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Producing green energy is now becoming a reality through a method that you may never have imagined. What does a hot plate of ravioli, a home’s radiator and a car engine have in common? They all produce steam, and researchers are now tapping into this water vapor source via none other than a sleeping volcano in Oregon in order to produce a new type of alternative energy – full steam ahead.
Pouring water into a sleeping volcano so as to generate geothermal energy is the plan of companies such as Davenport Newberry Holdings in Connecticut and AltaRock Energy in Washington. The goal is to yield green energy no matter what the climate conditions are and without causing problems such as earthquakes.
The development of the volcano-steam project in Oregon received $43 million in support, with the primary investors actually being Google Inc. along with the U.S. Department of Energy.
The system works by channeling the hot water/steam derived from the volcano toward the rotation of a turbine, thus producing electricity. The project in Oregon is one of its kind in the United States, with a like project being present only in Germany and France. The volcano Newberry has not erupted since the time prior to the last glacial period about 1,300 years ago; yet, the rocks near the surface still are hot.
Geothermal energy indeed is a hot technology that is gaining steam and opening up environmental job opportunities as researchers seek to come up with new ways of producing green energy that bypasses the need for fossil fuels, thus preserving the earth by using—well, the earth essentially—in a noninvasive way. The volcano is available, and so is the natural heat, so the ability to go green and go fully natural is right at our fingertips.
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