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"Fervo Energy Achieves Milestone in Harnessing Geothermal Energy with Oil Drilling Technology"

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Fervo Energy Achieves Milestone in Next-Generation Geothermal Technology


Geothermal startup Fervo Energy recently announced a major breakthrough in its next-generation geothermal technology. The company successfully completed a 30-day test at its commercial pilot plant in northern Nevada, achieving conditions that would generate 3.5 megawatts of electricity. This milestone paves the way for geothermal energy to play a larger role in the transition to clean energy.

The Technology

Fervo Energy drills deep wells and pumps water into them. The water is heated by the earth's heat and then pumped back to the surface, where a turbine converts the heat to electricity. Unlike traditional geothermal energy, which relies on naturally occurring conditions near tectonic plate boundaries, Fervo creates reservoirs in rocks deep underground using drilling technology developed by the oil and gas industry.

Impact and Potential

With this breakthrough, Fervo Energy is unlocking the potential of geothermal energy. The company has already started construction on a 400-megawatt project that is expected to be online by 2028, providing clean energy to approximately 300,000 homes. By utilizing drilling technology from the oil and gas industry, Fervo can produce 24/7 carbon-free energy resources in new geographies across the world.

Partnership with Google

Recognizing the significant potential of Fervo's geothermal technology, Google partnered with the company in 2021. As part of the partnership, Google is developing AI and machine learning systems to improve Fervo's efficiency, while Fervo is adding clean energy to the grid in Nevada. This collaboration aligns with Google's commitment to operate on 24/7 carbon-free energy by 2030.

The Road Ahead

While Fervo still has work to do in terms of commercializing geothermal energy at scale, industry experts view this technical milestone as a significant achievement. Enhanced geothermal systems, like the ones Fervo is developing, have the potential to not only provide clean energy but also serve as long-duration energy storage, complementing wind and solar in a decarbonized grid. The U.S. Department of Energy has also launched an initiative to reduce the cost of enhanced geothermal energy by 90% by 2035, aiming to power 65 million American homes with this clean energy source.

A "Hot Take" on the Impact of Fervo Energy's Geothermal Technology on New Businesses:

Fervo Energy's recent breakthrough in next-generation geothermal technology has the potential to significantly impact new businesses operating in the clean energy sector. As the company successfully completes its commercial pilot plant test and moves towards constructing a 400-megawatt project, the opportunities for innovative entrepreneurs and forward-thinking organizations become evident.

By leveraging Fervo's drilling technology and geothermal advancements, new businesses could enter the market to provide support services, such as drilling equipment maintenance, geothermal project consultancy, or even customized geothermal solutions for specific industries. These businesses could cater to the increasing demand for geothermal energy as part of the global transition to clean energy sources.

Furthermore, the partnership between Fervo Energy and Google adds another dimension to the potential impact on new businesses. As Google develops AI and machine learning systems to improve Fervo's efficiency, there will undoubtedly be opportunities for businesses specializing in AI and machine learning to collaborate with geothermal companies to enhance their operations, optimize energy production, or address specific challenges faced by the industry.

In conclusion, Fervo Energy's breakthrough in geothermal technology opens up a realm of possibilities for new businesses to thrive in the clean energy sector. By providing support services and collaborating with industry leaders like Fervo and Google, these businesses can contribute to the growth and development of the geothermal industry while driving the global transition to a sustainable energy future.

Article First Published at: https://www.cnbc.com/2023/07/18/fervo-energy-hits-milestone-using-oil-drilling-tech-to-tap-geothermal.html

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