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Geothermal Energy Essay

729 words - 3 pages

The power of electricity is available to anyone with a simple click of a button. The methods of obtaining the energy used to develop that electricity are commonly debated topics. One of those methods is using geothermal energy, or the Earth’s naturally produced heat.
There are plenty of intriguing facts centered upon geothermal energy. For thousands of years, geothermal energy has been used in some countries for heating and cooking (“Geothermal Energy Info” 2). These underground systems being used contain water with teperatures that can rise above 200 degrees Celsius (430 degrees Fahrenheit) (“How Geothermal Energy Works” 2). Italy used geothermal energy thousands of years ago and is currently the fourth largest producer of geothermal energy (Savage 29). Geysers, such as Old Faithful at Yellowstone National Park, and hot springs are a result of the heated water in the Earth rising to the surface (“How Geothermal Energy Works” 2). The majority of the hot water reservoirs located in the United States are in the Western states, Alaska, and Hawaii (“Geothermal Energy” 2). When the Middle East resolves its crises, oil prices fall along with the investment in geothermal energy (Savage 10). In the United States, geothermal energy has received the most interest due to the current unrest (Savage 10). “For example, from 1972 to 1977, about 150 new geothermal cells were drilled compared to about 140,000 oil wells.” (Savage 12). The funding for geothermal research in 1976 reached $91 million. When compared to 1973, the funding had increased by nearly 40 times more (Savage 12).
Geothermal energy works due to many factors. Independently of your location, the further below Earth’s crust you travel, the hotter it gets. Every kilometer results in extra 30 to 33 degrees Celsius to the previous temperature (Savage 78). The first 10 feet of Earth’s surface maintains a stable 10 to 16 degrees Celsius (50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit) pretty much anywhere at any given time (“Geothermal Energy” 2). “The areas with the highest underground temperatures are in regions with active or geologically young volcanoes” (“How Geothermal Energy Works” 2). These “hot spots” usually occur at thin spots in the Earth’s crust or at tectonic plate boundaries (“How...

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