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 Geothermal 

GEOTHERMAL TECHNOLOGY

It has been used for space heating and bathing since ancient roman times, but is now better known for generating electricity. About 10 GW of geothermal electric capacity was installed around the world as of 2007, generating 0.3% of global electricity demand. An additional 28 GW of direct  geothermal heating capacity is installed for district heating, space heating, spas, industrial processes, desalination and agricultural applications.

 

Geothermal power is cost effective, reliable, and environmentally friendly, but has previously been geographically limited to areas near tectonic plate boundaries. Recent technological advances have dramatically expanded the range and size of viable resources, especially for direct applications such as home heating. Geothermal wells tend to release greenhouse gases trapped deep within the earth, but these emissions are much lower than those of conventional fossil fuels. As a result, geothermal power has the potential to help mitigate global warming if widely deployed in lieu of fossil fuels.

 

Prince Piero Ginori Conti tested the first geothermal generator on 4 July 1904, at the Lardarello dry steam field in Italy. The largest group of geothermal power plants in the world is located at the geysers, a geothermal field in California. As of 2004, five countries (El Salvador, Kenya, the Philippines, Iceland, and Costa Rica, shown in the picture) generate more than 15% of their electricity from geothermal sources.

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