Geothermal Energy: The Bold Energy Transition
In case you missed it, the Earth is struggling. We need to lower greenhouse gas emissions - quickly. Unfortunately, wind and solar power, albeit important, cannot take us all the way. So, what is the solution that could help us solve multiple issues all at once? Well, the earth’s most abundant renewable energy source: Geothermal. The heat from within our Earth could power everyone and everything on our planet for billions of years. However, generating geothermal power requires deep-well drilling. Which does not come cheap: it involves a specific infrastructure and specialized labor. Just like in oil and gas. An industry with decades of exploration, drilling and data collection experience that so happens to have been seeking diversification strategies to successfully transition into low-carbon energy; and that is making significant steps forward in deep drilling and big investments in carbon-capture technology. Accruing environmental, production, operational and efficiency benefits. We need to think bigger. By repurposing the millions of abandoned wells to extract geothermal energy, we could be looking at a significant reduction of planet-damaging fossil fuel emissions and also a seamless transition of oil and gas personnel into clean energy jobs. This ready-to-scale solution is a natural source of baseload power that will ALWAYS be available to be tapped into - in a safe and cost effective manner. The drilling operations are quite similar to the oil and gas industry.
With geothermal well drilling having different geological and physical features. Since oil wells have a limited lifespan of a few decades, by turning them into heat production, these wells would be able to produce a constant source of energy, not dependent on external factors, with low carbon footprint, and minimal pollution that will not be depleted. This is the best viable clean-energy alternative that could have a transformative impact on the world. However, turning oil and gas resources into geothermal assets has a slow ramp-up. This nascent idea is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Our energy needs might very well be met by a multiple-part solution. Where all of the renewable energy sources available to us, work together, cohesively. We need to change our mindset, the way we think about energy. But, this geothermal vision could easily be the path forward to a decarbonized future, as the world transitions to clean energy. What’s old, is new again.