Geothermal energy will soon be fuelling power-hungry data centres

Google plans to power several data centres with energy generated by harnessing the Earth’s internal heat. — AFP Relaxnews

Faced with the high electricity consumption of its data centers, Google has decided to experiment with geothermal energy. This technique harnesses the Earth's internal heat to provide clean, renewable energy for the firm's facilities.

Google is betting on geothermal energy, which involves capturing underground heat and transforming it into electricity. This requires boreholes capable of reaching hot rock or groundwater. Normally, this heat can be used directly to heat buildings or, as here, converted into electricity. In this case, the heat is used to drive turbines that generate electricity. This renewable energy can therefore be considered clean.

In partnership with the startup Fervo, Google has developed an innovative project in Nevada, helping to supply the local power grid with decarbonised energy. Eventually, this electricity will be deployed to two Google-owned data centers in the state.

This project uses advanced drilling techniques to capture underground heat, enabling electricity to be generated without burning fossil fuels or emitting CO2 into the atmosphere.

To achieve this, Fervo uses drilling techniques from the oil and gas industry and fiber-optic cables to monitor flow, temperature and system performance in real time. The idea is to develop this technology further in the future to help make geothermal energy an increasingly significant source of power generation.

This initiative is part of Google’s goal to operate its data centres and campuses with entirely decarbonised energy by 2030. – AFP Relaxnews

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