[meteorite-list] Swedes Search for Geothermal Energy in Meteorite Crater

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:37:36 2004
Message-ID: <200012191828.KAA14294_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


Swedes Search for Geothermal Energy in Meteorite Crater
Environment News Service

ESKILSTUNA, Sweden, December 18, 2000 (ENS) - Sweden will spend at least
$777,000 to investigate the possibility that an old meteorite crater
contains enough energy to heat the city of Stockholm.

One billion years ago, a meteorite hit the earth on the southern part of the
island of Bjorko in Lake Malaren. The crater is 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) in
diameter. The impact of a meteorite can cause fragments in the bedrock,
resulting in porosity that is up to 10 times greater than normal. In such
volume, the rock contains water where the temperature rises 15ºC for every
kilometre of depth, which corresponds to an energy potential of 4,000

Scientists estimate that the Bjorko structure contains a heat volume which
could provide 70 percent of the energy needs to heat the city of Stockholm
on a sustainable basis. The crater is situated between eight and 13
kilometres from three of the city's existing district heating power plants:
Hässelby, Fittja and Igelsta.

The Swedish National Energy Administration (STEM), following a decision by
the Energy Development Board, has granted funding of up to 7,515,000 kroner
(US$777,214) to the Bjorko Energiprojekt.

The funding will allow a closer study of the structure of the crater and the
potential for geothermal energy recovery, as well as the structure's
suitability as a heat exchanger. The study involves drilling three
exploratory holes in the crater.

"The Bjorko energy project entails a not inconsiderable economic risk which
the business community is scarcely in a position to take on at this point in
time,? says Thomas Korsfeldt, director generation of STEM. ?However, the
potential of the project is great enough that it justifies taking the risk,
especially in light of the Energy Administration's commission to support the
transition to a sustainable energy system.?

The project is being conducted under the auspices of the Department of
Geodesy & Photogrammetry at the Royal Technical Institute in Stockholm.

The endeavor is headed by a team of researchers from the Royal Technical
Institute, Stockholm University and the Scandinavian Water Environment

A critical path of filing reports will allow the project to be abandoned if
the results are negative.

"By providing funding, the National Energy Administration can pave the way
to an interesting use of energy that is sustainable in the very long term if
the results are positive," adds Korsfeldt. "If this phase is successful, I
assume that the business community will be willing to take on primary
responsibility for continuing the project."

Assistance is being provided by a reference group representatives of Birka
Energi, Sydkraft, Svensk Geofysik, the Chalmers Institute of Technology, the
Lund Institute of Technology and the Stockholm County Administrative Board.

Studded with more than 1000 islands, Lake Malaren is a popular resort area.
On the shores of the lake are a number of cities, including Stockholm. The
Viking city of Birka, the first big town in Sweden, was founded on the
island of Bjorko in Lake Malaren. It dates orginally from about A.D. 750 and
was abandoned shortly before 1000. Birka is included in the UNESCO list of
World Heritage sites.
Received on Tue 19 Dec 2000 01:28:59 PM PST

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