E – 1797 Geothermal Energy
Geothermal energy is energy in the form of heat radiating from the Earth’s mantle. It is a sustainable, renewable, and practically inexhaustible energy source for the United States, potentially being used for electricity generation, heating, and cooling, while emitting only small amounts of greenhouse gases. Geothermal resources can be found nationwide, are “always on,” and represent a potentially vast domestic energy supply. Only a fraction of these resources have been used thus far, because of technical and non-technical barriers that constrain industry growth. In this course various types of geothermal energy systems are described, and the problems that must be solved before these systems can be widely implemented are outlined.
The course is based on Chapter 2 of the U.S. Department of Energy report, GeoVision: Harnessing the Heat Beneath our Feet, DOE/EE-1306, Washington, D.C., 2019.