The Efficacy and Potential of Renewable Energy from Carbon Dioxide that is Sequestered in Sedimentary Basin Geothermal Resources
Friday, 18 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Mitigating climate change requires increasing the amount of electricity that is generated from renewable energy technologies and while simultaneously reducing the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) that is emitted to the atmosphere from present energy and industrial facilities. We investigated the efficacy of generating electricity using renewable geothermal heat that is extracted by CO2 that is sequestered in sedimentary basins. To determine the efficacy of CO2-Geothermal power production in the United States, we conducted a geospatial resource assessment of the combination of subsurface CO2 storage capacity and heat flow in sedimentary basins and developed an integrated systems model that combines reservoir modeling with power plant modeling and economic costs. The geospatial resource assessment estimates the potential resource base for CO2-Geothermal power plants, and the integrated systems model estimates the physical (e.g., net power) and economic (e.g., levelized cost of electricity, capital cost) performance of an individual CO2-Geothermal power plant for a range of reservoir characteristics (permeability, depth, geothermal temperature gradient). Using coupled inverted five-spot injection patterns that are common in CO2-enhanced oil recovery operations, we determined the well pattern size that best leveraged physical and economic economies of scale for the integrated system. Our results indicate that CO2-Geothermal plants can be cost-effectively deployed in a much larger region of the United States than typical approaches to geothermal electricity production. These cost-effective CO2-Geothermal electricity facilities can also be capacity-competitive with many existing baseload and renewable energy technologies over a range of reservoir parameters. For example, our results suggest that, given the right combination of reservoir parameters, LCOEs can be as low as $25/MWh and capacities can be as high as a few hundred MW.