Australia has vast natural resources that can be used as renewable energies. One resource is geothermal energy – and a whole city has built up around this hot rock source in the centre of Australia.
Aluminium production started today in Australia’s first city powered entirely by geothermal energy. Phil Ayers was there to witness this momentous occasion.
As the first aluminium bars roll off the production line here in Geothermia, the sceptics finally have to agree on the success of Australia’s new desert city.
Hundreds of thousands of people live here, leading lives powered mostly by the heat of the rocks buried deep beneath their feet. They say that there’s enough energy in these rocks to power the whole of the Australian economy for 75 years.
When the idea was first proposed back in 2010, drilling 4 km into the earth was considered an engineering achievement. Now, that heat not only powers all the energy needs of the city but also a new aluminium smelting plant. A vast railway line has opened to transport the aluminium to Darwin to be shipped all around the world.
Aluminium, banned in 2030 due to its huge energy cost, will once again be available for general use, and Coca Cola pledged today that the old-style ‘coke cans’ will be back on the shelves within six months. I’ll drink to that!
Last Updated: 18 September 2009
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1 William Street
NSW 2010 Australia