U.S. researchers have released an interactive database of the nation’s geothermal resources, mapping in detail the areas of exploration that they say could produce roughly 3 million megawatts of energy using existing technologies. Researchers at the Southern Methodist University Geothermal Laboratory assembled geological data from 35,000 sites nationwide, including the depth and temperature of geothermal resources for each state. Those projections, which can be viewed using Google Earth software, suggest there is significantly more potential for geothermal energy than previously believed, particularly in the eastern two-thirds of the nation. While geothermal production in the U.S. has typically been limited to heat-producing, tectonically active regions of the West, recent advancements in drilling and extraction technologies have made it possible to tap into a wider range of geologic regions. The study was funded by Google’s non-profit arm, Google.org.
Google Earth Geothermal potential in the U.S.
Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360 .