US Geothermal Map

Geothermal energy is an “underground” renewable energy source, Faculty Fellow Jefferson Tester (CHEME) explains, “not only because of its physical origin, but also because its importance remains largely unknown 

Geothermal: “Underground” Renewable Energy

April 22, 2014

US Geothermal Map

Geothermal energy is an “underground” renewable energy source, Faculty Fellow Jefferson Tester (CHEME) explains, “not only because of its physical origin, but also because its importance remains largely unknown to many decision makers and members of the public.”

Tester and a Stanford University coauthor provide a helpful review of geothermal energy in The Bridge, the journal of the National Academy of Engineering. The piece describes international geothermal energy development, drilling technologies, environmental concerns, and engineering needs and opportunities:

Geothermal energy has experienced a renaissance in the past ten years as many new technologies and countries have joined the industry. The technology for generating electricity and deploying district heating from high-grade hydrothermal systems is relatively mature and reliable. Technologies for geothermal heat pumps are also mature and are being deployed at increasing rates in the United States and Europe. The use of innovative hybrid and combined heat and power plants, lower resource temperatures, and enhanced reservoir stimulation methods are making geothermal energy accessible in a much greater variety of places. At a number of field test sites in the United States and elsewhere, enhanced geothermal systems technologies are being demonstrated at a scale that is approaching commercial levels.

Read more.