Geothermal Energy

Geothermal energy is energy that is made from inside the core of the Earth.  Since the core of the Earth is extremely hot, the heat can be used to make power.

How Does Geothermal Energy Work?

When the core of the Earth gets really hot, it can cause a geyser and volcano to erupt.  This type of geothermal energy can then be used as heat and energy.


What Does Geothermal Mean?

The word geo means Earth and thermal means heat, so together geothermal means heat from the earth.

What Type of Energy is Geothermal Energy?

Geothermal energy is a renewable energy source because the Earth is always being heated up.  This type of energy can never be used up.  Geothermal energy is sustainable because very little heat from the Earth is used to make this kind of energy compared to all of the heat that is found on the Earth.

Why is Geothermal Energy Good?

Geothermal energy is good because it is renewable and because it is very clean.  Clean energy means that it does not produce a lot of pollution and it is safer for the environment.

How Does Geothermal Energy Work?

There are three ways that we can get geothermal energy, and these include by generating electricity, geothermal heat pumps and direct use.

Generating Electricity

Geothermal energy can be used in different power plants to help to make electricity.  With the hot water that is deep in the Earth, the power plant can use this to make steam.  The steam then uses a pressure that will go to the generator and this causes electricity.

Generating Electricity

Geothermal Heat Pumps

Geothermal heat pumps are found below the surface of the Earth.  In this area of the Earth, it is more than 50 degrees Fahrenheit all year around.

The geothermal heat pumps use this heat by running water through this area and it causes it to be heated all year long.  So in the winter time, the water will still be heated because this area is always warm.  This type of heat can be used as warm or as cool and can heat or cool homes.

Direct Use

Another way that geothermal heat can be used is by taking the heat directly from the Earth.  This can be taken from geysers or from hot springs.  The water can be then ran throughout homes and buildings and they can stay heated all year.

What is the Problem with Geothermal Energy?

The problem with geothermal energy is that it can cost a lot of money to build ways to use this heat.  Power plants can be expensive to build and to use.

Another problem is that power plants can cause there to be gasses that are released when they enter into the surface of the Earth.

Puhagan geothermal plant

Facts About Geothermal Energy:

  • California has the biggest geothermal energy plant.
  • The United States uses geothermal energy more than any other country.
  • Plate boundaries are the best place to find geothermal resources.
  • People used to use hot springs in order to heat baths and floors.
  • The first geothermal energy was discovered in 1904.
  • The first geothermal generator was built in 1904.
  • Power pipes can be used to move steam throughout buildings.

What Did You Learn?

  • What is geothermal energy?  Geothermal energy is energy sources that are found from the heat from the core of the Earth.
  • How do we use geothermal energy?  We get geothermal energy by running pipes from hot springs, and by using heat pumps that can run steam and hot water through buildings and homes.
  • What is a problem with geothermal energy?  Geothermal energy can cause environmental problems such as methane emissions to be released when they drill in the surface of the Earth.
  • What are the three ways that we can get geothermal energy?  We can get geothermal energy from direct use, generating electricity and geothermal heat pumps.
  • Where is one of the best places to find geothermal resources?  You can find the best geothermal resources at the plate boundaries.