For a century, coal was king in the town of Glace Bay, Nova Scotia. At one time, it had the largest underground coal mining operation in the world, but the last working mine was closed in 2001. In October, when the Newaberdeen Gardens Townhouse complex opens, two former mines will be put to good use -- their water will be used as a source of geothermal energy to power in-floor heating.
Market changes and an investment of $800 million to $1 billion over 15 years could bring more than 100 GW of geothermal energy to the US grid by 2050, according to a study recently released by a multi-disciplinary research group at MIT. That investment, is less than the cost of a single “new generation” coal-powered plant, and the amount of energy is equivalent to 200 coal-fired power plants or 100 new nuclear power plants.