Right below your feet is a source of renewable energy that is largely untapped. It heats groundwater by conduction and convection as it travels toward the surface of the earth.
California University and the Lawrence Livermore National Lab presents scientists Carol Bruton and John Ziagos who explains how geothermal energy can be used to generate electricity or heat buildings.
Technologies in use to generate geothermal electricity from geothermal energy include dry steam power plants, flash steam power plants and binary cycle power plants.
24 countries generates geothermal electricity today, while geothermal heating is in use in about 70 countries.
Current worldwide installed capacity is about 11 000 megawatts (MWh/yr), the largest capacity in the United States at 3086 MWh/yr, then the Philippines, and Indonesia.
Although the United States produce the most geothermal electricity in the world, it surmounts to less than 1 percent of total energy consumption. In the Philippines, El Salvador and Iceland the production surmounts to about 1/3 of total consumption.
Total world electricity consumption is about 20 300 GWh/yr. With total geothermal electricity production in 2010 being 10,7097 GWh.
The total geothermal electricity generation potential with current technology vary from 35 to 2 000 GWh/yr.