A study carried out by Southern Methodist University and funded by Google found that West Virginia contains a surprising amount of geothermal energy, enough to more than double the amount of energy generated by the state.
West Virginia is a large producer of coal-based energy, with a lot of its economy based on that production, but with this new information, a clean energy boom may be in its future. Researchers calculated that if just 2 percent of the available geothermal energy were harnessed, the state would be able to produce almost 19 GW of clean energy. Currently, West Virginia generates about 16.4 GW of energy, with 97 percent of that coming from coal.
West Virginia is tectonically stable, so while this is big new for the state, the tectonically active zones in the west still have it beat as far as geothermal capacity. Nevada, for example, has a capacity of over 146 GW at a 2 percent recovery rate.
The study found 78 percent more geothermal energy than was expected, adding 1,455 new spots to existing geothermal energy maps. The hot spots are mainly located in the eastern part of the state.
This is very exciting news for a state known for producing dirty energy that is not only bad for the planet but for the people who work in the mines and those who live nearby. I hope that a safer, cleaner alternative is on the way for West Virginia.
via Green Biz
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