In the past, I have written about Google’s laudable RE < C project, which aims to provide renewable electricity at a price lower than that of coal. I have also written about geothermal power as a potentially underappreciated renewable source, particularly if artificial sites can be developed. Now, it seems that Google is putting $10.25 million into a couple of companies investigating the potential of ‘enhanced geothermal.’
Rather unfortunately, Canada has no geothermal sites operating at present. Even more surprisingly, Canada hasn’t even collected data on possible sites since the 1980s. In addition to the investments in the drilling companies, Google is also giving $500,000 to the Geothermal Lab at Southern Methodist University to improve understanding of the size and distribution of geothermal energy in North America.
Hopefully, this will allow Canada to expand beyond the growing success of geothermal heat pumps and incorporate geothermal generating stations as one element of a renewably-based, low-carbon energy system.