GLRPPR Sector Resource: Geothermal Energy Factsheet
Geothermal Energy Factsheet
Geothermal energy is derived from the natural heat of the earth. It exists in both high enthalpy (volcanoes, geysers) and low enthalpy forms (heat stored in rocks in the Earth's crust). Nearly all heating and cooling applications utilize low enthalpy heat, called ground source heat. Geothermal energy has two primary applications: heating/cooling and electricity generation. Ground source heat pumps for heating and cooling use 30-60% less energy than traditional heating and cooling systems and could potentially reduce U.S. residential energy use by 3 Quadrillion Btu (~3 % of total U.S. energy use). The U.S. has tapped less than 0.6% of geothermal electricity resources; the majority can become available with Enhanced Geothermal System technology. There are presently 3,567 MW of geothermal power plants in operation in the United States--the most of any country--and 1,270 MW of projects are in development.
Center for Sustainable Systems - University of Michigan
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