As interest in alternative sources of energy increased, many people began to view geothermal energy as a future source of great potential. Geothermal energy seeks to generate power from the high temperatures below the Earth's surface.
For every 100 feet drop
below the surface, the temperature increases by one degree Celsius. Eventually, very high temperatures are reached.The geothermal process seeks to tap into the underground sources of heat. It then brings this heat up to the surface for human consumption.
This energy can be used for a variety of purposes. It could heat homes, greenhouses, or
factories. In fact, many factories and some homes in cold climates are already relying on geothermal power sources.
The areas with the greatest potential as sources of geothermal energy are the Americas, western Siberia, and the Pacific Rim. Internationally, 20 countries are using geothermal energy sources.
In Iceland, 65% of all homes are heated with hot water from beneath the Earth's surface and many crops are
produced in greenhouses that receive heat from geothermal sources. Japan too is conducting many experiments in geothermal energy, largely because it lacks its own energy resources.
One problem with geothermal energy is that it is difficult to move around. As a result, only those factories operating near a source of geothermal energy will be able to use power from it.
US DOE geothermal energy program
Geothermal Information Office