Is Geothermal Energy the Answer?

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.

Steam rising from rocky ground in Iceland.
Geothermal steam rising from the ground in Iceland

Geothermal is a reliable continuous clean source of energy. Whereas the sun does not always shine and the wind does not always blow, the Earth's core is always burning.

And, as very few places on Earth have surface-borne geothermal advantages like Iceland, the problem is accessing that core. Usually, geothermal power can only be easily be found and accessed 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 micro-wave drilling technology to dig 6 to 12 miles making it possible to get geothermal energy any time anywhere. If successful, the firm could forever revolutionize how we produce renewable energy.

Ingeniously, Quaise will not be creating 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 says that its concept 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.

Meanwhile, engineers have begun drilling three miles into the Earth's crust in search of sustainable round-the-clock energy for the world-famous Eden Project. A 450-tonne rig is hammering through the Cornish granite to reach hot rocks that form a spine along England's South West Peninsula.