Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology

Living Edition
| Editors: Robert A. Meyers

Geothermal Energy Utilization

  • John W. LundEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-2493-6_231-3

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 the heat flow from the Earth’s core and mantle generated by the radioactive decay of potassium, thorium, and uranium in the crust or 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 technology, is 1.3 × 1027...

Keywords

Heat Pump Instal Capacity Geothermal Energy Geothermal Water District Heating 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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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
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  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 New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

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