Geothermal Energy Facts
Today, there exists a significant amount of information relating to geothermal energy. We are going to discuss the many different geothermal energy facts along with the basic geothermal information.
This may come as a surprise to you, but the process of extracting geothermal energy has been in existence for over a hundred years. Electricity from the use of geothermal activity was first generated in 1903, in Italy. Today, there are over 40 geothermal power plants in the U.S.A alone.
The term "Geothermal" derives from the Greek words; "geo" (meaning earth), and "therme" (meaning heat). So a quick way to remember what geothermal energy is all about can be found in the phrase "earth heat".
The most common mistake made when thinking about geothermal energy is mistaking a geothermal boiler (common in homes in specific countries) as a geothermal energy source. This type of energy is actually called "ground source", and the pump should be referred to as a "ground source heat pump". This technology relies on the sun (not the earths core? to heat the ground.
Another fact about geothermal energy, concerns the difficult placement of geothermal power stations. This is greatly affected by the geological activity beneath a given location. in some areas, the technology may be useless, whereas in others it may be extremely efficient. An example of this can be found with the 40+ power plants in the U.S.A, where one specific plant in California produces a larger output than the majority put together.
Geothermal activity is greatly affected by fault lines in the earth's crust, or where there are volcanoes.
This is due to the fact that liquid rock (magma) can be found much closer to the surface in these areas, therefore providing a much greater heating of the ground.
Geothermal energy is said to be one of the greatest natural energy sources in existence, yet the reason we don't see power plants of this nature everywhere, is due to the geological reasons.