What is Geothermal Energy and It’s Potential? [video]

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If you’re not familiar, geothermal energy comes from the earth’s heat. Actually, “Geothermal” literally mean’s “earth’s heat”, which is said to be about 6,000 degrees Celsius at the core. Just last year, 2013, scientists discovered it was about 1,000 degrees Celsius hotter than what original measurements showed.

The potential of this energy source is apparently quite significant and much cleaner/healthier than fossil fuels, which we use today. It’s a renewable resource that does little if any damage to the environment. A number of regions around the world are taking advantage of geothermal energy as an affordable and sustainable option that gets them away from the unhealthy use of fossil fuels.

In 2012, the United States led the world in geothermal electricity production with over 3,386 megawatts. The leading states of production in the United States are California, Nevada, Utah, and Oregon.

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Below the earth’s crust you will find magna which is made of hot and molten rock. There, heat is continually produced due to the decay of uranium and potassium. Just about 30,000 feet down or 10,000 meters of the earth’s surface actually contains a whopping 50,000 times more energy than all the oil and natural gas resources in the world!

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The areas with the most energy to offer, or highest temperatures, are known as “hot spots”and can be found near active or young volcanoes. That’s just the hottest areas, seismically active hotspots are not only the places to find geothermal energy. You can find milder heat just a few hundred feet below the earth’s crust all around the world.

According to the the Union of Scientists, “If these resources can be tapped, they offer enormous potential for electricity production capacity. In its first comprehensive assessment in more than 30 years, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) estimated that conventional geothermal sources on private and accessible public lands across 13 western states have the potential capacity to produce 8,000–73,000 MW, with a mean estimate of 33,000 MW.’

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There is great opportunity for geothermal to play a major role as a clean sustainable energy source in our fight against global warming. It’s one of the few options that can supply continuous baseload power similar to fossil fuels.

A detailed description of the geothermal energy process

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