[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]
NRC report concludes hydraulic fracturing poses low risk for causing earthquakes, but risks are higher for wastewater injection wells; CCS impact undetermined
June 17, 2012
Earthquakes attributable to human activities are called “induced seismic events” or “induced earthquakes.” Hydraulic fracturing has a low risk for inducing earthquakes that can be felt by people, but underground injection of wastewater produced by hydraulic fracturing and other energy technologies has a higher risk of causing such earthquakes, according to a new report from the National Research Council.
In addition, carbon capture and storage may have the potential for inducing seismic events, because significant volumes of fluids are injected underground over long periods of time. However, insufficient information exists to understand the potential of carbon capture and storage to cause earthquakes, because no large-scale projects are as yet in operation. The committee that wrote the report said continued research will be needed to examine the potential for induced seismicity in large-scale carbon capture and storage projects.
Pike Research forecasts global geothermal power capacity could more than double by 2020; US to lead world in geothermal power capacity through 2020
October 02, 2011
Escalating investment in geothermal power could result in a 134% increase in global geothermal capacity between 2010 and 2020, from 10.7 gigawatts (GW) to 25.1 GW, under a high-growth forecast scenario, according to a report by Pike Research. Under a more conservative business-as-usual forecast scenario, Pike estimates that geothermal power capacity could increase 34% to 14.3 GW by 2020.
The current installed capacity of 10.7 GW is spread across 26 countries with a combined output of approximately 67 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity. Currently, the United States is the global geothermal leader with 3.1 GW of installed capacity, and seven countries represent 88% of the world market. While conventional geothermal resources account for nearly all online capacity today, enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) and co-produced wells both offer opportunities for expansion outside of rift zones or volcanically active regions throughout the world, according to the study.