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Green Fracking

(15 Posts)
thatbags Wed 04-Dec-13 08:08:28

Geothermal energy (hot water fracked up from old coal mines) looks like a good idea.

FlicketyB Wed 04-Dec-13 15:52:06

Typical Green response fracking is environmentally 'good' when it is for geothermal heat, no worries about earthquakes or polluted ground water supplies, but if it is for gas, o woe is us an Armegeddon of terrible events will be revealed, our streams and taps running with polluted, water and our houses riven asunder by earthquakes. confused

thatbags Wed 04-Dec-13 20:43:33

It's quite funny really, isn't it, flick? Or it would be if it weren't so tragic.

FlicketyB Wed 04-Dec-13 23:25:07

And no response from any Greens on Gransnet, (yet) hmm

FlicketyB Thu 05-Dec-13 15:42:52

I think thatbags that this thread is just for us. I wonder why?

JessM Thu 05-Dec-13 15:47:11

As you were then, you two. Repelling all boarders hmm

FlicketyB Thu 05-Dec-13 16:02:39

We are not repelling, just wondering why nobody else has posted on this thread when energy/green issues normally attract people in droves.

broomsticks Thu 05-Dec-13 16:12:04

I'll come along as the green representative. I'm not actually too sure what I think about fracking for any purpose though. confused

In general, I think we need to be extremely careful. I don't trust the companies doing it not to mess things up for us all.
Recent earthquakes in Texas have been blamed on fracking but the jury is still out and probably will be until something goes seriously pear-shaped.

Oh dear! That sounds seriously Eeyorish!

FlicketyB Thu 05-Dec-13 16:14:46

It is the double think; geothermal energy - fracking good, gas production - fracking bad, that is taxing my mind.

Nelliemoser Thu 05-Dec-13 16:32:03

Lots of geothermal energy in England and Wales as well.

JessM Thu 05-Dec-13 16:53:54

Geothermal energy technology is just not the same as cracking rocks to release hard-to-get-at shale gases. Different technology. Different issues. Calling geothermal "fracking" is inappropriate spin. Geothermal does not release CO2 therefore green. Fracking releases a lot of Co2 and also methane I believe, so very un-green.
In NZ there is at least one geothermal power station that has been there for some time. We were wondering why the (black) swans seemed so ecstatically happy in a particular stretch of river. it was toasty warm like a bath, downstream of the plant. But their therms are rather nearer the surface in that volcanic part of the world. grin

FlicketyB Thu 05-Dec-13 17:30:53

The article says that they will have to frack the rock to release the warm water. This is down a coal mine where there will still be coal seams and the water will be in them as well as below them. If the strata in the coal mine is fracked the water released will be polluted with hydro carbon chemicals from the coal seams and methane present in the coal will also be released. No difference at all.

Yes, there is plenty of geothermal energy produced in the UK, but as far as I know it is produced from bore holes not by fracking. This article is specifically about releasing geothermal energy from coal mines in the Central belt of Scotland using fracking.

Go to Iceland ands all their electricity is produced geothermally, but the water comes from bore holes, the hot water is not released by fracking. I have swum in the glorious heated outdoor pools there in sub-zero temperatures. It was fabulous.

JessM Thu 05-Dec-13 17:48:40

oh right - I understand. Not sure if they always do. Is it the same kind of process though? Its a bit of a vague article.
We're going to get our new nuclear plant on Anglesey smile - lots of jobs and electricity. It will help the local economy.
Also Swansea bay are getting a tidal lagoon to generate electricity smile

broomsticks Thu 05-Dec-13 20:26:55

I'd guess that any kind of fracking might pollute the water table or cause instability.
I wonder why it is preferred to bore holes if they work well?

FlicketyB Thu 05-Dec-13 20:28:46

Geothermal heat is usually obtained by drilling very deep bore holes, the heated water, is under pressure under ground so when the bore hole is drilled, the water rushes up the bore as it now has room to expand so the bore hole will have pressure valves at the top to control the flow.

I do not understand why this is not possible underground in coal mines. It is possibly because the water concerned is not under pressure and it is its heat they wish to use, in which case the water may not be under pressure and will not flow out of the rocks without fracking them to provide fissures and crevices for the water to travel along.

But fracking is fracking whether you are doing it for water or gas. If indeed there are any real threats in fracking then fracking for geothermal energy may be potentially more dangerous than fracking for gas as fracking for gas will usually take place at far greater depths than thermal fracking.

Nothing wrong with geothermal power, it is not renewable but it produces no emissions, but in the UK there are only limited areas where it is available and can be used.