WhyGreen Renewable101 geo banner Geothermal Energy 101

How It Works

Geothermal energy is created using heat from the Earth’s core.

  1. The Earth’s hot core creates magma and heats the Earth’s crust, which is made up of rocks and water
  2. A well drilled two miles deep into the Earth’s surface captures the rising hot water and steam
  3. The hot steam rises to the surface and pushes a turbine, which rotates a generator
  4. The generator produces electricity and sends it to power lines, which bring electricity to homes and businesses

WhyGreen Renewable101 geothermal2 Geothermal Energy 101

Fun Facts

  • The word geothermal comes from the Greek words geo (earth) and therme (heat)
  • The Earth’s core is hotter than the sun’s surface!
  • Geothermal energy is a found in underground reservoirs, but also rises to the Earth’s surface in the form of volcanoes, hot springs and geysers
  • Geothermal energy is a reliable source of renewable energy because it is generated continuously throughout the day and night
  • Because the Earth’s soil stays at a constant 50°or 60°F, geothermal heat pumps can be used to heat or cool buildings
  • The United States is the leader in geothermal power generation, with geothermal power plants in seven states
  • Geothermal energy is the main energy source in Iceland
  • Geothermal produces about 0.4% of the energy used in the United States