Geothermal energy is the energy derived from heat within the earth. It can be used in the form of hot water or steam that is produced in the depths of the earth. It is a renewable source of energy because water is replenished on the earth by rainfall and heat is being continuously generated inside the earth. This heat energy of the earth’s core can be used for heating buildings or for generating electricity. The use of geothermal energy can be made possible by digging deep wells and pumping the underground water or steam from the geothermal reservoirs.
Geothermal energy is now being used worldwide. Iceland is the best example of utilization of geothermal energy and is the world leader in the use of geothermal energy. Iceland uses this source of energy to generate electricity and has almost doubled the supply and generation of electricity by using geothermal energy. Germany is also emerging as a main user of geothermal energy. In Italy, geothermal reservoirs are being tapped for obtaining geothermal energy. Indonesia and New Zealand have a long history in the use of geothermal energy. In the European Union, the potential of geothermal energy is being explored by using new and innovative technologies. Other countries trying to use geothermal energy as an important source of generating power are Japan, the United States, Australia and Poland.
The demand for geothermal energy is increasing worldwide. New methods need to be developed to further explore this source and to utilize it reliably in a cost effective manner.