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Geothermal Energy Predictive Modelling

Kenex has developed a predictive model targeting "hot rock"-style geothermal resources in the Northern Territory. These types of geothermal systems have become increasingly sought after as increasing power consumption, rising fuel costs, and concern about greenhouse gas emissions impact on more traditional energy sources.


Hot rock style geothermal systems have the additional benefit of being the only renewable energy source capable of meeting base load electricity requirements. Geothermal exploration is set to increase in the Northern Territory as the as the Northern Territory geothermal permitting system comes online.


The Northern Territory is mostly positioned within the Central Australian Heat Flow Province, a belt of anomalously high surface heat flow. The belt contains several moderate to high heat producing granite suites and is believed to contain several regions capable of generating hot rock style geothermal energy. At present, the Northern Territory relies on three independent gas-powered electricity grids: Darwin-Katherine, Tennant Creek, and Alice Springs, as well as a large number of smaller diesel-fired and solar power stations that supply remote communities and industry. Power generation at many of these stations could be supplemented or replaced by hot rock style geothermal energy, particularly in situations where the geothermal prospect is located nearby.


Spatial data modelling using the fuzzy logic approach was used to integrate the various predictive themes relevant to hot rock style geothermal systems. A significant number of exploration targets have been generated, and six of these are located within 150 km of a population centre or industrial power consumer.



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