For personal freedom, you need money. For societal freedom… you need energy.

Energy is what enables progress. I’ve seen it written many times, by many different people, that humanity’s energy source defines its progress.

We have gone from collected tree branches in pre-historic times, through to coal, gas and oil. Without the huge amount energy oil exploration unlocked, we wouldn’t have air or space travel.

Energy is what provides the possibilities for scientific progress. The finding of the Higgs boson, or “God particle”, was only possible because of the huge amount of energy scientists managed to harness with the Large Hadron Collider.

And so, by harnessing huge amounts of energy, humans were able to solve “the central problem in particle physics”.

That may not mean a lot to the average person on the street, but it was a very big deal to particle physicists. And eventually that new information will bring breakthroughs that directly affect that same average person on the street, whether they know its source or not.

On a more real-world level, the more energy we can unlock, the faster our transport systems will become. The faster our computers will be. The longer our mobile phones will last. And the better our research will be into improving… well… everything.

In fact, our ability to harness energy is what defines our level of civilisation.

I’ve written before about the Kardashev scale of development. It was developed by astrophysicist Nikolai Kardashev in the 1960s.

He theorised that as a civilisation advances, its energy demands increase along with it.

Every new breakthrough in the harnessing of energy leads to myriad advances in civilisation.

If you missed my essay, here’s a recap of the levels of civilisation:

A type I civilisation can harness all the energy from its own planet. We are not quite at that level yet. Carl Sagan puts us at a 0.7 on the scale.

A type II civilisation is able to harness all the energy from its closest star. And this doesn’t mean all the energy that is reaching the planet. It means all the energy the star produces.

A type III civilisation can harness the power of its entire galaxy.

By this point the civilisation would have mastered interstellar travel and would be able to colonise whole galaxies, using self-replicating nanobots and supermassive black holes for energy.

As you can see, we now rate about a 0.7 on the scale. But the idea I’m going to talk to you about today could move us up to being a full type I civilisation.

Tech breakthrough opens up massive UK energy source…

Britain: The new Saudi Arabia?

Untapped reserves under UK soil could equal as much as nine nuclear power stations.

Expert identifies company set to become #1 on the PLANET…

Predicts early investors could see more than 170% gains, long term.

Get in position to profit.

Capital at risk. A regulated product issued by Southbank Investment Research. Forecasts are not a reliable indicator of future results.

The Dyson sphere beneath our feet

If you haven’t heard of a Dyson sphere before, here’s the general idea, swiped from Wikipedia:

A Dyson sphere is a hypothetical megastructure that completely encompasses a star and captures a more or less large percentage of its power output.

The concept is a thought experiment that attempts to explain how a spacefaring civilization would meet its energy requirements once those requirements exceed what can be generated from the home planet’s resources alone.

Only a fraction of a star’s energy emissions reach the surface of any orbiting planet. Building structures encircling a star would enable a civilization to harvest far more energy.

Once a civilisation was capable of building a Dyson sphere, it would have by definition jumped to a level II civilisation.

Now, we’re clearly some way off that kind of god-like power. Let’s not get a of ourselves here. But, as it turns out, we are essentially living on the surface of a miniature Dyson sphere.

Our planet has a near limitless supply of energy buried deep underground, just sitting there, causing the odd volcanic eruption.

Think about it. Most of the earth is actually super-heated rock and iron. Everything below the crust is colossally hot, and not cooling down any time soon.

We basically have a miniature sun under our feet. We are essentially living on the outer surface of a ready-made Dyson sphere.

Source: public domain

And recently, engineers have worked out how to tap into that vast energy source.

This development could power humanity’s energy needs 250,000 times over, according to Jefferson Tester, professor of chemical engineering at the MIT Laboratory for Energy and the Environment.

So, how does it work, and is it safe?

The way we actually create electricity hasn’t changed much in… well, ever.

We basically use some process to heat water into steam and then use that steam to turn turbines that generate electricity. It may be coal, it may be wood, it may be nuclear reaction… it doesn’t matter. All it’s really doing is heating water.

So why not cut out the middle-man and heat the water directly? That’s the idea behind geothermal electricity. Water is pumped down to where the earth is hot and comes back out as steam that turns turbines and creates electricity.

Here’s a diagram of how it works:

Source: US Department of Energy

The only real emissions are water vapour. In fact, these geothermal plants produce less C02 than solar power does. And they are always on – 24/7. No need to rely on batteries.

Here are some of the benefits the US Department of Energy lists for geothermal power:

  • Renewable—Through proper reservoir management, the rate of energy extraction can be balanced with a reservoir’s natural heat recharge rate.
  • Baseload—Geothermal power plants produce electricity consistently, running 24 hours per day / 7 days per week, regardless of weather conditions.
  • Small Footprint—Geothermal power plants are compact; using less land per GWh (404 m2) than coal (3642 m2) wind (1335 m2) or solar PV with center station (3237 m2).*
  • Clean—Modern closed-loop geothermal power plants emit no greenhouse gasses; life cycle GHG emissions (50 g CO2eq/kWhe) are four times less than solar PV, and six to 20 times lower than natural gas. Geothermal power plants consume less water on average over the lifetime energy output than the most conventional generation technologies.

The question is, why aren’t we harnessing this vast energy resource yet?

It turns out we are about to.

And by “we” I don’t mean humanity. I mean Britain. Right now there is geothermal power development taking place on a massive scale.

Chances are you haven’t heard about it yet though, not many have. That’s why Eoin Treacy has written a special report on this very British breakthrough.

Not only could this development provide clean, renewable energy for decades to come, but it could also be a fantastic investment opportunity.

That’s because, as Eoin has discovered, there is one little-known, but highly investable, company at the centre of it all.

Eoin’s report is completely free to read. To read it, all you need to do is follow this link.

Even if you’re not interested in the chance to make money from this discovery, the information in Eoin’s report will be well worth your time.

Click here to read it now, and discover how British scientists are harnessing our planet’s very own Dyson sphere.

Until next time,

Harry Hamburg
Editor, Exponential Investor