SXSW 2019

The Sun Beneath Our Feet: Our Geothermal Future


We are literally standing on the sun. The core of the earth is 6000C, and drilling only 5-10 miles down would give us access to temperatures that far exceed what we need to create unlimited, CO2 free, clean energy. So why haven't we done this? Because a set of technical and engineering problems related to high temperature, deep drilling technologies are currently holding us back. These problems are solvable, and addressing them will enable our energy "silver bullet." A consortium has formed at the University of Texas at Austin, combining legacy drilling engineering expertise with our robust entrepreneurial ecosystem. Our aim is to catalyze a geothermal renaissance, enabling baseload capable geothermal energy by 2030. We want to invite the world to engage with this problem set and process.

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  1. Obstacles to widespread baseload, CO2 free geothermal energy production are engineering challenges and thus entirely solvable in the short term.
  2. Texas has the drilling legacy and expertise, research capabilities and entrepreneurial ecosystems to drive geothermal energy innovation forward.
  3. A new consortium formed at UT Austin aims to address technology barriers to geothermal, with the goal of enabling this baseload clean energy by 2030.


  • Robert Metcalfe, Professor of Innovation and Faculty Director, Cockrell School of Engineering; Partner Emeritus, Polaris Partners, University of Texas at Austin
  • Jamie Beard, Managing Director, Geothermal Entrepreneurship Organization; Assistant Director, Blackstone LaunchPad, The University of Texas at Austin


Jamie Beard, Assistant Director, The University of Texas at Austin

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Dual
  • Track: Intelligent Future
  • Track 2
  • Level: Advanced

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