China detects its highest-temperature HDR geothermal energy

Updated 2017-09-07 11:30:37 CGTN

China has detected hot dry rock (HDR) at 236 degrees Celsius in Gonghe County, northwest China's Qinghai Province.

China Geological Survey told CGTN on Wednesday that the HDR was found 3,705 meters beneath the Earth's surface. It is the highest-temperature HDR China has detected since the development of HDR geothermal energy starting in 2012.

Geothermal energy generated by HDR is a potential replacement for fossil fuels and can serve as a clean heating resource for millions in China.

Normally, with an over 150-degree-Celsius temperature, HDR lays 3,000 to 10,000 beneath the Earth's surface. Weather has little influence on the process of extracting power from HDR, and the cost is half the price of utilizing wind and one-tenth of generating solar energy.

Qinghai Province was the first known HDR resource in China. In 2014, geological and mineral resource explorers first found HDR in Qinghai with a temperature as high as 153 degrees Celsius, 2,230 meters beneath the Earth's surface.

Besides for Qinghai Province, Chinese explorers have found HDR in regions including southeast coastal areas, the Northeast Plain and the North Plain. In December last year, China detected HDR in its east Shandong Province with a temperature as high as 110 degrees Celsius at a depth of 1,240 meters beneath the Earth's surface.

The development of HDR geothermal energy started in the 1970s and many countries, including U.S., UK and Australia have set up bases for HDR experimental research.

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