The term geothermal comes from the Greek geo meaning earth and therine meaning heat thus geothermal energy is energy derived from the natural heat of the earth. The heat that flows from the Earth's hot interior due to crustal plate movements, zones of high heat flow, may be located close to the surface where convective circulation plays a signifcant role in bringing the heat close to the surface.
How does Harnessing Geothermal Energy Work?
Deep wells, a mile or more deep, can tap reservoirs of steam or very hot water that can be used to drive turbines which power electricity generators. There are 3 types of geothermal power plants in use today, and they are:
~Dry Steam Plants which use geothermal steam directly.
~Flash Steam Plants which use high pressure hot water to produce steam when thepressure is reduced.
~Binary Cycle Plants which use moderate-temperature water (225 to 360 ºF) from the geothermal reservoir.
Applications of Geothermal Energy:
1. Space/District Heating
2. Agriculture and Aquaculture: In temperate and colder climates, greatly improved plant and fish growth can be achieved by heating soils, greenhouses and fish ponds using geothermal heat.
3. Power Generation: With over 8000 MW of installed capacity, geothermal electric power generation is a well-proven technology that has been especially successful in countries and islands that have a high reliance on imported fossil fuels.
Benefits of Geothermal Energy:
1. Minimize air pollution
2. Renewable energy source
3. Reduces dependence on imported energy