An energy company plans to dig 6 to 12 miles to make geothermal energy accessible to all

https://interestingengineering.com/energy-company-plans-geothermal-energy

An energy company plans to dig 6 to 12 miles to make geothermal energy accessible to all

Digging deep enough could unlock near-limitless clean energy.

By  Loukia Papadopoulos

Feb 26, 2022 (Updated: Feb 26, 2022 19:44 EST)

An energy company plans to dig 6 to 12 miles to make geothermal energy accessible to all

Geothermal features in Iceland.Zeiss4Me/ iStock

Geothermal is a reliable continuous clean source of energy. Whereas the sun does not always shine and the wind does not always blow, making solar and wind power impractical, the earth’s core is always burning.

The problem is accessing that core. Usually, geothermal power can only be found in volcanic regions or near the edges of tectonic plates, significantly reducing its impact.

Quaise Energy, a startup spun out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), is planning on using new drilling technology to dig 6 to 12 miles making it possible to get geothermal energy any time anywhere, according to a press release published by the firm on February 8.

If successful, the firm could forever revolutionize how we produce renewable energy.

Geothermal for all

“A rapid transition to clean energy is one of the biggest challenges faced by humanity,” said Arunas Chesonis, Managing Partner of Safar Partners (one of Quaise Energy’s recent investors). “Geothermal energy can provide a lot more power using fewer resources. We have to approach the clean energy transition from both of those angles. Quaise’s solution makes us optimistic for a future where clean, renewable energy will secure the future of our planet.”

Quaise Energy plans to use millimeter-wave drilling systems that can reach depths where geothermal energy is virtually unlimited. The firm will drill with microwaves in order to go deeper than ever before.

Gyrotron-powered drilling

On its website, Quaise Emergy describes the technology as follows: “Our gyrotron-powered drilling platform vaporizes boreholes through rock and provides access to deep geothermal heat without complex downhole equipment. Based on breakthrough fusion research and well-established drilling practices, we are developing a radical new approach to ultra-deep drilling.”

Better yet, the firm does not plan on producing new geothermal plants from scratch but is rather looking at repowering old oil and gas plants. This will be more cost-efficient and also allow the workforce from these plants to join the clean energy transition.

Finally, Quaise Energy claims that deep geothermal uses less than 1 percent of the land and materials of other renewables, making it the most convenient and profitable choice toward a clean energy future. The company has already raised $63 million indicating it is well on its way to making ubiquitous access to geothermal a viable option.

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