Google Embracing Geothermal in Effort to Hit Carbon Free Goal by 2030

Jamie Schwartz – UNI: js5849

Geothermal Energy | A Student's Guide to Global Climate Change | US EPA
  1. Sustainability Problem: Energy
    • Current energy infrastructure is carbon intensive, emitting GHG that warm the planet
    • Renewable energy sources built on wind or solar are inconsistent due to temperature, time of day, etc.
  2. Article Summary:
    • The appeal for Geothermal, in comparison to other forms of renewable energy, is that the source is always available
    • The challenge with Geothermal is that location of plants needs to be along fault lines to maximize energy extraction; price point for building the plants is also a barrier to entry
    • Google is partnering with energy startup Frevo to use AI and other various technologies to improve geothermal energy extraction practices, starting with a project in Nevada
    • The “next generation” plant that Frevo is planning to build will directly power the Nevada electric grid, which in turn will power multiple Google data centers based in the state
    • This transition to geothermal power in Nevada will help Google become one step closer to having their data centers and operations become Carbon free
  3. Organizational Stakeholders:
    • Google
    • Frevo
    • Breakthrough Energy (has previously provided capital for Frevo to build its company)
    • Nevada electric grid/utility company
    • Nevada utility users (potentially get a break on their electricity bills?)
    • Companies currently involved in current geothermal operations that could benefit from seeing the additional tech implemented on this project
    • Other states that could also build out these projects
  4. Implementation/Deployment of Tech:
    • Use AI and additional tech to find optimal location for plant
    • Build plant
    • Begin operations, continue using AI and other tech to improve operations

Supplemental reading:


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