A Google sponsored study has uncovered vast resources of geothermal energy waiting to be tapped under much of America.
Research from the Southern Methodist University has shown that the US actually has a geothermal capacity of around three million megawatts of power. This means that there is 10 times as much green power lurking just beneath the earth’s surface than the entire installed capacity of coal power plants in America.
Not one to miss a trick in promoting its do-gooder side, the vast resources can be viewed through Google’s own Google Earth mapping tool.
The study undertaken by SMU’s Geothermal Laboratory is twice as comprehensive as a similar study back in 2004 to discover the geothermal potential of the country.
Much of the discovery is capable of supporting large scale energy production, according to the researchers.
The results show that while the west of the country has seen the majority of geothermal energy production, far more has tipped up on the east coast than expected. That’s thanks mostly to improvements in mapping detailing.
With the backing of search engine turned geothermal prospector Google, the scientists believe it can be accessed relatively easy, particularly with advances in production technology.
Presumably image conscious Google has one eye on reducing its eye-watering energy bill, and could probably put some of that geothermal energy to use cooling its vast data centres.
The Guardian pointed out that recent Google energy usage figures emit the same amount of carbon into the atmosphere as all of Laos.