Sustainability and Renewability of Geothermal Power Capacity

Basic Information
Author: Sanyal, S.K.
Description:For the purposes of this paper, sustainability is defined as the ability to economically maintain the installed capacity,over the amortized life of a power plant, by taking practical steps (such as, make-up well drilling) to compensate for resource degradation (pressure draw down and/or cooling).Renewability is defined here as the ability to maintain the installed power capacity indefinitely without encountering any resource degradation; renewable capacity is, however,often too small for commercial development. This paper also considers an additional level of commercial capacity(above the sustainable level) that is not planned to be maintained fully over the entire plant life as mitigation of resource degradation would become uneconomic or otherwise impractical at some point. This declining capacity above the sustainable level is considered commercial only if the levelized power cost is lower than that from alternative renewable, or environmentally benign,energy sources. Even if power cost at this unsustained commercial generation level proves higher than that from fossil fuels, this additional capacity can reduce fossil fuel usage if power from renewable or environmentally benign energy resources is given adequate tax breaks or price support. Displacement of fossil fuel usage is a social imperative that would reduce environmental pollution today and preserve these fuels as raw material for organic chemicals, and for potentially cleaner power generation in the future.
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Author Contact Information
Distributor Contact Information
Organization Name: Arizona Geological Survey
Street: 416 W. Congress St., Suite 100
City: Tucson
State: AZ
Zip: 85701
Phone: 520-770-3500
Geographic Extent
North Bounding Latitude: 75
South Bounding Latitude: 17
East Bounding Longitude: -64
West Bounding Longitude: -180