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Google.org invests $10.25 million in geothermal energy technology

Google, through its philanthropic arm Google.org, has invested $10.25 million in a breakthrough energy technology called Enhanced Geothermal Systems. According to Google, EGS expands the potential of geothermal energy by orders of magnitude.

Google, through its philanthropic arm Google.org, has invested $10.25 million in a breakthrough energy technology called Enhanced Geothermal Systems. According to Google, EGS expands the potential of geothermal energy by orders of magnitude.

The traditional geothermal approach relies on finding naturally occurring pockets of steam and hot water. The EGS process, by comparison, replicates these conditions by fracturing hot rock, circulating water through the system, and using the resulting steam to produce electricity in a conventional turbine.

A recent MIT report on EGS estimates that just two per cent of the heat below the continental United States between three and 10 kilometres, depths within the range of current drilling technology, is more than 2,500 times the country’s total annual energy use.

“EGS could be the ‘killer app’ of the energy world. It has the potential to deliver vast quantities of power 24/7 and be captured nearly anywhere on the planet. And it would be a perfect complement to intermittent sources like solar and wind,” Dan Reicher, director of climate and energy initiatives for Google.org, has said.

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