A world of opportunity (Image: Kim Hart/Robert
Harding/Rex Features)

Laser drills could relight geothermal energy dreams

13 December 2012 by Jeff Hecht

FROM fossil fuels to geothermal heat, accessing the planet’s energy riches usually involves boring deep into the Earth with giant metal drills. But could lasers do the same job?

Foro Energy, a start-up company in Littleton, Colorado, has developed what it claims is an inexpensive system of high-powered lasers that can rip through rock, potentially revolutionising drilling and hastening the adoption of greener forms of power.

Foro announced last month that a test system had sent a beam from a 20-kilowatt commercial laser through 1.5 kilometres of optical fibre. Development has been funded by the US Department of Energy’s research arm, ARPA-E. Borehole drilling trials are planned for next year.

Read more: Laser drills could relight geothermal energy dreams – tech — New Scientist.

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