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Researchers find significant potential of energy source below US-Mexico border region: 'A really good development target'

"This is good news."

"This is good news."

Photo Credit: Getty Images

One border region of Texas holds significant promise underground for a clean and sustainable energy source, ThinkGeoEnergy reported.

Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin recently released a study that identifies Presidio County, Texas, which sits on the United States/Mexico border, as a promising location for geothermal energy development. The team was previously awarded a grant to study the feasibility of building a geothermal energy plant in the southern part of the county. 

"Bottom line is … the whole county looks like a really good development target. As good or better than areas that are already being developed in Texas," Ken Wisian, the head of the research team and a geophysicist at the University of Texas, said, per ThinkGeoEnergy.

Local officials are excited about the news, according to the publication. And it's no wonder, as building a geothermal industry in Presidio County could help inject money into the economy, create new jobs, and eventually lower energy costs for local communities. 

Clean energy sources like geothermal are also better when it comes to air quality — traditional fuels like natural gas and coal release dangerous pollutants that can contribute to severe health impacts like early death, heart attacks, respiratory disorders, stroke, and asthma, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Moving away from dirty energy sources is also better for the environment, as they are the main contributor to the overheating of our planet. 

Geothermal energy is gaining "steam" in the U.S., with the Department of Energy recently investing $60 million to support its expansion.

Researchers worldwide are making exciting advances in geothermal energy. For instance, scientists in Iceland may soon draw this power source from the world's first tunnel to a magma chamber. Meanwhile, a tech company is exploring the potential to tap into geothermal energy under the sea in places where new ocean crust forms after tectonic plates shift away from one another.

One Redditor posted about the news in the r/Texas subreddit, sparking a lively discussion. 

"This is good news," one person said. "Hope it comes to fruition."

On the other hand, another commenter brought light to the delicate balance between our energy needs and land preservation. "I know, I know, jobs and money," they said, "but the best part about that area is that it's not developed."

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