From Earth For Earth: US Invests $74 Million In Exploring Geothermal Energy

From Earth For Earth: US Invests $74 Million In Exploring Geothermal Energy

Geothermal energy has been the source of intrigue for many years. Geothermal energy in simple terms is the heat energy derived from the Earth's core.

Juviraj AnchilUpdated: Wednesday, April 03, 2024, 02:23 PM IST
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The United States, which is one of the largest polluters on the planet is now said to be exploring Geothermal energy even more. In fact, earlier this year, the Biden administration is said to have made investments of USD 74 million in order to further explore the paradigm. | File

Many quarters of the world are looking for solutions to the impending conundrum facing the world at large. Climate change is a reality, and one of the main facets in focus is energy, which arguably, in many ways is responsible the impending catastrophe.

The United States, which is one of the largest polluters on the planet is now said to be exploring Geothermal energy even more. In fact, earlier this year, the Biden administration is said to have made investments of USD 74 million in order to further explore the paradigm.

Geothermal energy has been the source of intrigue for many years. Geothermal energy in simple terms is the heat energy derived from the Earth's core. This happens as a result of radioactive decay of elements within the Earth's crust and mantle (these are layers inside the planet), as well as from the residual heat from the planet's formation.

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The Geothermal Game

This is not brand new phenomenon, that a TikToker in Texas discovered. In fact its origin go back a century, in the early 20th century to be precise. The first known Geothermal plant came to being in 1904 in Tuscany, Italy, which back than was a Kingdom.

The United States itself first played with idea in 1960, with their maiden plant in California. Now, the story is different, as is the picture that humanity is looking at. The US, in pursuance to reports, intends to derive 10 per cent of its energy requirements from Geothermal energy by 2050.

The North-American giant, which has one of the largest oil reserves in the world, is now venturing further towards more sustainable means to run the largest economy in the world. Expanding the geothermal footprint across the entire US will indeed require significant time and investment.

According to the Guardian, the US Department of Energy estimates that as much as USD 250 billion will be necessary for geothermal projects to become widespread throughout the country.

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Superhot Rock

Iceland, thanks to its unique topography and geographical conditions has explored this further. It currently has six plants. US, given its vast and variegated geography, itself has as many as 93 such thermal plants already. India on the other hand has 12 such plants, with as many as 350 potential locations.

Here, in focus is the concept of 'Superhot Rock energy', this, as the name suggest is obtained after drilling into depths of the earth's core, where the conditions, as one can imagine is as 'Superhot'.

The temperature there could be around 400 degree Celsius or hotter. The potential that this rock is immense, as just one per cent of this rock could engender about 63 terawatts (63000000000 kilowatts) of crucial energy in this rapidly growing world.

For context, Mumbai and its suburbs need about 400 kilowatts a month to run itself. This is just 6.34 per cent of the aforementioned 63 terawatts or 63000000000 kilowatts of energy obtained from just 1 per cent of the energy obtained from Superhot rock.

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