Subsurface scanning tech ‘could boost US energy security’

New technologies to see underground could hugely improve energy security in the US. That’s according to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), which says a key energy […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

New technologies to see underground could hugely improve energy security in the US.

That’s according to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), which says a key energy challenge is to ensure the safe, sustainable and affordable availability of subsurface resources, from which the country gets more than 80% of its total energy needs.

It says the Department of Energy (DoE) is currently working on advancing technologies to ‘see’ the availability of geothermal resources through its SubTER initiative.

One of these is the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s E4D-RT processing tool, which has the ability to provide more accurate underground imaging than previously possible.

It also processes large amounts of data and converts it into an easily understandable format.

These models are important for energy investors, decision makers and stakeholders because they reduce uncertainty, costs and help to more accurately target where geothermal wells should be drilled.

Next generation advances in subsurface technologies are expected to unlock more than 100GW of renewable geothermal energy resources by pinpointing the best-suited locations to drill deep wells to access hot rock at the earth’s crust.

California aims to slash the costs associated with deploying and operating geothermal energy systems.