Geothermal Energy Summary

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Summary Geothermal energy has been used for many thousands of years by people who enjoyed natural hot water springs for bathing and therapeutic reasons. Today, geothermal resources are not only used for direct applications, but also to generate electricity. Currently, most geothermal resources are limited to steam and hot water reservoirs. Innovative technologies are being developed that enable us to exploit the temperature gradients in hot dry rocks, allowing geothermal energy to be used for electricity generation anywhere in the world. This requires the ability to drill approximately 5 to 20 kilometers into the earth’s surface and at reasonable cost, a technology that is not currently available. The exploitation of energy from volcanic eruptions and magma flow remains in the distant future.