“Wherever we are on the surface of the planet, and certainly the continental U.S., if we drill deep enough we can get to high enough temperatures that would work like the Boise system,” said Jefferson Tester, a professor of sustainable energy systems at Cornell University and a leading expert on geothermal energy. “It’s not a question of whether it’s there — it is and it’s significant. It’s a question of getting it out of the ground economically.”
There are other issues. As Sarah Williams described in this week’s podcast, geothermal energy is not necessarily carbon-neutral although it is definitely better than fossil fuels. The drilling required for deep geothermal power can lead to earthquakes in the same manner as fracking.
Still, this is one more tool in our arsenal to end the era of coal- and gas-fired power plants as soon as we can to accelerate net zero.