More Live Blogging from UBC Climate Change Symposia – Geothermal Energy

From the Panel on Accelerating Solutions to Climate Change

11:20am – Dr. John Meech – Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions using Geothermal Energy Systems.

What are Geothermal Energy systems? It’s all about using the heat that’s already there…. where does it come from? Geothermal energy – comes from nuclear reactions deep in the earths core. It’s like the ultimate form of nuclear power. You can do this in your back yard! If you can put a trench in your back yard, you can extract enough heat to heat your home. Other examples, that you might already know about include spas or hotsprings.

The most important aspect of geothermal power to consider is the footprint of emissions. It’s almost like there are zero emissions. Unlike solar and wind power, geothermal energy is always there… you can always taps it into the grid. It’s a mature technology, sustainable if managed properly (examples, geisers in San Fransisco), a domestic resource, the list of advantages goes on…

What is needed? We need a bold innovative program to increase the amount of electricity that we produce. We currently import/export energy in BC. Where are our local geothermal resources? Mt Calyley & Harrison Hotsprings, Meager Creek and Pebble Creek (Pemberton area). The list goes on…. We have hotspring activity all over the province that we aren’t taking advantage of. We have examples of record breaking production facilities, over 30, 000 residential homes have geothermal pumps installed, even examples of institutions Lynn Valley Care Centre that are using this technology, and new research is developing applications of this technology for new uses, heating greenhouse facilities for example.

Conclusion – BC should begin exploiting this “cleanest and greenest” energy resource because Geothermal Energy can play a major role in the BC Energy plan.

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Joanne often gets really excited when she talks about Science. Luckily, she works in the Advanced Molecular Biology Laboratory, the educational arm of the Michael Smith Labs. She likes all kinds of science but has a special spot in her heart for biology, technology, and well, sports. As a scientist and educator at UBC, she hopes that she never becomes so specialized that she loses her global perspective. (When she gets around to writing an intro post, I'm sure that she'll link to it here).