Energy innovations: flexible LNG, steady geothermal and a NSW solar tsunami

Asia’s hunger for energy continues as economies grow and middle classes move from rural areas to new cities. Natural gas is a preferred “swing” fuel between rising renewables and legacy base load coal.

With short term uncertainty about market prices and with delays and expenses for big projects like Australia’s Gorgon and Wheatstone, a new trend is emerging. North American exporters are choosing small and flexible LNG terminals that are simpler and faster to build.

Amidst the enthusiasm for solar and wind, geothermal may have been overlooked. Jim Turner of Controlled Thermal Resources, an Australian energy company, is looking to use the heat naturally generated from the earth as a practically unlimited and reliable source of renewable energy. By piping up steam generated by superheated underground water, turbines can steadily generate electricity around the clock without the fluctuations of wind and solar.

With 11 large-scale solar energy approved by the NSW government over the past 12 months, commentators describe a “tsunami” of renewable energy capacity coming online in Australia.

Read more: Reuters / NPR / SMH

Image: Floydrosebridge / CC BY-SA 3.0 – LNG Extraction

This story is taken from the 9 February 2018 edition of The Warren Centre’s Prototype newsletter. Sign up for the Prototype here.