There’s a Vast Source of Clean Energy Beneath Our Feet. And a Race to Tap It.
The United States is sitting on a vast source of clean energy beneath the Earth's surface, and a race is underway to harness it. Geothermal energy, which could help replace fossil fuels and combat climate change, is gaining attention as drilling techniques from the oil and gas industry are adapted for geothermal exploration. Traditional geothermal plants tap into natural hot water reservoirs, but new methods aim to extract heat from hot rocks deep underground almost anywhere. The Energy Department estimates that there's enough geothermal energy in these rocks to power the entire country multiple times over. Start-ups like Fervo Energy and Eavor are using innovative drilling and fracking techniques to access this energy. Despite challenges like permitting and cost, the potential for geothermal to provide clean energy 24/7 makes it a promising option, especially for states like California looking for clean energy sources to complement intermittent wind and solar power.