As part of its search for alternative energy sources, the European Economic Community is contributing more then 20 million U.
GV PAN Landscape of Swabian Alps
GV Drilling site and operations (4 shots)
GV Drilling tower
SV Man looking at stone samples (2 shots)
SV Drilling bits (4 shots)
SV ZOOM IN Data evaluation (2 shots)
GV Drilling tower (2 shots)
SV Measuring probe lowered into drilling hole (3 shots)
GV Drilling tower
Until now, the contribution of geothermal heat to the world energy supply has been quite small. About 1,000 megawatts of electric energy and 5,000 megawatts of thermal energy for heating purposes have been exploited in Italy, California, Iceland and New Zealand.
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Background: As part of its search for alternative energy sources, the European Economic Community is contributing more then 20 million U.S. dollars to finance research into the best ways of using geothermal heat. Experts say this potential energy source is practically inexhaustible, and is best tapped where there is evidence that the glowing magma (as the liquid at the earth's core is called) has reached the surface. This happens at one site in southern germany, where Europe's deepest geothermal boring is now being carried out.
SYNOPSIS: With its old mountain formations and volcanic activity, Urach near the town of Stuttgart in the Swabian Alps provides an excellent location for he drilling site. In conjunction with West German research institutes, the European Economic Community has set up a drilling operation which is intended to explore the future potential of geothermal heat as an energy source. Experts have estimated that the heat of the earth's core is sufficient to meet all Man's energy needs for ever.
The main problem for the scientists is how to reach the deposits of molten rock which lie below the surface. Early experiments have shown that deep drilling are easiest along the flanks of the volcanic cone where the lava tends to gather. Various methods have been use to get at deep deposits and results are carefully tabulated. The many tests are also geared towards measuring the efficiency and profitability of such an undertaking on a large scale.
So far the scientists engages on the project have had good results. at only 1,000 metres they hit rock with a temperature of 70 degrees centigrade, and they expect temperatures of 200 degrees centigrade before they have reached 2,000 metres. At that depth, water pumped into the bore will turn to steam which will then be piped to the surface and used to power a generator to produce electricity.