This rock-bending tech may change clean energy – Freethink

by | Sep 18, 2022 | Energy

A new technology that stores energy underground could make geothermal energy more cost competitive with fossil fuels and traditional renewables — and help accelerate the transition to a clean energy future.Geothermal energy: Earth’s core is about as hot as the surface of the sun, and you don’t need to dig too far into Earth’s crust to feel the effects of this heat — temperatures rise by about 80 F for every mile you travel below the surface.This geothermal energy can produce clean electricity by using hydrothermal reservoirs — underground locations where geothermal energy heats water flowing through porous rocks — to create steam to spin turbines.Geothermal energy is much cleaner than fossil fuels and more consistent than solar or wind power. It’s also renewable — the amount of heat generated by the Earth is nearly unlimited.Geothermal energy is much cleaner than fossil fuels and more consistent than solar or wind power, which rely on weather conditions. It’s also renewable — the amount of heat generated by the Earth is nearly unlimited. Another advantage is that it requires very little land compared to wind and solar. Despite these benefits, geothermal energy provides just 0.4% of US electricity, and one of the factors holding it back is the need to build plants near hydrothermal reservoirs, which are rare and concentrated around volcanic areas.Enhanced geothermal systems: In the 1970s, researchers at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory developed and demonstrated a new way to take advantage of geothermal energy that doesn’t rely on the presence of a natural hydrothermal reservoir.It’s called an “enhanced geothermal system,” and it’s created by using drills and frackin …

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