Definition: Geothermal energy

From Open Energy Information

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Geothermal energy

Geothermal energy is heat extracted from the Earth ( Geo (Earth) + thermal (heat) )[1]

Wikipedia Definition

Geothermal energy is the thermal energy in the Earth's crust which originates from the formation of the planet and from radioactive decay of materials in currently uncertain but possibly roughly equal proportions. The high temperature and pressure in Earth's interior cause some rock to melt and solid mantle to behave plastically, resulting in parts of the mantle convecting upward since it is lighter than the surrounding rock and temperatures at the core–mantle boundary can reach over 4000 °C (7200 °F). Geothermal heating, for example using water from hot springs has been used for bathing since Paleolithic times and for space heating since ancient Roman times, however more recently geothermal power, the term used for generation of electricity from geothermal energy, has gained in importance. It is estimated that the earth's geothermal resources are theoretically more than adequate to supply humanity's energy needs, although only a very small fraction is currently being profitably exploited, often in areas near tectonic plate boundaries. As a result of government assisted research and industry experience, the cost of generating geothermal power decreased by 25% over the 1980s and 1990s. More recent technological advances have dramatically reduced costs and thereby expanded the range and size of viable resource and in 2021 the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that geothermal energy from a power plant "built today" costs about $0.05/kWh. Worldwide, 13,900 megawatts (MW) of geothermal power was available in 2019. An additional 28 gigawatts of direct geothermal heating capacity is installed for district heating, space heating, spas, industrial processes, desalination and agricultural applications as of 2010. Forecasts for the future of geothermal power depend on assumptions about technology, energy prices, subsidies, plate boundary movement and interest rates. Pilot programs like EWEB's customer opt in Green Power Program show that customers would be willing to pay a little more for a renewable energy source like geothermal. About 100 thousand people are employed in the industry. The adjective geothermal originates from the Greek roots γῆ (gê), meaning Earth, and θερμός (thermós), meaning hot., Geothermal energy is the thermal energy in the Earth's crust which originates from the formation of the planet and from radioactive decay of materials in currently uncertain but possibly roughly equal proportions. The high temperature and pressure in Earth's interior cause some rock to melt and solid mantle to behave plastically, resulting in parts of the mantle convecting upward since it is lighter than the surrounding rock and temperatures at the core–mantle boundary can reach over 4000 °C (7200 °F). Geothermal heating, for example using water from hot springs has been used for bathing since Paleolithic times and for space heating since ancient Roman times, however more recently geothermal power, the term used for generation of electricity from geothermal energy, has gained in importance. It is estimated that the earth's geothermal resources are theoretically more than adequate to supply humanity's energy needs, although only a very small fraction is currently being profitably exploited, often in areas near tectonic plate boundaries. As a result of government assisted research and industry experience, the cost of generating geothermal power decreased by 25% over the 1980s and 1990s. More recent technological advances have dramatically reduced costs and thereby expanded the range and size of viable resource and in 2021 the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that geothermal energy from a power plant "built today" costs about $0.05/kWh. Worldwide, 13,900 megawatts (MW) of geothermal power was available in 2019. An additional 28 gigawatts of direct geothermal heating capacity is installed for district heating, space heating, spas, industrial processes, desalination and agricultural applications as of 2010. Forecasts for the future of geothermal power depend on assumptions about technology, energy prices, subsidies, plate boundary movement and interest rates. Pilot programs like EWEB's customer opt in Green Power Program show that customers would be willing to pay a little more for a renewable energy source like geothermal. About 100 thousand people are employed in the industry. The adjective geothermal originates from the Greek roots γῆ (gê), meaning Earth, and θερμός (thermós), meaning hot.

Reegle Definition

Also known as geothermal power. Heat that is stored inside the earth is transformed into electrical energy by geothermal power plants. This form of energy is considered to be cost-effective, reliable and friendly to the environment.



Related Terms
Geothermal Direct UseEnhanced Geothermal Systemsenergythermal energyheatbioenergy
References
  1. Idaho National Laboratory: What is Geothermal Energy