A geological rupture at a geothermal plant in Australia has caused a setback for an alternative energy company called Geodynamics Ltd. There was an explosion recently at the remote Cooper Basin that caused the plant to shut down.
Nobody was injured and nothing toxic escaped. In fact the only thing currently spewing into the air and on the ground is hot water and steam. Now, compare this with a wildcat oil rig that blows its top and spews oil particles into the air for miles around and pools of black fossil fuels upon the ground.
Geodynamics drills approximately 3 miles down into the hot rocks of the Earth, bringing up steam which turns turbines to create electricity. This breach shows a couple of different problems.
First, deep drilling for hot water is not as easy as it sounds. Second, critics of this type of alternative energy source will pounce on this breach as a reason not to do it. And, third there is a true financial setback for the company that has to cap the breach and get it under control and back into production again.
But, going back to the oil rig analogy for a second, these are all problems that have been experienced when drilling for oil. The geothermal well will out live most oil wells as far as energy production and in case of problems, the only issue to deal with is a little escaping steam now and then.