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The word geothermal has its origin from “Greek”. Geo – Earth and therme - heat. So as the name denotes it’s made clear that the energy is generated from the earth’s heat.
As we all know that we live in the outer surface of the earth i.e. the “Crust”. Which is 3 to 5 miles thick under the oceans and 15 to 35 miles thick on the continents. Below the crust of the earth are the hot molten rocks called the magma that forms the “mantle” and is about 1,800 miles thick. Below this layer is the hot solid rock and this layer is called the “core” of the earth.
Earth’s core is the place where high concentrated geothermal energy is being produced. The temperature prevailing in that region is hotter than the sun’s surface. This heat is produced by the continuous decay of the radioactive materials and by the earth’s original formation.
The layer called the crust which we live in is broken into pieces called the plates. Volcanoes occur when the underlying magma makes its way to the crust through the edges of these plates. The other forms include fumaroles – holes where a volcanic gas gets released. Hot springs – the geothermal heated ground water emerges from the ground to the surface. Geysers
The resources are commonly found to be more active along the plate boundaries. They call this area as “Ring of fire” and this encircles the Pacific Ocean. This has a horse shoe shape, the volcanic eruptions and earthquakes are more concentrated.
Geothermal energy can be extracted from the ground by two main systems
Geothermal plants: this plants use the heat deep inside the earth to generate electricity.
Geothermal heat pumps: These pumps use the heat near the surface of the earth to heat water or to heat up the buildings.
COUNTRIES INSTALLED CAPACITY TOATAL ENERGY PRODUCED
The United States 3,086 MW 0.3%
The Philippines 1,904 MW 27%
Indonesia 1,197 MW 3.7%
Mexico 958 MW 3%
Italy 843 MW 10%
New Zealand 700 MW 10%
Iceland 575 MW 30%
Japan 536 MW 3%
El Salvador 204 MW 14%
Kenya 167MW MW 11.2%