How Is Geothermal Energy Created?


Quick Answer

Geothermal energy is created at the center of the Earth, around 4,000 miles below the surface, through hot spots in plate boundaries. These hot spots contain more energy than all the gas and oil resources in the world and can be found underground and on the Earth's surface in the form of hot springs, volcanoes and geysers.

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Full Answer

Geothermal energy is captured using an advanced type of well. The well is drilled about two miles into the surface of the Earth and captures the rising hot steam and water. This water and steam powers a turbine which runs a generator that produces electricity and sends it to power lines.

The United States has more geothermal output capacity than any other country in the world. It averages more than 3,000 megawatts in only eight states, with California being the highest producer of geothermal energy. The state has tapped into this resource and geothermal plants produce around 5 percent of the state's electricity. Geothermal energy is clean, inexpensive and easy to use and it can be used to heat or cool buildings.

Geothermal energy is a reliable and abundant source of energy. It is constantly being generated by the Earth, and it is the main energy source in Iceland at this time.

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