The U.S. Department of Energy has collected data on heat flows in the United States for decades, and has visualized the information in a variety of ways. Their latest interactive map illustrates geothermal energy potential throughout the U.S., and shows where energy companies are already capitalizing on geothermal sources to bolster the grid.
According to the DOE’s Daniel Wood, “we may be poised to see many new clean, renewable geothermal plants in the near future.”
Here are a few key words to learn before the technology goes mainstream:
- Heat Flow: Movement of heat from Earth’s interior to its surface
- Hydrothermal Resources: Geographic formations combining fluid, heat and permeability–all three requirements for generating geothermal power
- Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS): Harvest geothermal heat sources by fracturing, increasing rock permeability, and adding water