Mining & Resources

Hot rock to be potential source of energy in Australia

20 Mar 2009, by test test

The serious impacts of climate change and the depletion of fossil fuels have increased the need for environmentally-friendly energy sources. One potential energy source that has come into prominence recently is geothermal energy. This will be examined at Informa’s 4th annual Hot Rock Energy Conference to be held on the 4-5 June at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne.

Geothermal technology involves producing power from underground heat beneath the Earth’s surface. With recent research by scientists showing an abundance of hot dry rock in Australia, it is hoped it will supply five per cent of the country’s energy requirements by 2020.

David Taylor, who will be presenting at the conference, is a geologist at Victoria Department of Primary Industries and says the advantage of geothermal technology is its reliability and ability to provide base load electricity with very little greenhouse gas emissions.

“As fossil fuels become depleted and more expensive, then the scope for geothermal energy to provide base load power will increase,” he says. “The massive scale of planet Earth basically means there is almost unlimited geothermal energy available for harvesting.”

The cost of geothermal technology is difficult to forecast because many renewable energy sources are still maturing.

However, Mr. Taylor says technological advances would reduce costs and the risks of exploiting geothermal resources and this would encourage its uptake.

“The ability to locally generate power from geothermal resources is another attractive factor beyond economics,” he says. “This local sourcing means that States and Nations can achieve energy security, rather than relying on a import supply chain that could be at risk of disruption or wild price gyrations “

In his presentation, he will be focusing on two main areas concerning geothermal exploration and research in Victoria.

“First, a regional summary of the various geothermal provinces, their geological characteristics and what this means for their geothermal potential. Second, a brief summary of the exploration activity and likely production pathways that are currently being undertaken by the various exploration companies that hold permits in Victoria.”

The Hot Rock conference will also cover the latest technological changes that are driving geothermal energy and inform attendees on how they can take advantage of the commercial opportunities.
Other speakers will include Joe Reichman, Managing Director of Clean Energy Australasia Pty Ltd; Mark Miller, Managing Director of Greenearth Energy Lt; Mark Schneider, Specialised Funds and Investments, Investec Bank; Dr Paul McShane, Chief Research Officer of Monash Sustainability Institute; and Stephen Biggins, Managing Director of Southern Gold Limited.

www.informa.com.au/hotrockenergy

To arrange a media pass, request more information or arrange speaker interviews at the Hot Rock Conference please contact:
John Wilson on 02 9080 4107 or john.wilson@informa.com.au

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