Geothermal power ‘a long-term solution’
May 7, 2008
Ballina MP Don Page has called on the NSW Government to give geothermal power a much higher priority than it is given now, stating that geothermal is the long-term solution to energy production in Australia.
“Geothermal energy is the only alternative energy source that has the capacity to replace the base-load energy of coal. It is also strongly supported by Tim Flannery, a former Australian of the Year and an environmental guru,” Mr Page said.
Speaking in Parliament on legislation about clean coal, Mr Page said he was amazed the NSW Government didn’t list geothermal power in its list of alternative energy sources.
“Geothermal energy is a low cost base-load power without the greenhouse pollution liability,” he told Parliament.
“Geothermal energy is produced by drilling down into granite rocks located around five kilometres below the Earth’s surface and which are between 200 and 300 degrees Celsius.
“Power is produced by pumping high-pressure water into the drilled wells that then splits the rocks, allowing the water to circulate through the rocks, where it is heated and returned to the surface to be converted into electricity.
“The Hunter Valley has been identified as a promising area for exploration of ‘hot rocks’ and it is estimated that there is potentially the equivalent energy production of 800 million barrels of oil in that area.
“The Queensland, South Australian and Victorian governments have all legislated for an enabling framework for the exploration and extraction of geothermal energy resources.
“The consequences for New South Wales of not legislating to encourage the exploitation of geothermal power may mean that investment in this important new technology will continue to go to other States.
“Clean coal technology is certainly to be supported but it is not the long-term solution to climate change.
“I believe much greater attention must be paid to bring geothermal power on line as quickly as possible.
“I urge the New South Wales Government to give geothermal power a much higher priority when supporting alternative energy sources.”