Friday, August 3, 2018

Science & Technology: "Deep Geothermal Energy is Going to Make a Big Impact on the State of Clean Energy”

Geothermal Energy Is a Strong Contender for the Future of Energy (

Associate Professor Sheng Dai at Georgia Tech’s College of Engineering is focused on one promising energy source from the Earth itself: geothermal energy.

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“I suspect that deep geothermal energy is going to make a big impact on the state of clean energy,” Dai said. “Long term, it’s more environmentally friendly and efficient. Plus, it doesn’t rely on other environmental factors. For instance, with solar energy, you’ll have low energy output if it’s overcast or dusty.”

Dai is working with the National Science Foundation and DOE to develop a solution for the main issue associated with geothermal energy—how to harness its power. He plans on using tools he developed to drill on a DOE testing site in Utah. Before that can happen, Dai and his team will need to perform lab work to assess this previously untested location’s viability as a testing site.

“We are pretty far from commercializing geothermal energy,” Dai said. “There are still a lot of unknowns. We don’t have data on how geomaterials will behave 3 to 5km down. We also have to consider the long-term effects of running water into the ground and how the rocks will respond.”

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