It’s abundant, and it’s emissions-free: the heat from the earth’s mantle that reaches well into the crust and gives deep drillers a headache occasionally is the new star on the renewables block. Nevertheless, oil and gas companies have been somewhat reluctant to embrace it. Let’s first clarify: geothermal energy is only “new” in terms of the media attention it has been getting. Researchers – including people from the oil and gas industry – have been working for decades on technologies to extract the heat from the earth and either use it directly or turn it into electricity. It is only gaining prominence now as these technologies advance and the world’s attention becomes increasingly focused on alternatives to fossil fuels. For the oil industry, geothermal is the alternative that, from a certain perspective, makes the most sense. Both oil and heat extraction involve drilling, so it should go without saying […]