The United States has a huge potential of energy in the ground. Geothermal power has the potential to generate roughly 3 million megawatts of power. This energy can be harnessed by the latest enhanced geothermal drilling methods. This new method gives us 10 times the installed capacity of the coal-fired power plants in whole the nation.
The research, done by Southern Methodist University’s Geothermal Laboratory and funded by Google.org (the philanthropic arm of Google), shows that the latest drilling methods open up areas for geothermal power that were once inaccessible.
Conventional U.S. geothermal production has been restricted largely to the western third of the country in geographically unique and tectonically active locations. For instance, The Geysers Field north of San Francisco is home to more than a dozen large power plants that have been tapping naturally occurring steam reservoirs to produce electricity for more than 40 years.”
However, newer technologies and drilling methods can now be used to develop resources in a wider range of geologic conditions, allowing reliable production of clean energy at temperatures as low as 100?C (212?F) — and in regions not previously considered suitable for geothermal energy production. Preliminary data released from the SMU study in October 2010 revealed the existence of a geothermal resource under the state of West Virginia equivalent to the state’s existing (primarily coal-based) power supply. (Science Codex)