Here we shall discuss a brief history of geothermal energy. Please note that the content of this article relates to the proper meaning of geothermal energy (heat produced by our earth), and not the heating of our earth by the sun (see “what is geothermal energy” for more information). Geothermal energy was quite a significant power of the past and may go back a lot longer than you think.
The history of geothermal power can be traced back to over 10,000 years ago to the American Paleo-Indians at their settlement in hot springs. This history has been uncovered through the use of archeology and shows the Indians used the hot springs for activities including, bathing and heating. It is also believed the springs were seen as a healing source.
It is believed that the first geothermal energy use in industry was during the late 18th century near Pisa, Italy. This history of geothermal shows energy been used to extract boric acid from the Larderello Fields through the use of steam.
A history of the first geothermal power plant relates to the Larderello Fields, when in 1904 the steam was successfully used to generate power for the first time. This geothermal energy was seen as the power of the future.
More history: In 1922 the U.S.A’s first geothermal power plant went down in history in producing 250 kilowatts which could light the streets and buildings in the area. This plant didn’t last very long however, due to the little power output compared to other sites across the globe.
During the 1960’s, the first large scale industrial geothermal energy power plant was constructed in the U.S.A and produces 11 megawatts of environmentally friendly, renewable, geothermal electricity. This was seen as a big step towards power of the future.
From the 1960’s onwards, many organizations and governing bodies are set up to manage, research, and develop new and improved geothermal energy sites and technologies.
Today, there are more than 60 important geothermal power plants in working order in the U.S.A, and many more across the globe. The history of geothermal power is just the very basis of what we can expect from the future. The geothermal energy and power advancements of the past can show how through this geothermal history, we can predict, newer and much greater capacity power stations could be developed in the future.