A new initiative seeks to expand and accelerate the development of geothermal energy resources worldwide. With support from Schmidt Futures, Project InnerSpace will serve as driver and convener of two global geothermal innovation and deployment tracks to engage the oil and gas industry and startups in geothermal resource prospecting and development.

The first phase of Project InnerSpace will produce high resolution geothermal prospecting maps to provide information about the quality and depth of geothermal resources within a 100 km radius of the world’s major population centers, serving as a project development and prospecting model for accelerated development of geothermal resources. A global team of subsurface experts will be tasked with developing and publishing a publicly available set of geothermal resource maps to aid in reducing pre-project subsurface and project siting risk.

A second phase will focus on adapting and transferring recent advances in drilling and subsurface engineering from the oil and gas sector to the geothermal context. Ten teams will be assembled to drill and develop ‘first of their kind’ power or heat producing geothermal projects in strategic locations globally.

The ultimate goal of Project InnerSpace is to catalyze geothermal development into terawatts of output globally at a cost competitive with solar and wind.

To contact the author of this article, email shimmelstein@globalspec.com