There Are Trillions of Tons of Clean Power Beneath U.S. Soil

Peyton Plankton
By Peyton Plankton

Imagine the United States on the brink of a modern-day gold rush in 2024. But this time, it isn’t a precious metal fueling the frenzy—it’s an abundant, clean, and renewable energy source buried beneath our feet: hydrogen gas. Experts are buzzing about the discovery of trillions of tons of this “geologic hydrogen” scattered across geological formations nationwide. This has the potential to eclipse the oil booms of the last century and the gold booms of the century before it.

This hydrogen isn’t found in the atmosphere, but rather locked within the Earth’s crust. Unlike the finite petroleum products that dominate today’s energy markets, this subterranean hydrogen may well offer an infinite supply of clean energy.

Geologic Hydrogen Is Scattered Everywhere

The process that sets this in motion is serpentinization. Water seeps into the Earth’s mantle through fissures, reacting with minerals like olivine and pyroxene, and releases hydrogen gas. This reaction, occurring deep within the Earth, positions geologic hydrogen as a prime candidate for sustainable energy production, without the carbon footprint associated with traditional fuels.

Groundwater interacting with olivine can result in hydrogen building up in the surrounding rock layers. Pictured above is forsterite, an olivine mineral. Source: Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Geologic hydrogen is essentially nature’s battery. It’s scattered everywhere in micro-sized fragments within the earth’s crust, and we are just beginning to tap into this incredible resource.

A Glimpse at the Potential

The numbers speak volumes about the potential of geologic hydrogen. Early estimates suggest that over three trillion tons might be accessible within the U.S. alone, with national surveys hinting at figures as staggering as 500 trillion tons, considering less concentrated deposits. If even a fraction of this resource could be extracted annually, it would far exceed the nation’s current and future energy needs.

Global Implications and Domestic Progress

While the potential for domestic exploitation of geologic hydrogen is vast, the United States isn’t the only nation eyeing this resource. Projects are also underway internationally, with countries like Uzbekistan and entities such as the European Union making significant strides in harnessing this clean energy source.

“Harnessing geologic hydrogen could fundamentally change the energy game on a global scale,” read a recent Department of Energy statement. “It’s a race not just against time, but against old energy habits and technologies.”

The Future of Energy

As the United States and other nations continue to explore and expand their capabilities in extracting geologic hydrogen, the impact on our energy policies, environmental strategies, and even global geopolitics could be profound. The clean energy race is on, and geologic hydrogen is the front-runner, promising a cleaner, more sustainable future.

This revolution in energy isn’t just about powering our homes and vehicles—it’s about redefining what it means to produce and consume energy in an environmentally responsible way. The vision of a clean, sustainable energy future is no longer a distant dream but a tangible reality within our reach, thanks to the burgeoning hydrogen gold rush.

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