Geo-Thermal Energy 101 - Parker & Sons Skip to content

Geo-Thermal Energy 101

As time rolls on, technological advances continue to provide innovative solutions for the human necessity of energy consumption. Recently, geothermal energy has gained widespread use in the heating and cooling industry. This is because geothermal technology is three times more efficient than the highest efficiency AC. Indeed, geothermal energy is sure to save thousands by reducing your monthly energy bill, and a tax reduction incentive offered by the IRS.

The term Geothermal comes from the Greek, γη (Ge) meaning earth, and θερμος (thermos) meaning heat. The term literally means the earth’s heat. Thermal energy is generated and stored in earth, 20% of its energy capacity originating from the formation of the planet, and 80% resulting from radioactive decay. It will not surprise some that geothermal energy is actually a very old technology, revamped. The Romans utilized geo thermal energy to heat their bathhouses, while the Persians did the same in their own private homes. Geothermal energy was traditionally reserved for areas near tectonic plate boundaries, but recent advances in technology have made it possible to reroute this heat to various locations.

A Geothermal power source is very expensive to establish, but requires no fuel to maintain. For instance a recently built power plant in Nevada can support 4.5 megawatts and cost around $10 million dollars to construct. According the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA), the production of geothermal energy has increase 5% since the most recent survey in 2012. The spike in geothermal energy is accredited to the successful completion of seven geothermal projects that began in 2012.  It is estimated that the total U.S. geothermal capacity is 3,386 Mega Watts (MW). However there is no limit to the output of geothermal energy, because it is estimated that the earth contains approximately 100 billion times the current annual energy consumption lodged beneath its crust.

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