The Great Forgotten Clean-Energy Source: Geothermal

[Discover Magazine] If we could extract all the geothermal energy that exists underneath the United States to a depth of two miles, it would supply America’s power demands (at the current rate of usage) for the next 30,000 years. Getting at all that energy is not feasible—there are technological and economic impediments—but drawing on just 5 percent of the geothermal wealth would generate enough electricity to meet the needs of 260 million Americans. The Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) asserts that reaching that 5 percent level, which would produce 260,000 megawatts of electric power and reduce our dependence on coal by one-third, is doable by 2050.
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