What is geothermal power? Simply put, it’s electricity that’s generated from the Earth’s heat. There are a few more steps involved: converting heat into mechanical energy by turning a turbine, then connecting a generator that converts the mechanical energy into electricity. But that’s basically it.
Geothermal power has many advantages over other methods of producing electricity.
- Renewable: Unlike fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and natural gas, heat produced by the Earth is virtually limitless.
- Non-polluting: No fuels are burned and no pollutants are released into the environment, making geothermal power extremely clean.
- Sustainable: The process of converting the Earth’s heat into electricity is very efficient. Combined with it’s renewable aspect, geothermal becomes one of the most sustainable methods of power production currently known.
- 24/7/365: Because geothermal power can be produced around-the-clock and isn’t affected by water availability (hydroelectric), sunlight (solar), wind speed (wind turbines) or fuel prices and availability (oil, coal, natural gas) geothermal is considered a very desirable, premium power source.
The benefits of geothermal energy are far reaching. A geothermal power plant does not burn fuel; energy production is clean, and sustainable. It is a base load source; therefore, geothermal plants are designed to run 24 hours a day, every day with zero emissions.
The International Geothermal Association (IGA) reports that geothermal power plants generate more than 10,000 megawatts of power in 24 countries worldwide. And while the US is the largest producer of geothermal power, generating approximately 3100 MW, it represents only 0.3% of total US energy production. Combined with the US Department of the Interior estimates that set the long term potential for domestic geothermal power generation at approximately 35,000 MW, the future of geothermal is very bright indeed.
The US market demand for electricity is increasing, creating a growing dependency on non-
To find more about geothermal exploration click here
To find out more about how geothermal power is generated click here