Avenir is closer today than ever in being the leader of this new clean technology world.
Avenir is pursuing 5 sectors of technology development
I am asked all of the time what are my favourite technology opportunities. Over the next 5 days I will be blogging what I see as the Avenir future. For today’s blog let’s look at renewable energy.
There are numerous conversations regarding renewable energy with the favourites always being solar, wind and biofuels. Well there is another opportunity and Alberta has a tremendous advantage. According to an extensive study (the Future of Geothermal Energy) by MIT, the ability of geological formations similar to Alberta’s Sedimentary basin will be able to produce significant energy via enhanced geothermal systems (EGS).
The concept is based on drilling two wells approximately 3km to 5 km deep and then fracing (fracturing the rock) between the wells which creates permeability. Water is pumped down one well through the frac rock and then up the other well. The heat is captured in the water and is used for steam power generation. Avenir is a perfect location with its adjacent industrial lands to facilitate the assessment and utilization of such a concept for energy production in communities.
The fact is, if this technology is successful Alberta will have another tremendous energy advantage in that it will be able to produce and export renewable energy to the east and Midwest regions of North America. MIT projects this type of energy would have a cost of 5 to 6 cents per KWH.
Another renewable energy opportunity we would like to evaluate at Avenir is the use of sanitary sewer systems as heat transfer systems using the natural heat from the waste water in the sewer. The concept involves the placement of a very thin liner in the sewer that is also a heat exchanger. This liner not only is a heat exchanger but it likely will also assist in the restoration of many existing sewer systems. Sewer infrastructure restoration is a major public expenditure issue much of the western world is facing over the next decade.
These are two unique clean technology ideas that can be evaluated and developed at Avenir. They are also two concepts that may have significant economic benefits for Alberta.
Tomorrow we will talk about water.