Geothermal power can play a fairly significant role in the energy balance of some areas of theworld . For non-electric applications of geothermal energy, the year 2000 worldwide figures show aninstalled capacity (15,145 MWt) and energy use (190,699 TJ/yr) for this renewable source . The mostcommon non-electric use worldwide (in terms of installed capacity) is for heat pumps (34.80%) followedby bathing (26.20%), space heating (21.62%), greenhouses (8.22%), aquaculture (3.93%), and industrialprocesses (3.13%).FORMATION OF GEO-THERMAL ENERGYGeothermal energy is generat
ed in the earth’s core, almost
4,000 miles beneath the earth
surface. The double-layered core is made up of very hot magma (melted rock) surrounding a solidironouter core. Very high temperatures are continuously produced inside the earth in the rocks by theslow decay of radioactive particles. Surrounding the outer coreis the mantle, made of magma and rock. The outermost layer of the earth, the land that forms the continents and ocean floors, iscalled the crust. The crust is not a solid piece, like the shell of an egg, but is broken into pieces called plates. Magma comesclose to the
surface near the edges of these plates. This iswherev olcanoes occur. The lava that erupts from volcanoes ispartly magma. Deep underground, the rocks and water absorbthe heat from this magma. This water is drawn out by diggingwells and used for electricity generation.FINDING GEOTHERMAL ENERGYSome visible features of geothermal energy are volcanoes, hot springs, geysers, and fumaroles.But these geothermal resources cannot be seen. They are deep underground. There may be no clues aboveground that a geothermal reservoir is present below.The most active geothermal resources are usually found along major plate boundaries whereearthquakes and volcanoes are concentrated.Most of the geothermal activity in the worldoccurs in an area called the Ring of Firewhich is along the border area of PacificOcean.
Geologists use different methods tofind geothermal reservoirs. The only way tobe sure there is a reservoir is to drill a welland test the temperature deep underground.
Fig 3: cross section of geothermal site