Dig Deeper: Energy Company Plans to Drill Earth's Deepest Hole to 'Unleash Limitless Energy'
11:17 GMT 10.03.2022 (Updated: 11:29 GMT 10.03.2022)
Amid the global trend of switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources a company called Quaise has launched a project to harness the geothermal power of our planet in order to make the energy humanity uses greener.
A US-based clean energy firm named Quaise has rolled out an ambitious plan to dig the deepest-ever hole in Earth's crust in order to "unleash limitless energy" for the use of humanity.
In search of green energy sources that may potentially substitute such well-known ones as wind and solar power, the American firm turned its attention to geothermal energy. Under-Earth heat has become, as Science Alert
put it, the "forgotten renewable" because few places with hot rocks suitable for extraction exist close enough to the Earth's surface.
Yet, what Quaise plans to do is to use conventional drilling methods to plough the deepest hole ever created in Earth's crust to make geothermal energy more accessible "for all".
"Deep geothermal energy is at the core of an energy-independent world. Our mission is to bring this inexhaustible, renewable, clean energy source to future generations. This is the profound power of deep geothermal. We are unlocking energy for all", the company's website reads.
In order to meet the goal, the company is going to use the "first full-scale hybrid drilling rig" that will combine "conventional rotary drilling and millimetre wave drilling capabilities". This is a plan for 2024 and some two years later, Quaise plans to roll out the "First Super Hot Enhanced Geothermal System rated to 100 MW of thermal energy from a handful of wells". In 2028, according to the company's timeline, the world will see the "first fossil-fired power plant repowered with clean geothermal steam".
Quaise CEO and co-founder Carlos Araque told New Atlas that this is a solution that could work for "95 percent of humanity". While one might wonder as to whether the heat unleashed from the planet will contribute to global warming, Araque said that this should not be a concern.
"The Earth already leaks 40 TW from within, whether we exist or not. Humanity uses 20 TW, so no, [there is no risk that the heat released from under the surface will contribute to global warming]", Araque told New Atlas.
And while it may be easier and less expensive to just access those geothermal sources closer to the surface, the problem is that they are insufficient to "power the civilisation we have created with fossil fuels".
At present, the deepest hole ever dug by humans is about 12.3 kilometres (7.6 miles). According to Quaise, its hybrid drilling rig will be capable of drilling up to 12.4 miles (around 20 kilometres) in just 100 days.
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