Monday, February 27, 2017

China: Geothermal District Heating Makes Great Strides in Northern Hebei Province

Oil giant taps China's vast geothermal reserves (Agence France-Presse)

Though experts say there is immense potential in China's subterranean heat reserves, they remain largely unexploited

Chinese state-run energy giant Sinopec has drilled hundreds of wells across the country without finding a single drop of oil. But that was precisely the point: instead of black gold, the almost mile deep holes are providing clean heat for local homes.

While 2/3 of China's electricity is generated by coal, almost all of the homes in northern Hebei province's Xiong district – home to 400,000 people – are heated by wells as deep as 1,500 meters (5,000 feet).

Sinopec's geothermal projects in China make up for more than 40% of the total number of homes heated by geothermal energy in the country, making them a potential model for how it can tap this resource.