Image for Hot rocks a cool idea?

If Barty’s talking it up you have got to be immediately suspicious that it’s a dud ... based on his past eulogistic rants which fallen into the abyss: Another coupla mill down the gurgler as we ‘lead the world in innovation’.

Barty’s pondering hot rocks: Michael Stedman, Mercury HERE: Hot rocks set to roll: TASMANIA’S fledgling geothermal energy industry has been told to expect a significant election promise from the Labor Government. Early exploration studies suggest Tasmania is sitting on top of a huge source of geothermal or hot-rock energy. But despite the potential, the emerging industry believes it has been short-changed by government investment.

The Federal Government handed out nearly $290 million worth of grants for geothermal exploration between 2002 and last year but Tasmania got the smallest share of just $1.8 million, or 0.6 per cent of the total. In contrast, South Australia received $206.3 million, or 71.3 per cent, to conduct geothermal exploration alongside oil and gas drilling operations. KUTh Energy managing director David McDonald, of Hobart, said Tasmania had greater geothermal potential than South Australia … He said Premier David Bartlett’s promise last week of a $2 million grants program for renewable energy would do little to stimulate investment.

But Mr Bartlett yesterday foreshadowed a major election promise for the sector. “I have talked with industry players extensively and we are certainly going to work with the geothermal industry but you might have to wait a while for the detail around that,” he said.

Hag suggests someone should speak to Prof Jeff Foster from the GeoScience School at UTAS; who Hag is told believes Tasmania is not likely to have much usable geothermal energy;  It’s too old in geological terms - the rocks have cooled.