Cheap power for tomorrow: 5 projects

Tapping the sun, the oceans and the wind, these entrepreneurial ventures are actively pursuing new energy sources. Excerpted from The Plot to Save the Planet.

1 of 5
Power from the Earth's crust
A recent report by MIT and the Department of Energy concluded that geothermal energy derived from the heat in the Earth's crust could provide the U.S. alone with the equivalent power of 100 nuclear plants by 2050 - or about 20% of the nation's current electricity - and do it while emitting only trace amounts of greenhouse gas.

The start-up Geodynamics seems the furthest along in trying to build the world's first commercial, deep-underground geothermal plant. So far the Australian company, which has sunk more than $100 million into its Habenero project, is drilling holes into the hot, dry rocks some 3 miles beneath the surface of the barren lands of South Australia. The idea is that these cracks or breaks in the rock will allow water to seep through and become heated. A power plant on the surface would draw hot water out of this well, convert its energy into electricity, then pump the cooled water down a second well, establishing a flow of water through the underground reservoir.

Geodynamics hopes to have its plant up and running by 2010.

NEXT: Google Solar
LAST UPDATE: Jul 01 2008 | 1:08 PM ET
Sponsored by
More Galleries
5 startups that are reimagining the world Bricks that grow from microorganisms, household garbage turned into art, three-wheeled bike-cars -- these startups are redefining urban living. More
Blue collar entrepreneurs These five entrepreneurs took their blue collar experience and used it to launch innovative businesses. More
7 lifehacks to eliminate your holiday hassle Whether curating the perfect gift or finding a pet-sitter, these startups offer time-saving services that might just seem like holiday magic. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.