Thermal energy is used primarily for heating and cooling buildings and for certain industrial processes. Wood and pellet stoves are commonly used to heat homes. Certain factories can use thermal energy to create steam to run their production sites. This is known as biomass thermal energy.
Solar thermal energy uses sunlight to generate electricity as well as produce heat that can be used to heat water or for home heating. Geothermal energy is energy that is produced by the earth. Like biomass and solar energy, geothermal energy can be used for producing electricity or heating buildings through district heating systems and ground-source heat pumps.