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thehill | New map shows vast potential for geothermal energy beneath entire US (04.06.24)
Much of the vast fleet of U.S. military bases, coal plants, and industrial facilities sits atop a prime resource for clean energy: layers of hot rock deep within the earth. Geothermal is the focus of wide and bipartisan interest from eNtiTIes ranging from the fossil fuel majors to climate groups to the U.S. Department of Energy—a focus that has led to a boom in new startups. The GeoMap data shows that virtually every military base in the West, and most of those in Texas, sits atop geothermal resources suitable to generate electric power—a fact that has not been lost on the Department of Defense, which is funding pilot projects at six military bases across the West. Texas in particular stands out: The data shows a hundred-mile-wide corridor of near-surface geothermal heat that cuts across the state from the Rio Grande Valley northwest past Houston to Shreveport, La. One nearer-term site of future interest is the data center industry, which is at the leading edge of a boom in U.S. electricity demand that is pushing regional grids toward the breaking point—and which has an urgent need for cooling as well as electricity.
The Geothermal Exploration Opportunities Map Beta (GeoMapTM)
Unlike wind or solar, [Project Innerspace spox Drew] Nelson said, that potential isn't obvious to those standing on the surface. In the past, "the only way heretofore to figure out if your site was a match for geothermal was to go and drill a hole in the ground. And that gets really expensive really quick. But with this tool, the idea is that we're significantly reducing the barriers to figure out does it make sense to do geothermal in your given area?"

by Cat on Tue Jun 11th, 2024 at 05:15:38 AM EST
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