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In Texas, ex-oil and gas workers champion geothermal energy as a replacement for fossil-fueled power plants

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Texas has become an early hot spot for geothermal energy exploration as scores of former oil industry workers and executives are taking their knowledge to a new energy source.

Like oil wildcatters, the geothermal industry must figure out the best places to drill. They’ll face the same concerns about triggering earthquakes that have dogged oil and gas fracking operations and previous geothermal efforts. In 2006, a pilot geothermal plant in Switzerland caused a magnitude 3.4 earthquake that damaged buildings and led to the plant’s closure. In 2017, a magnitude 5.5 earthquake linked to a pilot geothermal project in South Korea injured dozens.

Building interest in geothermal

Early successes

Drilling deeper