Geo (earth) + thermal (heat)
Geothermal energy is heat (or thermal energy) generated and stored inside the Earth. It is an ideal source of energy as it is both highly sustainable and versatile. In fact, geothermal has many diverse applications beyond just power generation!
Geothermal has a very low environmental footprint, as well as less land use per GWh.
Most importantly, geothermal power plants produce a constant, steady source of electricity, regardless of weather conditions. Reliability and availability are being discussed more and more today in regards to the growth and application of renewable energy technologies, making geothermal stand out above the rest.
Available geothermal resources refer to the hot water reservoirs lying below the planet’s surface — in order to access the energy provided by these reservoirs, deep wills are drilled into them.
Geothermal resources can be found at a variety of depths, and can be “high-temperature” or “low-temperature”.
The specific, available applications of the geothermal resource often depends on the temperature of the reservoir.
When drilling into underground reservoirs, hot steam is brought to the surface, which can then be used for electricity generation.
Any residual heat from geothermal energy can be used for a wide variety of things, and can often benefit local communities beyond their power generation. This can include heating for greenhouses, homes, school, or office buildings — just to name a few.
Some low-temperature resources can even be used for geothermal cooling, or air conditioning applications, as seen in our ongoing GEG Cooling project.