Could the fire in the Darvaza crater be used to heat water to spin turbines to generate electricity?


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It very well could, however, there is the problem of any geothermal plant collapsing into a sinkhole. That’s what happened with the original drilling rig the Soviets used.

Not in any sort of cost effective manner

It would be incredibly difficult to build on in such a way that it would be safe and stable enough to not fall in on itself

It’s essentially in the middle of nowhere which would add additional challenges in both getting the water to the plant and getting any electricity from the plant to where it would be used

And, it’s just natural gas, which there is plenty of from easier to access sources that can be transported and burned in more suitable locations.

Not really.

A big part of the energy produced by a natural gas powerplant is created by burning the fuel under compression. The burning heats that compressed air up more and we can use it to push things like turbine blades and extract that energy. For the Darvaz crater, the gas is burning at atmospheric pressure, so the only energy available is the heat it creates. That’s a terribly inefficient method since only a small amount of the heat can be converted to a more useful form of energy.

So even if the crater is burning up natural gas at the same rate as a 500MW plant, you’d be lucky to get a tenth of that by trying to harness the heat it gives off.