Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology

2012 Edition
| Editors: Robert A. Meyers

Geothermal Energy Utilization

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0851-3_231

Definition and Importance of Geothermal Energy

Geothermal energy is the heat contained within the Earth that generates geological phenomena on a planetary scale. The main sources of this energy are due to the heat flow from the earth’s core and mantel generated by the radioactive decay of potassium, thorium, and uranium in the crust or by friction heat generated in subduction zones along continental plate margins. It may be characterized by surface expression of fumaroles, hot springs, geysers, volcanic eruption, and lava flows. Geothermal energy is often used to indicate that part of the Earth’s heat that can, or could, be recovered and exploited by humankind. The resource is large, is renewable in the broad sense, and is available almost everywhere in the world, depending upon the depth to the resource and the economics to produce it. The total estimated thermal energy above surface temperature to a depth of 10 km under the continents, reachable with current drilling...

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Bibliography

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Books and Reviews

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Websites

  1. European Geothermal Energy Council, Belgium: www.geothermie.de/egec_geothernet/menu/frameset.htm
  2. Geothermal Education Office, USA: http://geothermal.marin.org
  3. Geothermal Energy Association, USA: http://www.geo-energy.org
  4. Geo-Heat Center, USA: http://geoheat.oit.edu
  5. Geothermal Resources Council, USA: http://www.geothermal.org
  6. IEA (International Energy Agency) Heat Pump Center, Netherlands: www.heatpumpcentre.org
  7. International Geothermal Association: http://www.geothermal-energy.org
  8. International Ground Source Heat Pump Association, USA: http://www.igshpa.okstate.edu
  9. Stanford University Geothermal Program: http://pangea.stanford.edu/ERE/research/geoth/
  10. U.S. Department of Energy, Geothermal Technologies: www.eere.energy.gov/geothermal/
  11. World Geothermal Congress 2010, Indonesia: www.wgc2010.org

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geo-Heat CenterOregon Institute of TechnologyKlamath FallsUSA