Geothermal energy is heat derived from the earth's core that can be transferred to usable energy. In addition to being a renewable resource, geothermal energy is clean. Any emissions released into the atmosphere as a result of the energy's extraction and processing is minimal compared to other energy production methods. Accessing geothermal energy is often done by drilling wells into hot water or steam reservoirs or into warmer soil zones. In some instances, the volume of water extracted for energy can be reinjected into the reservoir thereby replenishing the source.
Currently, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Utah and Alaska are the only states using geothermal reservoirs as an energy source. California alone has 33 geothermal power plants that produce almost 90% of the nation's geothermal electricity. In the Midwest, smaller scale geothermal technologies that circulate heating fluids through the subsurface provide homes and businesses with winter heating and summer cooling.
Click here to read a case story involving the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest and Health House working with geothermal energy.
The environmental benefits of geothermal energy are much greater than that of conventional power generation.
- Low emissions.
- Available worldwide.
- Reduces dependence on oil.