Google.org invests $10m to develop enhanced geothermal systems

Google.org invests $10m to develop enhanced geothermal systems

  • Well, it’s nice that the foundation is dropping some money on alternative energy research, any alternative energy research.
  • It’s important not to lose sight of the big picture, though. It takes a tremendous amount of energy to drill a hole 10km deep. It takes energy to run water into the hole and back out again. It takes water to run water into the hole and back out again. So scalability and capital cost are a couple of issues to track here.
  • There needs to be a balance between high-tech energy systems and lower-tech systems. There also needs to be a balance along the efficiency spectrum: there’s a niche for systems that have to consume a significant proportion of their output for their own creation and operation, but let’s try to keep them in that niche.
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