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Back to Basics Video: What Is Geothermal Energy Anyway?

Apr 8, 2013

Geothermal energy is the Earth’s own renewable energy.  All other renewables and in fact, all other forms of energy, hinge on the sun: wind power, solar power, even fossil fuels wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the sun.  (And neither would we, of course.)

If you are even slightly knowledgeable about geothermal energy, you probably understand that it uses high temperature water and steam found deep underneath the earth’s surface to make power.  To oversimplify the process, first geologists determine that an area of high temperature exists underground. Second drillers bore into the earth in order to better assess and tap into the resource. If the resource proves to be viable enough, a power plant can be constructed on top of it.  Hot water that is converted to steam is then used to drive turbines to make electricity.

A tiny country in the North Atlantic Ocean has perfected the art of geothermal discovery, drilling and utilization.  Iceland currently derives 25 percent of its electrical power from geothermal energy and the resource also provides more than 90 percent of the country’s heat and hot water.  Reykjavik Energy, the utility that provides this baseload renewable energy to Icelanders has put together a fantastically informative video that details how geothermal energy is created.  It also shows what other areas of the world have the potential to use geothermal energy to provide heat and power to its inhabitants.  Check it out below.

The information and views expressed in this blog post are solely those of the author and not necessarily those of or the companies that advertise on this Web site and other publications. This blog was posted directly by the author and was not reviewed for accuracy, spelling or grammar.

Jennifer Runyon is chief editor of and Renewable Energy World magazine, coordinating, writing and/or editing columns, features, news stories and blogs for the publications. She also serves as conference chair of Renewable Energy World Conference and Expo, North America. ...


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