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  1. Enhanced geothermal(Hot Dry Rock geothermal) is most definetly finite unless you’re satisfied with just a trickle of power.

    It’s essentially heat mining and the expected life of a well is a few decades. The well(or rather the volume of rock from which it draws heat) will eventually recover if you leave it alone for long enough.

    The average heat flow through the Earth’s crust is 87 mW/m^2, that’s approximately how fast heat will flow into your heat reservoir from below.

  2. I have very strong reservations against net metering with the current grid.

    It forces the utillities to buy back unschedulable power of unknown quality and unknown intermittency. The cost of transmission is payed twice at no cost to the consumer.

    The grid would have to be smart enough that you could characterize the type of resource so that someone who wants to buy intermittent power (probably at a steep discount, let the market determine what it’s worth) can choose to do that.

    That would also allow anyone, including a household, to buy intermittent electricity, store it and sell it back to the grid at peak demand. That’s a valuable service and if someone can make money living on the arbitrage between the two rates that should be encouraged.

    It’s also highly desirable for households to be able to sell the abillity for utillities to switch load off in their home. e.g. utillities would like to be able to switch off your air conditioning rather than having rolling black outs in an emergency, and if you’re a healthy adult you may want to sell them the abillity to do that. It would also be possible to use phase change materials(e.g. salt water eutectic) to give a freezer the abillity to soak up quite a lot of intermittent electricity.

  3. Hyperion’s reactors are $25–30 million for 25 MWe. That’s about 1 $/W, not 2. The catch is that they only last 5–10 years, rather than a LWR’s 40–60 years.

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