11 February 2008

Peak Manpower: Geothermal

Although there is enough potential geothermal power under the US to provide 3,000 times US yearly energy needs, geothermal only supplies a small percentage of US energy. Why? Manpower shortage. A shortage of skilled geothermal engineers--trained to locate promising fields of "hot rocks" that are likely to pay out in energy generation.
The drilling for oil has sucked up every qualified drilling person worldwide.....The oil guys have it pretty well down with the best explorers getting results form nearly half of their attempts (Chevron). However, the best tools to determine where to drill for heat are not worked out yet. It will be a wildcat, risky kind of thing for a while. The seismic geology that the petroleum business uses so adroitly isn’t being applied to heat and may not in fact be convertible in recognizable sense. This leads to the second issue about the people: the innovation, creativity and education hasn’t gotten started yet to find, train and educate the people who can cut the risks from trying for a geothermal play.

...Engineering might well play a big role to determine what a good hole is compared to a loser. The directional drilling expertise offers the potential to get more locations productive for geothermal than would otherwise be possible. A pair of parallel bores allowing one fluid down and one fluid back might well change the risk picture dramatically.....

It will take people....those [technology] people can’t come in until another group of people gets in first. Those are the visionaries, leaders and risk takers. That’s the first thing kind of people we need. The payoff could be a reserve that never depletes....
Read More at New Energy and Fuel
A lot of things that sound good on paper will never happen, until the right people are working on the problem, hands-on. People who are resourceful and capable of innovating in the middle of a job. Those people are retiring every year, and not being suitably replaced. Why?

Because the innovative, resourceful, creative people who would have been able to solve problems on the worksite, are being mishandled in schools. A vital human capital resource is being squandered by an ideology-heavy educational system that is blind to the real-world needs of the present and the future. I am referring, of course, to boys. Boys who need male teachers, boys who need all-male classrooms, boys who need a completely different teaching style than the one created by post-modern university schools of education.

Montessori schools, and perhaps Waldorf schools, know better, and allow boys the type of "hands-on" learning they need from the earliest years. These Montessori boys (and other non-conventionally educated boys) will grow up able to choose the area of work best for them. But they are only a few percentages of all the school-aged boys. They are not enough to provide the skilled manpower in technology and industry that is sifting away, year by year.

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Blogger Ugh said...

We can only hope that the boys aren't too damaged before getting into a post-secondary trade/technical school. It wasn't until I was in my mid-thirties after giving up my dreams of being a Rock-Star did I get into a quality technical college that gave me the skills that led to a great job in information technology.

This is the path I see my own son taking rather than a 4 year university to become just another lawyer or business major.

"Not that there's anything wrong with that"

Monday, 11 February, 2008  
Blogger al fin said...

A lot of boys who would have made good engineers or technologists are turned off of school and learning very early on. Boys think differently and learn differently, but schools are geared toward the way that girls learn and behave. The bias in favour of girls could not be more blatant, and the utter indifference to the fate of boys could not be more obvious.

Monday, 11 February, 2008  

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