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the Heat Beneath our Feet

Mapping the potential of superhot rock energy

Explore a new, first-of-its-kind modeling tool that highlights the vast energy potential of an emerging geothermal energy source: superhot rock energy. 

Dove si può sviluppare la roccia supercalda?

This preliminary modeling explores the case for commercializing superhot rock energy
by estimating the technology’s energy potential around the world.   

Click here to view a full screen version of this map.

Developed by Clean Air Task Force in collaboration with the University of Twente, this global model calculates the steady-state, conductive heat transfer in the lithosphere. Key influencers include prescribed radiogenic heat productions and thermal conductivities, which are defined by tectonic domain and the structure of the Earth’s crust as well as the thickness of the lithospheric mantle.   

To request the data used to create this map, please fill out this form. A report on the methodology informing this work is forthcoming. 

More details

The Heat Endowment Methodology discusses the approach and methodology used to map the location of superhot rock petrothermal opportunities. In the absence of hard data to constrain the depth to heat, geological models of the lithosphere are used to assess the depth to potential superhot resources. Two models are examined Lucazeau, (2019), which is a global surface heat flow model constructed using a generalized similarity method, to predict heat flow on a global on a 0.5° x 0.5° grid. Calculation to the 450°C map is assumed using a linear interpolation methodology for heat prediction at depth. The second model is LithoRef18, which is a publicly accessible and transparent global reference model, which outputs the steady state 450°C conductive isotherm of the crust on a 2°x2° grid (Afonso et al., 2019). Since the modelling does not invert using the surface heatflow, the combined model simplifies the errors and assumes a hydrothermal overprint for a shallow layer .

An enormous opportunity to
unlock vast amounts of clean energy


Just 1% of the world’s superhot rock energy potential could generate 63 terawatts of clean firm power – 8x more energy than the rest of the world’s electricity put together.

4.3 TW

Just 1% of superhot rock energy potential in the U.S. could produce 4.3 terawatts of clean firm power – enough energy to power New York City 687 times over.


Superhot rock energy is a high-capacity power supply with a small land footprint, available 24/7, almost anywhere on Earth.

  • See how the world’s superhot rock energy endowment aligns with the world’s largest coal facilities, including those that are slated for decommissioning. Can superhot rock energy provide a second life for these communities?   
  • Can superhot rock energy reserves play an impactful role in decoupling military bases from the local grid by providing secure, reliable, firm energy? See how some of the world’s military lands align with superhot rock energy resources.
  • Can superhot rock energy play a significant role in creating clean water? CATF will explore trends in global water stress and identify places where superhot rock may be able to support desalination. 
  • What are the world’s large-scale industrial heat uses and where are those uses located? How can they benefit from new forms of advanced heat streams, like those associated with superhot rock energy production? 
  • Where is superhot rock generation capacity likely to exceed current electricity demand? What new markets and technologies are likely to take advantage of these stranded resources? 

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