Almost Limitless Source of Energy Is Right Under Our Feet, One Problem: It’s 12 Miles Deep

The world needs to find more environmentally friendly resources. Geothermal energy could be the solution, IF we can get to it.
geothermal energy drill energy

Quaise Energy, a company specializing in geothermal energy, provides some hope for the world today. When people speculate that the motivation behind wars over the last few decades has been the control of oil and oil is blamed for numerous negative environmental impacts, the world needs to find more politically and environmentally stable resources.

Jeff Colgan writing for the Harvard Kennedy School, Belfer Centre for Science International Affairs, stated ‘… the sum total of the political effects generated by the oil industry makes it a leading cause of war …  the oil industry can cause or exacerbate conflict in multiple ways: competition over shipping lanes and pipelines, oil-related terrorism, petro-aggression, and resource scarcity in consumer states are all potential sources of international conflict.’

Oil production is also responsible for many negative environmental impacts which ‘include intensification of the greenhouse effect, acid rain, poorer water quality, groundwater contamination, among others. The oil and gas industry may also contribute to biodiversity loss as well as to the destruction of ecosystems’

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Right now, nations are facing oil shortages due to the turmoil of world conflicts. The world needs some hope for energy solutions accessible to all countries and that don’t have the environmentally destructive effects of oil production.

Quaise Energy is a company that offers real hope and equitable solution for energy production for all countries across the world.  With Quaise Energy’s solution, all countries should produce energy from an energy resource more abundant than wind, coal, oil, and solar power. They are interested in the heat from the earth’s core, which is still extremely hot from the billions of years ago when Earth was formed.

Could this company’s energy solution be a potential path to world peace through free energy?

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Geothermal energy in abundance in every country

The company’s website states their technology ‘Millimeter wave drilling will unlock the most abundant and powerful clean energy source on Earth by allowing us to drill down to 20 km and 500° C.’  At depths of 20km the company says ‘we can reach geothermal anywhere on Earth, making it a truly global energy source. It provides a path to energy independence for every nation.’

1024px Geothermal heat map US
US Geothermal heat map

Investors are very confident in what this company is planning to do, and Loukia Papadopoulos writing for interestingengineering.com states

‘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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Lead by some of the brightest minds from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Quaise Energy think if they are successful, the firm could forever revolutionize how we produce renewable energy.’

The company stated in their press release published on the 8th of February, that their new drilling technology when implemented will be able to ‘dig 6 to 12 miles making it possible to get geothermal energy any time anywhere‘.

Utilizing the existing workforce

The beauty of this technology is that the company says the workforce’s oil and gas industry skills will ‘readily transfer to geothermal, harnessing a ready-made green workforce.’

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Almost Limitless Source of Energy Is Right Under Our Feet, One Problem: It’s 12 Miles Deep 3

Furthermore, as well as getting geothermal energy from the most challenging environments. The drilling solution that the company hopes to scale will also use and repurpose the existing drilling rigs and power plants to rapidly advance a geothermal world of clean energy.’

The problem of accessing geothermal energy is that without the special drilling methods that this company proposes, it can only be accessed from volcanic regions or near the edges of tectonic plates.

Geothermal energy has been in the news recently when geothermal energy from volcanoes was harnessed for a bitcoin mining project in El Salvador.

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Geothermal energy isn’t a new energy source; accessibility hasn’t been possible due to the depths companies needed to drill.

A novel approach

Quaise Energy describing their Gyrotron-powered drilling method, say, “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.”

Their website says, Millimeter-wave drilling will unlock the most abundant and powerful clean energy source on Earth by allowing us to drill down to 20 km and 500° C.’

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Millimeter-wave drilling is a system that melts and vaporizes rocks with millimeter microwaves. ‘Instead of grinding away with mechanical drills, scientists use a gyrotron—a specialized high-frequency microwave-beam generator—to open holes in slabs of hard rock.’ Its purpose is to penetrate rock at faster speeds, to greater depths, and at a lower cost than conventional drills do.

Most conspiracy theories behind why new world-saving technologies fail are that they upset the money makers and the status quo.  For now, Quaise Energy won’t be upsetting the status quo; they do not plan on producing new geothermal plants from scratch but are instead ‘looking at repowering old oil and gas plants. This will be more cost-efficient and allow these plants’ workforce to join the clean energy transition.’

Feature image credit: Geothermal drilling site by T. AGEMAR under CC BY 4.0

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