Energy deep beneath our feet has been hitting the headlines this week as an American company confirms plans to drill 20km under the Earth’s crust to get a hold of it.
The clean geothermal energy Quaise Energy has set its sights on is, it says, the ‘largest untapped energy source on the planet’.
Our mission is to bring this inexhaustible, renewable, clean energy source to future generations.
The ability to reach depths where temperatures hit 500°C is the point at which geothermal becomes a supercharged source of energy that – according to Quaise Energy, is capable of repowering ‘most fossil-fired power plants around the world’ with terawatt-scale energy.
“Our technology allows us to access energy anywhere in the world, at a scale far greater than wind and solar, enabling future generations to thrive in a world powered with abundant clean energy,” said Carlos Araque, co-founder of Quaise Energy.
The MIT-spinoff uses groundbreaking millimeter wave electromagnetic drilling technology that ‘vaporises boreholes through rock’ to access what Quaise insists is the ‘only renewable solution with the potential to get us to net zero by 2050’ – and give any country energy independence.
Deep geothermal, the company’s website states, uses ‘less than 1% of the land and materials of other renewables’, a USP that has helped it attract $63 million of investment.
“We need a massive amount of carbon-free energy in the coming decades,” said Mark Cupta, Managing Director at Prelude Ventures, one of those investors. “Quaise Energy offers one of the most resource-efficient and nearly infinitely scalable solutions to power our planet. It is the perfect complement to our current renewable solutions, allowing us to reach baseload sustainable power in a not so distant future.”
Oiling the wheels of progress
Another major benefit of geothermal is it offers a home to workers in the oil and gas industry, as the skills easily transfer from one to another. There is also no need to build huge amounts of infrastructure because the equipment used in the fossil-fuel industry can be switched to geothermal.
“From drilling rigs to power plants, fossil fuel infrastructure dominates the world today,” Quaise Energy’s website states. “It can all be readily repurposed to rapidly advance a geothermal world of clean energy.”
The money from recent funding rounds will now be used to make drilling machines that can be deployed by 2024.
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