Geothermal Energy - The Basics

09.30.2021 - By PlanetGeo: The Geology Podcast

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Today we get to talk about something really relevant to our everyday lives, and the future - Geothermal Energy!

Geothermal Energy is a term that means a few different things, but it all relies on the Earth being somewhat hot.  So, before we dive into the question of what Geothermal Energy is, we need to figure out why the Earth is hot! 

The Earth produces a ton of heat, which is really important to understand how our planet operates over long times (remember plate tectonics??).  The heat comes from several sources, and some of it is left over from when the Earth formed - so some of the geothermal energy is tapping into 4.5 billion-year-old heat!

Geothermal energy takes two major forms: 1) passive geothermal heat pumps, often used in residential houses like Jesse's and 2) more active geothermal power plants that use lots of heat from the Earth!

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