The Holy Grail of Clean Energy is   Right Beneath Our Feet

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In the transition to a clean energy future, the world has been looking to the sun and the wind for answers. What happens if the sun doesn’t shine or the wind doesn’t blow? The answer is closer than you think. The answer… is right beneath our feet.

The Earth’s molten core is as hot as the Sun as evidenced by the eruption of volcanos and geysers like Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park. According to the U.S. Department of Energy ARPA-E, harnessing just 0.1% of the Earth’s heat energy can power humanity for 2 million years. This energy is called geothermal energy.

To make geothermal energy cost effective using current drilling technology, you must find pockets of the Earth with just the right natural water, just the right depth and just the right rocks.

However, if you drill deep enough, around 4 miles, then you can reach 200°C hot dry rock almost anywhere on Earth. If you inject cold water down, then up comes scalding hot water or steam that can be used to generate electricity, produce green hydrogen, or warm a city, 24 hours a day. If you drill deeper than 5 or 6 miles, you can reach 400°C superhot rock where 10 times more energy can be extracted from the same well.


These are called Enhanced Geothermal Systems or Engineered Geothermal Systems (EGS), and can offer great potential for dramatically expanding the use of geothermal energy worldwide.

Current state-of-the-art drilling technology cannot drill deep enough to make EGS cost effective at a global scale. DeepPower is developing a suite of breakthrough drilling technologies to boldly go where no humans have gone before. The deeper we go the more energy we can unleash.

Clean Energy Everywhere

Superhot rock (“SHR”) geothermal energy is accessible just about anywhere on the Earth. Nearly 50% of the world’s population can access SHR energy without going deeper than 10 km (6.2 miles). Drilling down to 20 km (12.4 miles) virtually guarantees that 95% of the world population can have unlimited clean energy.


While superhot rock is the holy grail of geothermal energy, hot rock can be cost effective at an average depth of 4.3 miles and a minimum temperature of 150°C. According to the U.S. DOE GeoVision study, this has 5,157 gigawatts of potential electric production capacity, or five times the United State’s current utility-scale installed capacity, which includes coal, natural gas, nuclear and renewables. However, the cost may still be too high to bear for many areas.

Going to superhot rock solves everything!

The U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2017, estimates that superhot rock geothermal electricity can be produced for $46/megawatt hour (MWhr), compared to $85/MWhr for solar, or $96/MWhr for advanced nuclear power. Most recently, a 2021 study from the Clean Air Task Force estimates that it could be as low as $20/MWhr.

As a point of reference, the wholesale rate of electricity in California in 2019 was $74/MWhr.

Land footprint by GWhe for various electricity-generation technologies

Requires Very Little Land

Geothermal, especially superhot rock, checks all of the boxes as the ultimate clean source of energy. Perhaps the most dramatic may be how little land a geothermal power plant uses. Unlike large area solar and wind farms, a 9-inch geothermal well drilled 5 miles deep can produce the same amount of power as 320 acres of solar panels. With geothermal, we can reclaim our land for buildings, parks and forestry.


Or… perhaps in the not too distant future, the entire geothermal power plant can be buried underground.