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Geothermal Energy

Question: What is geothermal energy?

Answer: In Greek, Geo means earth and Thermal means heat. Geothermal energy is produced from the heat that is generated beneath the earth's surface. The deeper you go, the hotter it gets.

The earth is divided into three major areas. The top is called the surface, the middle is the mantle, and the inner portion is called the core. The outer most part of the mantle is molten rock, called lava.

In certain areas, water seeps through the crust and comes in contact with the hot molten rock of the upper mantle, becomes super heated and turns to steam and boiling water.

Then the heated water makes it way back through the earth's crust and if it reaches the surface, it is called a hot spring. If it bursts through the surface and into the air, it is called a geyser.

The hot water that is trapped beneath the surface can be used when it is harnessed by drilling and then piped to a plant where the steam is separated and used to turn turbines to generate electricity.

Geothermal energy can also be used to heat homes and businesses if they are located near the source.

This energy is clean and can be recycled by pumping the water back into the earth where it is reheated and can be used again.

This means that geothermal energy is environmental friendly, unlike fossil fuels that pollute the air, water, and the soil.

Harnessing geothermal power is just one of the ways in which some countries are combating increasing oil and gas prices.

Nearly fifty percent of Iceland's electricity is generated by geothermal sources and other countries like the United States, the Philippines, Japan, Kenya, and Canada are actively increasing energy capacity by building more geothermal plants.


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