Fossil Fuels to Go Bust? Endless deep-Geo Energy coming soon? – PlasmaBit vs the GyroTron – questions answered

New tech inside: Europe needs to embrace ground-breaking geothermal technologies

By Igor Kočiš | GA Drilling May 30, 2022 from euractiv. via thefreeonline shared with thanks

[GA Drilling]

The new REPowerEU Plan presented last week by the European Commission is the latest proposal of measures that would speed up the transformation of Europe’s energy landscape..

The dependence on fossil fuels imported from Russia may be the most pressing issue tackled by the proposal. For the first time, geothermal energy has been included as a mainstream solution to address the challenges associated with both Russian aggression and climate change.

This is good news. only deep geothermal energy can offer not just gigawatts, but terawatts of clean and sustainable baseload energy needed by industry and large-scale district heating and cooling.

Deep geothermal energy can be harvested almost anywhere – at depths of 5 km and more. The problem is that the costs associated with traditional conventional drilling in depths of more than 3 km in the hard rock under increasing pressure and temperature rise exponentially.

GA Drilling, a technology company from Slovakia, is one of the few tech startups developing contactless drilling solutions to enable linear cost increase of drilling to any depth – and it is the only one based in the EU.

GA Drilling has now associated with Narbors to: accelerate field commercialization and eliminate traditional economic barriers of ultra-deep projects to expand global access to geothermal energy.. see report below

Its unique drill bit Plasmabit has already caught the attention of major global players in the drilling and oil industry as the technology to power the deep geothermal revolution, anywhere. 

With “Plasmabit inside”, the existing drilling equipment and rigs developed originally for conventional oil and gas exploration in shallow sediments will be able to unlock the vast potential of deep geothermal energy in hot hard rock, guaranteeing the economic viability of geothermal projects.


Nabors invests in ultra-deep geothermal drilling technology company

Apr 1, 2022 shared with thanks

Nabors Industries added to its clean energy portfolio with an $8 million investment in geothermal technology company GA Drilling. GA Drilling’s PLASMABIT drilling tool will be integrated into Nabors’ automated and lower-emission drilling operations.

The collaboration aims to accelerate field commercialization and eliminate traditional economic barriers of ultra-deep projects to expand global access to geothermal energy.

GA Drilling joins Nabors’ geothermal ecosystem, which is comprised of three other prior venture investments in geothermal companies. These technologies were assembled to help make geothermal energy widely accessible across geographies, while reducing cost per unit of energy generated to match the cost of other energy sources.

“Now is the time to invest in innovative and bold geothermal solutions that have the potential to unlock terawatts of clean, renewable and reliable energy on a truly global scale,” said Anthony G. Petrello, Nabors Chairman, CEO and President. ecosystem.”

“The present agreement will allow us to move faster through the final stages of PLASMABIT development, to integrate this revolutionary drilling tool into the systems of the rig. Nabors will introduce European high-technology capacities into the US market. Together, we will work toward meeting imminent demand to rapidly diversify the global energy mix.”


Quaise’s ultra-deep geothermal drilling plans: Your questions answered


By Loz Blain March 06, 2022 shared with thanks

Quaise says it has a plan, and the technology, to drill deeper than ever before and unlock the vast geothermal power of the Earth to re-power fossil-fired electricity plants with green energy

Quaise’s ultra-deep geothermal power plan is one of the most exciting and fascinating green energy projects we’ve seen. In a nutshell, this Boston-based MIT spin-off says it has repurposed powerful millimeter-wave beam technology – originally developed to superheat plasma in fusion experiments – to blast through previously undrillable rock far below the Earth’s surface.

Quaise says it has a plan, and the technology, to drill deeper than ever before and unlock the vast geothermal power of the Earth to re-power fossil-fired electricity plants with green energy

The company says this will allow it to drill bore holes far deeper than has ever previously been possible, going down far enough to access rock temperatures around 500 °C (932 °F). That’s well past the point where water becomes heated to a “supercritical” state that radically boosts the efficiency of geothermal power extraction.

More or less any existing power station that uses fossil-fueled heat to create steam and run turbines can be connected to a totally reliable, 24-hour supply of green energy that’ll keep those turbines turning without a single puff of CO2 escaping, and without the worrying intermittency of other renewable sources like wind and solar energy.

Quaise's hybrid ultra-deep drilling rig will combine conventional rotary drilling with gyrotron-powered mm-wave directed energy drilling, pressure-purged with electromagnetically-transparent argon gas
Quaise’s hybrid ultra-deep drilling rig will combine conventional rotary drilling with gyrotron-powered mm-wave directed energy drilling, pressure-purged with electromagnetically-transparent argon gas

It’ll be surprisingly quick, too. The deepest hole humanity has ever drilled to date took nearly 20 years to reach a depth of 12,289 m (40,318 ft), but Quaise says its hybrid drilling rig – using a traditional rotary bit to get through the easy stuff and a gyrotron-powered energy beam to melt, fracture and vaporize the tough stuff – will take just 100 days to deliver you a hole 20 km (12.4 miles) deep.

If all hurdles can be cleared the end result gets you a long-term green energy supply, in a stable bore hole lined with glassy melted rock, wherever you want it.

The details and history are fascinating, and I thoroughly recommend you read our original story to learn a lot more. But as with any radically disruptive idea like this, enquiring minds are going to have questions.

Your questions answered

Here at Atlas we’ve collected the best – and a few of the worst – questions from both these sources, and put them to Quaise CEO and co-founder Carlos Araque, who was kind enough to get back to us. His lightly edited responses are reproduced below.

Could an earthquake cut off the bore and disable the power station?
Unlikely. Earthquakes rarely disrupt oil and gas wells. These are similar but 3-5x deeper.

How long can these ultra-deep shafts be expected to last?
50-100 years.

Does rock not flow at the temperatures and pressures expected at these depths?
Rock does not do this until you get to the mantle, which is much deeper than what we are doing.

Will a flow of supercritical water provide enough pressure to keep the bore open?
It helps; the bore is vitrified as byproduct of the drilling process and the rock is very competent at those depths, which also helps.

During the directed energy boring process, is it possible for water to enter the bore?
It is possible, but the rock is very impermeable at those depths and the flow rate would be low; any water that enters the wellbore instantly vaporizes.

Could this water be superheated by the mm wave beam, causing high-pressure steam that might damage the equipment?
It will get superheated, but there is nothing to damage. The only downhole equipment is a pipe.

Near-limitless supercritical geothermal power will be available anywhere on Earth if Quaise's mm-wave technology works at scale
Near-limitless supercritical geothermal power will be available anywhere on Earth if Quaise’s mm-wave technology works at scale

Is it possible that drilling this deep might release magma, effectively creating a man-made volcano? As one commenter put it, “Let’s see what happens when you pop the biggest zit in our solar system.”
This cannot happen. Any magma that comes into such a small hole would solidify in the first few meters. Humans have already done this multiple times, and this is exactly what happens.

If this solution is deployed at scale, could it be possible for the heat released from under the surface to contribute to global warming?
The Earth already leaks 40 TW from within, whether we exist or not. Humanity uses 20 TW, so no.

Could this idea be economically adapted into shallower 1-2-km (0.6-1.2-mile) holes simply to provide warm water for hydronic heating and other purposes?
Certainly, we intend to do that too. This is not just about 20 km; there is plenty of value to unlock starting at 100-meter deep holes.

Deep Geo energy could replace much of the Climate destroying Fracking Industry as endless energy could be produced cheaply without fossil fuels. Deep Geo cannot contaminate groundwater which does not exist at such depths and temperatures.

Is there a possibility that deep drilling of this nature might lead to seismic events similar to what’s been observed with fracking?
Drilling and fracking are different processes. Drilling does not cause seismicity.

Would a millimeter wave beam potentially ignite a pocket of natural gas if it encountered one on the way down?
Gas is located in sedimentary rock. We drill the sedimentary rock using conventional technologies.

Could pulling heat out of the Earth’s core cause excessive global cooling, disrupt the core convection currents or affect the magnetic field?
See the comment on the 40 TW above.

Would it not be cheaper and easier just to access geothermal heat reserves closer to the surface?
Of course; it would also be easier to just access wind and solar. The problem is that there is not enough of it to power the civilization we have created with fossil fuels.

Is the supercritically heated water likely to be highly corrosive to the above-ground equipment?
Yes, but there are many supercritical power stations in use today. The materials exist to handle it.

Couldn’t you just drill into the side of a volcano instead?
Yes, but most humans do not live near one. This is a solution that can work for 95 percent of humanity.

Do you guys not watch disaster movies?
We love them! This is precisely why we need to do this: to avoid a disaster.

Will this wake up the Kaiju?

We thank Carlos Araque and Quaise for taking the time to respond.

Source: Quaise Energy


Four workers wearing hard hats on a drilling platform as seen from high above in the rig scaffolding

Deep geothermal energy in France shared with thanks
France has been successfully using deep geothermal energy for a long time, especially in the heating sector. The presentation by Mélanie Davaux, Geofluid, gave an overview of the state of geothermal heat supply in France. According to this, 54 plants currently generate geothermal heat in the Paris basin and cover 64 percent of the heat supply in this region. By 2028, 4 to 5.2 TWh of heat per year are to be produced in France using deep geothermal energy.


EERE Success Story—FORGE-ing Ahead with U.S. Geothermal

May 18, 2022 shared with thanks

  1. Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy
  2. EERE Success Story—FORGE-ing Ahead with U.S. Geothermal

Geothermal energy, the “heat beneath our feet,” has the potential to provide enough power to supply more than 100 million U.S. homes around the clock. Most of that energy has been largely inaccessible, but that’s about to change.

Innovators and researchers are making progress exploring human-made geothermal reservoirs, which, along with technologies to capture and sustain this clean energy, are known as enhanced geothermal systems (EGS). Once mature, EGS technology will help use a near-limitless resource …..

Once the precise boundaries of the new reservoir are located through data analysis, the FORGE team will drill a second full-size well in early 2023 into the new reservoir. The resulting well pairing is called a doublet; operators pump cold water down one well and hot water out of the other. The hot water pumped out of the reservoir carries the energy for electricity production. 

This doublet serves as the basis for the FORGE laboratory, where scientists can test their innovative EGS technologies and tools. In February 2021, DOE awarded $49 million to 17 research and development (R&D) projects to do just that, and projects are underway, as shown in the map below.

New R&D awards through FORGE fall into 5 categories: Devices suitable for use in high temperature wells Estimation of stress parameters Characterization of reservoir stimulation over time Specific stimulation and configuration at the FORGE site Integrating lab and modeling studies of the interactions among thermal, hydrological, mechanical and chemical processes.

FORGE R&D projects across the country


Geothermal energy can bring about a heat turnaround!

shared with thanks

April 2022.. Geothermal energy can bring about a heat turnaround! This was the message of the GFZ in its own session at the Berlin Energy Days 2022. Among other things, key messages from the joint “Roadmap Deep Geothermal Energy for Germany” were presented.

View over the roofs of Berlin. Tower of Berlin in the background.
The sustainable expansion of geothermal energy is an investment in the cities of our future. Berlin’s heat supply is also still predominantly based on fossil fuels. (© Photo: P. Spalek, GFZ)

Half of the municipal heating in Germany is to come from climate-neutral sources by 2030. Deep geothermal energy can make a major contribution to this goal of the German government, because it provides local energy consistently and independently of weather conditions and occupies little space in settlements. Market-ready technologies are available, but there is a need for action at many levels for broader use.´´´´´´

continues here..


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