Harnassing Geothermal Energy

Science for the Public: Contemporary Science Issues and Innovations
October 11, 2022 Belmont Media Center, Belmont MA

Paul P. Woskov, Ph.D., Research Engineer, Plasma Science and Fusion Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

One of the most abundant sources of renewable energy is the heat deep in the earth. This geothermal energy could provide clean heat and energy to whole cities, and in some parts of the world, such as Iceland, it is. But accessing this resource can be difficult. Dr. Woskov is developing a way to convert abandoned coal and gas electric power plants by drilling deep geothermal wells to replace the fossil fuels. He discusses the abundance of geothermal energy, the challenges of accessing it, and the geothermal project using a microwave-emitting device called a gyrotron.