A few days ago, my friend and I were discussing whatever little we knew about the oil crisis and a recent article in Nature (requires subscription, excerpts here) He asked me about significant sources of alternative energy being considered to which I replied in the negative. Here’s an article from the technology review discussing geothermal energy.
One of the findings of the study mentioned by TR is that
a combined public/private investment of about $800 million to $1 billion over a 15-year period, EGS technology could be deployed commercially on a timescale that would produce more than 100,000 MWe or 100 GWe of new capacity by 2050. This amount is approximately equivalent to the total R&D investment made in the past 30 years to EGS internationally, which is still less than the cost of a single, new-generation, clean-coal power plant.
As for its place among other alternatives, they have to say this.
EGS is one of the few renewable energy resources that can provide continuous base-load power with minimal visual and other environmental impacts.