An opinion piece written by Andrew Howell and Karine Kleinhaus urges oil and gas companies, who have cut back on their reduction ambitions in the last year, to leverage their drilling expertise and expand into Geoenergy.
“Large oil and gas operators can also play an important role in Geoenergy development, bringing technological expertise, a skilled workforce, and access to capital. There are signs that the industry is starting to wake up to the opportunity,” said Howell and Kleinhaus.
The article highlights that venture capital leaders bp and Chevron have a combined investment of $40 million in Eavor, which is helping to expand a renewable energy source that is “always on” and occupies up to 88 percent less land per KWh than other sources of clean energy.
It was stated that conventional geothermal systems can only meet about 0.4 percent of the global energy demand, and this method of extracting geothermal energy is limited by geological restraints. However, Eavor’s Geoenergy System is one of the means that can mitigate these restraints, as it extracts energy without the need to access hot springs or underground aquifers.
Eavor-Loop™ technology is set to begin geoenergy extraction in Bavaria, Germany, and deliver power to Geretsried by the second half of 2024. As Eavor’s first global commercial project commences in the German alps, and prospects in Austria and Romania increase, the demand for clean energy in Europe has never been higher. This has been exacerbated due to the increased demand for natural gas in the last few years due to global sanctions against Russia.
Utilizing drilling expertise is one of the aspects that give Eavor a competitive advantage as the world strives for cleaner electrical grids. This is in line with the solution that Howell and Kleinhaus argue for. Geoenergy is baseload, much like fossil fuels, and once scaled globally, it has the potential to replace oil and gas in supplying energy to grids. Furthermore, the utilization of drilling experience is a cost-effective opportunity for the oil and gas industry to gain a competitive advantage.
“Rather than equivocating in their commitments to clean energy, oil and gas companies should draw on their strengths in innovation and cost reduction to bring energy solutions to market. In the case of geoenergy, an important solution to the transition may lie, literally, just beneath our feet. It’s time to dig in.”