Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology

2012 Edition
| Editors: Robert A. Meyers

Geothermal Energy Utilization

  • John W. Lund
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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Primary Literature

  1. 1.
    EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute) (1978) Geothermal energy prospects for the next 50 years. ER-611-SR, Special Report for the World Energy Conference 1978Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Cataldi R, Hodgson S, Lund J (eds) (1999) Stories from a heated earth – our geothermal Heritage. Geothermal Resources Council, Davis, p 569Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Lund JW (2006) Chena hot springs. Geo-Heat Center Quart Bull 27(3):2–4, Oregon Institure of Technology, Klamath FallsGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Wright M (1998) Nature of geothermal resources. In: Lund JW (ed) Geothermal direct-use engineering and design guidebook. Geo-Heat Center, Klamath Falls, pp 27–69Google Scholar
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    White DE, Williams DL (eds) (1975) Assessment of geothermal resources of the United States – 1975. U.S. Geological Survey Circular 727, U.S. Government Printing Office, 155 pGoogle Scholar
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    Tenzer H (2001) Development of hot dry rock technology. Geo-Heat Center Quart Bull 22(4):14–22, Oregon Institute of Technology, Klamath FallsGoogle Scholar
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    Tester JW et al (2006) The future of geothermal energy – impacts of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) on the United States in the 21st century. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, 384 pGoogle Scholar
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    Lund JW, Freeston DH (2001) World-wide direct uses of geothermal energy 2000. Geothermics 30(1):29–68, Elsevier, Oxford (updated and revised)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Lund JW, Freeston DH, Boyd TL (2005) Worldwide direct-uses of geothermal energy 2005. Geothermics 34(6):691–727, Elsevier, Amsterdam, The NetherlandsCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Lund JW, Freeston DH, Boyd TL (2010) Direct utilization of geothermal energy 2010 worldwide review. In: Proceeding, World Geothermal Congress 2010, Bali, IndonesiaGoogle Scholar
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    Bertani R (2005) World geothermal general 2001–2005 – state of the art. Geothermics 34(6), Elsevier, Amsterdam, The NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
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    Bertani R (2010) Geothermal power generation in the World, 2005–2010 update report. In: Proceedings of the World Geothermal Congress 2010, Bali, IndonesiaGoogle Scholar
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    Goddard, W. B. and C. B. Goddard, 1990. “Energy Fuel Sources and Their Contribution to Recent Global Air Pollution Trends.” Geothermal Resources Council Transactions, v. 14, Davis, CA, pp 643-649Google Scholar

Books and Reviews

  1. Armstead HCH (1983) Geothermal energy, 2nd edn. E. & F.N. Spon, London, 404 pGoogle Scholar
  2. Dickson MH, Fanelli M (2003) Geothermal energy utilization and technology. Earthscan, London, 205 pGoogle Scholar
  3. DiPippo R (2008) Geothermal power plants – principles, applications, case studies and environmental impact, 2nd edn. Elsevier, Amsterdam, 493 pGoogle Scholar
  4. Kavanaugh SP, Rafferty K (1997) Ground-source heat pumps – design of geothermal systems for commercial and institutional buildings. American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc, Atlanta, 167 pGoogle Scholar
  5. Lund JW, Lienau PJ, Lunis BC (1998) Geothermal direct-use engineering and design guidebook, 3rd edn. Geo-Heat Center, Klamath Falls, 454 pGoogle Scholar


  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