It’s enlightening in the sense of geothermal’s potential. Here’s a renewable energy source that “could supply 2,000 times the amount of energy used by the U.S. annually.” One success story is the The Geysers in California, a geothermal plant that’s been producing 6 million megawatt-hours of electricity a year for 50 years. Sadly, it remains the world’s largest geothermal plant. I say sadly, because half a century later, despite renewed interest (and investment) from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Maybe New Zealand will set a new record. The island nation derives most of its electricity from renewable energy sources, 73 percent in fact. In 2009, geothermal accounted for “10 percent of New Zealand’s total electricity supply,” according to the country’s Ministry of Economic Development. And it’s only going up from there.
Head over to Scientific American to hear David Biello’s report and his intriguing idea for reducing the costs and risks associated with getting geothermal plants off the ground, or rather, deep within it.
Image Credit: The Geysers – Calpine