (check Fig. 4)
"How does the Earth system generate and maintain thermodynamic disequilibrium and what does it imply for the future of the planet?"
If I'm not mistaken the reason geothermal energy is viable is the low cost.
Will it remain low cost using fracture methods.
How much energy is used to produce the geothermalfrackenergy GTFE ?