Trouble in Geothermia:
Staufen, in the Black Forest, was proud of its innovative geothermal power plan that was supposed to provide environmentally-friendly heating.
But only two weeks after contractors drilled down 460ft to extract heat from below the earth, large cracks have appeared in buildings as the town centre subsided about a third of an inch.
That’s not how Tim Flannery imagined things: “All of this would require a new city in the desert – let’s call it Geothermia. What might it look like? I imagine a solar collector towering over a low-rise city, providing shade and conserving soil moisture. Perhaps the infrastructure would be underground. Geothermia would be a city not of thousands but of hundreds of thousands – a place with its own critical mass.” Too much critical mass, as it turns out:
Michael Benitz, mayor of Staufen, said: “Will the earth continue to sink or is it going to stop? If it stops now, then we will have got away lightly. But if it continues, it could turn out to be quite bad.”
A similar experiment triggered a series of earthquakes near Basel in Switzerland last year.
Safer to live in the charming hamlet of Atomica.
(Via Liam B.)