Geothermal Exploration to Begin in Western States

AltaRock secures rights for geothermal development.

Not too long ago, Google (GOOG) announced that it was getting into alternative energy investing by Geothermal Exploration to Begin in Western States
Photo: briansuda, Creative Commons, Flickr
href=”../../../../Hot_Topics/Alternative_Energy/Google_%28GOOG%29_Gets_Into_Alternative_Energy_Investing_200808211151/” id=”g6i7″>providing funds for geothermal ventures. One of the companies that has received money from Google is AltaRock Energy. And now, with the money from Google and other investors, AltaRock has secured the rights to around 667,000 acres that it hopes to benefit from in terms of geothermal exploration. The land is located in California, Washington and Oregon.

Geothermal energy is being touted as one of the alternative energy sources that may help us get off of our dependency on foreign oil and other fossil fuels. Rather than being used in cars, though, this energy harnessed from the depths of the Earth would be used in electricity generation, reducing the need for coal and oil.

Because geothermal energy comes from the forces that make Earth what it is, it is considered renewable. Fossil fuels like coal and oil, on the other hand, are limited because they are the results of processes that turned plant life from millions of years ago into something we can use for energy. Fossil fuels will eventually run out, and we can’t get more of them. The Earth’s energy will be around long after fossil fuels are gone.

Geothermal energy is a popular idea also because it doesn’t pollute or give off greenhouse gases. (Of course, it is worth noting that drilling is still involved, causing environmental concerns, and other processes involved in extraction may contribute pollution.) In other countries, geothermal development is well underway.

Seatle P.I. reports on the strides that AltaRock hopes it can make, now that it has funding and geothermal rights:

"These geothermal rights will provide us with a pipeline of development projects to showcase our innovative technology, and generate jobs and clean, renewable energy," said AltaRock CEO Don O’Shei in a statement.

There is hope that a demonstration system can be online by the end of next year.

Disclosure: I do not invest in any companies listed above.

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