The subsequent inexperienced vitality revolution is coming proper below our ft – EURACTIV

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The energy industry is at the moment of billing. As global energy needs continue to double and triple, climate change won't wait for us to solve the green energy puzzle on our own schedule.

John Redfern is President and CEO of Eavour.

We need a courageous transformation today. The good news is that many tools are available to us and, to our credit, we are starting to use them. But our greatest source of clean energy remains largely untapped, the earth itself.

Countries around the world are using wind and solar power in one of the most dramatic technological revolutions in history. But the disruption of these sources of energy poses a persistent problem. Modern civilization just cannot turn itself off on calm and cloudy days, and billions of dollars of research conducted by some of the world's greatest minds failed to make it to the magic battery to produce that will smooth out that curve.

The situation has gotten so bad that even the most committed environmentalists are looking again at problematic loopholes such as nuclear power, natural gas and even biomass for the base load supply. But there is a better way. The real magical battery is right under our feet.

Unlimited clean energy when we have the skills and the will to use it

The earth's core burns at thousands of degrees Celsius. This heat continuously radiates outward to the surface of our planet and will do so for tens of billions of years. In other words, the earth can be thought of as a colossal battery, with more clean energy than we could hope to use. A Canadian government survey estimated that Canada’s geothermal energy potential alone was more than a million times greater than the country’s total energy needs. And that is energy that is available every minute of the day. So why is everyone still talking about wind and sun?

If you bring up geothermal energy in a conversation about the clean energy transition, you will hear the same concerns over and over again. People will tell you that geothermal energy works well in Iceland, but we don't all live on volcanic islands. They will tell you that building may require fracking and contaminate the water and soil. They will say that scaling it up to meet a significant need is just not practical. Each and every one of these complaints is now obsolete. They may have been applied to geothermal systems over the past few decades, but the technology has changed radically.

Yes, with traditional geothermal applications, water is freely channeled through rugged volcanic rock formations. And yes, that means it can only be done in places where the geological stars are aligned. But the new Eavor Loop technology is just as different from traditional geothermal energy as traditional geothermal energy is from oil and gas.

Built using advanced drilling techniques and expertise developed in the oil and gas industry, the Eavor Loop is a self-contained system that circulates a proprietary fluid through a precision drilling system that is kilometers deep. An Eavor loop can be placed almost anywhere and on any scale. With space-saving installations, you can produce as much energy as you need anywhere in the world, emission-free and perfectly ready for dispatch. When the wind is not blowing and the sun is not shining, Eavor-Loop can release its energy when needed to close this power gap, or provide 24/7 base load when other clean energy solutions are not available.

Put your ear on the floor. Change is coming.

This technology answers any criticism of renewable energies in one fell swoop. Rather than cluttering the natural view and background noise like wind turbines do, the Eavor loop is almost entirely underground and virtually invisible. And while solar panels require large areas of unused space that are difficult or impossible to find in many parts of the world, the footprint of an Eavor Loop is so small that it can be embedded in existing communities without interruption and it is there that it supplies electricity necessary.

In terms of scalability, the maximum power of the Earth's geothermal reservoir is practically limitless. An Eavor loop can be layered and expanded underground to any size you want.

Perhaps the biggest complaints about the green transition, however, come from those whose livelihoods depend on the fossil fuel industry. It's easy to denigrate the oil industry, but the reality is much more human. We cannot blame an oil rig operator or a geoscientist for continuing to put food on the table. And as much as we talk about retraining, most workers who have spent decades in the oilfield are unlikely to find high-paying jobs in the wind and solar industries.

But the high-precision devices that must be expertly operated to build an Eavor Loop are exactly the devices that oil and gas workers are already using on a daily basis. Large-scale use of closed-loop geothermal energy would make oilfield knowledge and experience the hottest commodity in the clean energy industry.

Eavor-Loop really is the panacea, and it couldn't have come at a more crucial time. This can be the page in the history book where human ingenuity saves us from the abyss and things finally get better. However, I do not ask you to take my word for it. I'm just asking you to make it part of the conversation. The best solution will prevail, but how long it takes to climb to the top depends on the quality of our dialogue. And we don't have any excess time.


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