US Seeks Ways to Exploit Geothermal Power at Scale

The United States is looking to supplement its green-energy production by tapping into the almost-limitless supply of heat in the planet’s crust. President Joe Biden’s administration has already made major investments into developing the country’s solar- and wind-generation-capabilities, but it will take significantly more investment to fully integrate green energy into America’s energy grid.

Exploiting geothermal energy at scale would grant the U.S. access to a clean-energy source that can be tapped into for renewable energy at any time. Unlike solar and wind, which are generally dependent on the weather and time of day, geothermal energy can produce power when needed, which limits the need for stationary energy storage.

However, although exploiting this critical resource at scale will be a major challenge for the country, the combination of government support, emergence of new techniques and the need to secure a constant source of clean energy amid the climate crisis are finally shining a limelight on geothermal energy.

For most of the past century, countries with access to geothermal energy have only been able to access the critical resource via geysers and hot springs. This is because this is where the planet’s internal heat is close to the surface and can heat water or create steam, which is then used to drive electric turbines. As a result, geothermal produces less than 1% of the electricity used in the U.S.

If North America could tap into the geothermal energy that simmers beneath the Earth’s surface at scale, it would finally have access to a clean-energy source that could power its grid 24/7. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) geothermal laboratory program manager Amanda Kolker notes that although humans have used geothermal energy for more than a century, its use has only been possible in specific geographic locations.

Fortunately, Kolker says that this is quickly changing with the adoption and incorporation of renewable energy into national grids. She says that with the penetration of renewables into the grid, utilities have to find a base load that is currently occupied by natural gas. As there are relatively limited options for baseload power with zero emissions, geothermal is set to play a larger role in the country’s energy mix.

A recent U.S. Department of Energy roadmap projects that if geothermal-energy production increased by 20 times by mid-century, the renewable source of energy would account for around 10% of America’s electricity. The current administration has also invested in new projects meant to accelerate geothermal-energy development and make geothermal energy available anywhere in the country, not just locations with hot springs or geysers.

Constant innovation in the emerging green-energy space coupled with the development of next-generation technologies could help the country lead the global race to adopt clean energy by allowing it to leverage both solar and geothermal energy at scale, U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm says.

With many for-profit entities such as FuelPositive Corp. (TSX.V: NHHH) (OTCQB: NHHHF) focusing on developing other green-energy technologies, it is only a matter of time before fossil fuels make up a small portion of the energy mix of many nations.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to FuelPositive Corp. (TSX.V: NHHH) (OTCQB: NHHHF) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/NHHHF

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