Geothermal energy is heat derived from within the earth’s sub-surface. Water and/or steam carry the geothermal energy up to the earth’s surface. Depending on its characteristics, geothermal energy can be used for heating and/or cooling purposes or it can be harnessed to generate clean electricity. This key renewable energy resource meets a significant share of the electricity demand in countries like Kenya, Iceland, El Salvador and New Zealand.
Geothermal Energy Production
Geothermal Direct Use • Beyond Electricity
Direct use of geothermal energy dates back over thousands of years. In modern direct-use systems, a well – drilled into a geothermal reservoir – provides access to a steady stream of hot water. In the well, the hot water is brought up to the surface using a mechanical system consisting of piping and heat exchangers and controls. The heat from the water can then be used directly for its intended purpose.
A disposal system then injects the cooled water underground through a re-injection well allowing for a cyclical conventional-heating process. Geothermal direct uses also include snow-melting, swimming pool heating, milk pasteurisation and food drying.
Geothermal Production in Select Countries
Source: ThinkGeoEnergy