Geothermal energy, an enormous quantity of heat stored in the earth’s crust, has the potential to provide abundant, clean power around the clock for people everywhere. Tapping this underground resource, which contains orders of magnitude more energy than all known fossil fuel reserves, will require a new approach to geothermal development.
Today’s geothermal power supply is limited to areas with shallow naturally occurring steam or hot water. The next generation of geothermal power, known as Superhot Rock Geothermal (SHR), will access hotter and deeper rock where “supercritical” temperatures can yield up to 10 times more energy than a conventional geothermal well. The global resources for SHR energy are immense and accessible to population centers, where 50% of the global population can be served with resources < 10 km and 95% at < 20 km.
Over the past decade, AltaRock has developed innovative engineered geothermal systems (EGS) technologies critical to advancing SHR development. Working with partners in advanced drilling, well completion, reservoir engineering and power conversion, we aim to revolutionize geothermal power. Once proven, SHR geothermal resources can ultimately provide competitively priced, carbon-free power anywhere, with the smallest environmental footprint of any renewable energy, and sharply reduce the need for transmission infrastructure. Traditional coal and gas electric power plants can be repurposed for geothermal power production, extending the life of existing assets and providing a cost-effective renewable heat source for power conversion, fuels production and heating and cooling.
At AltaRock, we believe that SHR geothermal has the potential to meet a significant portion of global energy demand by 2050. Supplying 30 TW of clean energy over the next three decades is a challenging goal, but one we can achieve by completing the technical breakthroughs needed to massively scale SHR geothermal. We’re currently developing the world’s first SHR geothermal resource at our Newberry Geothermal Energy demonstration site in Oregon