Geothermal energy going unused in B.C.

Vancouver 24hrs article on the results of the Geoscience BC study, by Eric Mackenzie.

A new report examining the use of geothermal power in B.C. finds many interior communities who have access to natural heat energy aren’t using the resource.

Geoscience BC published a report identifying geothermal energy sources in 63 different communities in the province on Monday, along with instructions on how these communities can identify the strengths of the geothermal energy they have, and what they could use it for.

Carlos Salas, vice-president of energy at Geoscience, said examples of geothermal energy uses include space heating, creating greenhouses, raising tropical fish, spas, drying lumber and more.

The focus was on 63 communities primarily in remote areas of B.C. — that happen to be near geothermal energy sources — where sourcing other forms of fuel could be a challenge.

“The good thing about some of these more remote areas is you can start using direct heating to help lower usage of diesel fuel,” Salas said.

“Some places are quite remote and by being able to use direct heating for their communities it can help lower greenhouse gases and also save money.”

In about 90 different hot spring sites examined by Geoscience, only about two dozen had any form of development. Places that could benefit from geothermal heating include Canoe Creek, Clarke Lake, Mount Meager and the Okanagan.

“One of the things we found from our study was that most of the communities don’t know about the direct use component of geothermal energy.

“Even though they may have that in their community, they either don’t know it exists, or if they know it exists, they don’t know how to get at it.”

The report can be found at geosciencebc.com.

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