Then there’s the news that just came out this week: Researchers at the University of Western Australia are launching an investigation of the use of geothermal energy to desalinate groundwater in the state.
Professor Klaus Regenauer-Lieb, director of the Western Australian Geothermal Centre of Excellence at the university, said the goal is to “identify the main factors that enable local water supplies to be produced with local renewable energy to help overcome the expense of bringing both water and energy to sites that lack these resources,” he said.
Rottnest Island, 11 miles off the western coast at Freemantle, already uses renewable energy for 37 percent of its energy, provided by a 600-kilowatt wind turbine. But Regenauer-Lieb said geothermal would have the advantage of providing base load power because it can produce around the clock, suggesting that the use of the geothermal power could extend beyond desalinating – a point NCEDA emphasizes.
“Australia has invested heavily in urban desalination and water recycling technology over the past ten years,” the consortium of research institutions said. “In doing so, decisions of state governments to power the desalination plants effectively from renewable resources has provided a big boost to the renewable energy industry as well as ensuring a secure water supply is always available, but with a very low operating carbon footprint.”
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