It is thermal energy, produced and stored in the earth. It can be utilised via heat pumps for domestic use, or power plants for industrial needs.
In fact, 10,715 megawatts (MW) of geothermal electricity is powered in 24 countries worldwide.
However, it’s not just recently that we have seen the benefits of using the Earth’s natural energy. As early as the Paleolithic (10,000 BP) times, people were using hot springs, and the Romans took advantage of its space heating potential.
Geothermal energy is a cost effective and environmentally friendly source. It is also extremely sustainable, as any heat extracted is minimal in comparison to the Earth’s heat content.
The ground’s heat is between 10 and 16 degrees Celsius in most places, up to 10 feet down. This means that boreholes and trenches needn’t be too deep, and we can have easy access to this natural energy.
The word geothermal has Greek ancestry, from geo (ground) and thermos (heat).