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Friday, August 21, 2009

SEatWtC Part 19: Geothermal

The Nesjavellir Geothermal Power Plant in ├×ingvellir, Iceland
Image courtesy of the Wikimedia Commons
The Nesjavellir Geothermal Power Plant in ├×ingvellir, Iceland

Geothermal

According to online sources, “Geothermal power (from the Greek roots geo, meaning earth, and therme, meaning heat) is energy generated by heat stored in the earth, or the collection of absorbed heat derived from underground, in the atmosphere and oceans. Prince Piero Ginori Conti tested the first geothermal generator on 4 July 1904, at the Larderello dry steam field in Italy. The largest group of geothermal power plants in the world is located in The Geysers, a geothermal field in California. As of 2008, geothermal power supplies less than 1% of the world's energy.”[13]

The difficulty with geothermal energy is two-fold. First, it can only be harnessed at certain locations on Earth. Second, it takes a significant investment to convert thermal energy into electricity, though no more so than hydropower or some of the more complicated contemporary power plants.

References

Tune in Monday for Part 20 of SEatWtC!

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