The United States may have geothermal resources under its feet capable of producing 10 times the capacity of all coal plants now installed. Want proof? Google it.
A detailed map of geothermal energy potential beneath the U.S. is viewable on Google Earth. It suggests the U.S. could produce approximately three million megawatts of renewable, eco-friendly geothermal energy.
The West has conventionally been the literal hotspot for geothermal energy, and the new map doesn't change that, but it does reveal parts of the eastern two-thirds of the nation that boil over with energy sources.
For example, West Virginia may have as much renewable geothermal heat energy available to rival its famous (and environmentally infamous) coal supply.
Other areas with geothermal potential are in South Dakota, western Pennsylvania and the rest of the Appalachian trend, northern Louisiana and the Gulf Coast, as well as parts of southeastern Colorado.
The map was created by researchers at Southern Methodist University (SMU), funded by a grant from Google.org. The map was created from nearly 35,000 data points.