Thursday, March 7, 2013

The New York Times has reported that a new secretary has been chosen for the Energy Department.

I have had several comments accepted in connection with various columns and blogs discussing this appointment. At Dot Earth (NY Times) I promised to provide URLs to NY Times articles in which Ground Source Geothermal is mentioned.

Here are three with brief comments by me.

I offer this story because it illustrates standard NY Times and apparently widespread American practice. The article is largely about solar power installations on chain stores. The story includes the following single sentence about Ground Source Geothermal:

"Ikea has included a geothermal power system at a new store in Centennial, Colo."

The link provided leads you to a website about a kind of geothermal energy that has nothing to do with the Ikea installation. This is standard Times practice, which I have repeatedly asked the Times to correct. Times editors fail to do so.

The system at Ikea consists of an array of drill holes under the parking garage. They are the basic element of a Ground Source Geothermal system. Note that unless Ikea advertises in the store that it has such a system, no one will ever know since the drill holes are covered by the parking garage.

Here is a URL that takes you to one of the early reports on plans now finalized. This story, like all NYT stories onm the project, provides limited information that is not accurate.

If the Ground Source Geothermal System becomes a reality, then I believe it may be the largest yet installed in the United States. I have asked the Times repeatedly to correct the errors and provide an article on GSG. No response.

These are quotes from the articles at the URLs above and below:

"plans are being considered to have wells harvesting geothermal energy" 

"If Cornell University were to win the city’s competition to build a new science graduate school, it would install on Roosevelt Island almost four acres of solar panels, 500 geothermal wells, and buildings with the rare distinction of generating as much power as they use."

You can see an example of a functioning GSG system at my blog posts on Champlain College (23 November 2010), quite a ways back, sorry.

What is the point? Very simple. Ikea and the Cornell Center could have been heated by natural gas, a system favored by the new Secretary of Energy. The Ground Source Geothermal systems are renewable energy systems that do require electrical input but in the end contribute far less atmospheric contaminants than natural gas systems

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