12/04/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Buffett, Google Invest In Prolific Renewable You've Never Heard Of

"There's no smoke. Very little noise," said Paul Thomsen, director of policy and business management for Ormat Technologies Inc., which owns the operation. "People don't even know it's here."

Geothermal energy may be the most prolific renewable fuel source that most people have never heard of. Although the supply is virtually limitless, the massive upfront costs required to extract it have long rendered geothermal a novelty. But that's changing fast as this old-line industry buzzes with activity after decades of stagnation.

Billionaire Warren E. Buffett has invested big. Internet giant Google Inc. is bankrolling advanced research. Entrepreneurs are paying record prices for drilling leases in places such as Nevada, where they're prospecting for heat instead of metals.

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::Google Throws $10 Million At Geothermal
::A Guide To Geothermal Energy
::US Department of Energy to Invest $90 Million in Advanced Geothermal Research