Canberra, August 20 : Scientists have suggested that hot rocks technology, also known as geothermal, may provide a possible solution to climate change.
Hot rocks technology works by pumping water deep below the earth's surface, to areas that generate plenty of heat.
The water converts to steam and shoots back up to the surface, where it is used to make electricity. The technology generates very few greenhouse gas emissions.
According to a report carried out in www.news.com.au, good progress in this field has been made by Australia, which could have its first super-hot power plant within four years.
In this regard, Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson, launched the government's 50 million dollars hot rocks fund, first announced two months ago.
Ferguson said that hot rocks technology had "truly staggering"' potential for Australia as the world faced up to climate change.
"Geothermal energy provides clean base-load power and is potentially a very important contributor to Australia's energy mix," he said. "We could now see Australia's first commercially viable geothermal power plants in place within four to five years," he added.
Ferguson said that just one per cent of Australia's geothermal energy would provide enough electricity to meet the country's power needs - 26,000 times over.
He said that the 50 million dollars fund would be carved up into grants of up to 7 million dollars, to go towards the high cost of drilling deep wells, and to finance companies wanting to prove-up the technology.
According to Ferguson, though Australia's epicentre of geothermal activity was in South Australia's Cooper Basin, there was potential in every state.