Among renewable energy sources in the United States, geothermal is one of the biggest. In the U.S., geothermal accounts for five times more of the total energy production than solar energy and three times more than wind energy. With the dawning of cheaper technologies and growing demand for renewable energy, consumer use of geothermal is also growing.
Geothermal is everywhere
Many people know that geothermal energy is used in Iceland. This is only one form of geothermal energy - steam energy also called hydrothermal. Hydrothermal does account for a significant portion of the energy required by Reykjavik, Iceland's capital city. It is also used in other parts of the globe, including "the Geysers," a plant in California.
A promising newer use of geothermal energy (literally, "heat from the earth") is the use of a looped piping system to draw the earth's heat energy anywhere, using it to heat water and air. This energy is "tapped," using a ground source heat pump that draws from stores of energy available as little as 15 to 20 feet below the surface, anywhere on earth.
You can get free temperature moderation
Micro-geothermal is the local and site specific version. Hypothetically, this could mean the use of steam or hot water energy from the earth (where available). However, a rapidly growing industry of micro-geothermal suppliers and developers can show you how to draw geothermal energy wherever you are, using ground source heat pumps.
Geothermal can be used in one of a number of ways:
- In a closed loop system, where the heat of the earth is exchanged to your home or business via water or other liquid.
- In an open loop system, where air, water or another liquid is heated by the earth.
- In a pond loop system.
Geothermal's simple principle, its stable source (the earth itself) and its universality make it one of the most exciting and versatile of all renewable energy sources. You can find out about the potential of geothermal energy near you by clicking on the links nearby.
If you are thinking of building, learn more about:
- how geothermal pumps work.
- geothermal heat pumps.
- installing guidelines for a geothermal system
- how to choose a supplier or geothermal contractor
Geothermal energy can be created on a small scale-for homes, businesses or apartment buildings using the systems described above — or on a large scale basis, using geothermal plants.