Geothermal

Things To Know:  Geothermal energy is the heat energy springing from the core of the earth.  Radioactive decay is believed to be the primary reason for these high temperatures and new technologies are coming online all the time to harness this technology.  The Icelanders are the masters at harnessing geothermal power sources.  Iceland has an amazing wealth of geothermal heat, and derives much of its electricity from steam turbines hooked up to geysers dotting the island.  Heat pumps are no less fantastic.  These devices harness ground heat, even from relatively frigid ground water. The mechanism has the potential to save enormous sums in energy costs.

Geothermal Electricity:  Currently the U.S. has a capacity of 2200 MW from Geothermal sources.  If a method to directly tap energy from magma chambers is perfected, this number will experience an eruption of its own.  The following web sites will be able to provide more information: www.geothermal.org, www.eren.doe.gov/geothermal, and to see a company that’s really in on the something for nothing action, visit www.calpine.com

Heat Pumps:  Heat pumps are a fairly innovative solution to the large amounts of energy necessary to run both the furnace and the air conditioner.  Energy savings of 4 to 5 times are reportedly achievable.  This product condenses either heat or the cold from the ground or ground water that is of a relatively consistent temp year round.  If you have trouble envisioning this concept, just think of your house becoming a giant refrigerator with the radiator stuck in the ground, or using the same device, the ground becomes a giant refrigerator with the radiator stuck in your house.  The following are some companies and web sites that will tell you more: FHP Manufacturing, www.ghpc.org/hom.htm, Applied Energy Systems – www.aeretech.com and Conserve Technology Ltd – www.conserve-energy.com

All technologies, aside from the magma tapping idea reported on this page, are currently in production, in use, and cost effective.

Please advise the 2020 Institute if you feel we’ve left out any must see statistics or new technologies in this area or if you feel we’ve inadvertently misrepresented anything on this page.