Researchers around the nation are collaborating to share geothermal data as part of an attempt to study alternative energy sources, and Arizona is leading the effort.

The federal government is giving more than $20 million to fund the project, and geological surveys in every state are contributing data.

Geothermal energy uses heat from the Earth, and heat is more widely available than any other possible energy source. And, it can be used 24/7, unlike wind or solar.

"So, if we can tap into that heat, we can supply all of our electric needs, all of our direct heating and cooling needs for the rest of our futures", says Arizona Geological Survey Director Lee Allison.

The biggest challenge facing the geothermal industry is locating heat sources. Much of that data exists, but it may be locked in file drawers or in a researcher's notebook. This project digitizes the data and makes it free and available to the public.

"The intent is to get as much geothermal energy discovered and developed as we possibly can," says Allison.