Geothermal energy captures the heat from two to three kilometers under the earth’s surface where water meets heated rock and turns it into steam. Steam is led from boreholes to turbines inside the powerhouses of geothermal energy plants, transforming thermal energy into electricity.
Buying Energy Attribute Certificates (EACs) from geothermal energy guarantees that the renewable energy consumed is from this source.
Geothermal energy production is unique because:
- It is a non-polluting and environmentally friendly renewable energy source
- Has no waste and does not generate by-products
- Has low land-use footprint
- Does not represent a hazard for the natural surroundings
- Has a low maintenance cost
- Is not dependent on weather conditions.
Geothermal energy can also be used for heating and cooling, cooking, hot spring baths, agriculture, aquaculture and industrial processes.
Geothermal energy is only found in a few locations and the installation cost is high.
Around 640 MW of new geothermal power capacity came on line in 2014, with smaller increases the following years. The total global is now approaching 14 GW. The largest share of geothermal power capacity is in Indonesia, followed closely by Turkey. In Europe, Italy and Iceland produce the most geothermal electricity,
Over the past five years, total geothermal power capacity has grown at an average annual rate of approximately 4%, and heat capacity at approximately 6.0%.