Where is Geothermal Energy Found? Exploring the Abundant Resource
About Geothermal Energy
Geothermal energy is a viable resource for generating electricity and for providing heating and cooling solutions across the world. It is generated by the heat within the Earth’s core and can be accessed through natural hot springs, steam vents, and geysers, among other sources. This resource has gained immense popularity over the years as an alternative to non-renewable sources of energy like fossil fuels.
The Geographical Distribution of Geothermal Energy
Geothermal energy can be found in countries situated along the Pacific Ring of Fire, known for its active volcanoes and tectonic activity. According to the International Geothermal Association, there are currently 24 countries producing geothermal electricity in the world.
Q: Which countries have the most geothermal energy?
A: The United States, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Mexico are among the countries with the largest geothermal resources.
The United States is considered the world’s largest producer of geothermal energy, with almost 3,700 MW of installed capacity. In Indonesia, geothermal energy accounts for approximately 14 percent of the country’s energy mix, while the Philippines sources around 18 percent of its total power requirements from geothermal energy.
Other countries with significant geothermal resources include Italy, Kenya, New Zealand, Turkey, and Iceland. Even countries that are not situated along the Pacific Ring of Fire, such as Germany and France, have started tapping into their geothermal energy resources.
Geothermal Energy in the United States
Q: Where in the United States is geothermal energy found?
A: Geothermal energy is found in states like California, Nevada, Utah, and Oregon.
In the United States, the largest geothermal power plants can be found in California, which alone produces around 73 percent of the country’s geothermal electricity. The Geysers Geothermal Complex in California, for instance, spans an area of almost 117 square kilometers and is the largest geothermal plant in the world.
Other states with significant geothermal power capacity include Nevada, which is home to the Desert Peak Geothermal Power Plant, and Utah, which has the first commercial geothermal power plant in the country.
Geothermal Energy in Europe
Europe too, has been focusing on geothermal energy as a renewable energy source. Italy is considered one of the pioneers in geothermal energy, with an installed capacity of over 800 MW. Other European countries that have significant geo-thermal energy potential include Iceland, Germany, France, Turkey, and the UK.
Q: Where is geothermal energy found in Europe?
A: Geothermal energy can be found in countries like Italy, France, and Iceland in large concentrations across the continent.
Iceland is unique in that almost all of its electricity is generated from renewable sources. The country has harnessed geothermal energy for almost a century and has become a global leader in renewable energy initiatives. Finland and Germany use geothermal energy to heat individual buildings, while Switzerland and France have used geothermal energy for district expansion heating systems.
Geothermal Energy in Africa and Asia
Africa and Asia are home to some of the largest and most promising geothermal energy sites in the world. Kenya is one of the leading producers of geothermal energy in Africa and has a capacity of about 700 MW. Tanzania and Ethiopia are also exploring their geothermal resources to generate electricity.
Q: Where in Asia is geothermal energy found?
A: Geothermal energy can be found in countries like Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan, and China.
Indonesia has the world’s second-largest installed capacity of geothermal power with over 2,000 MW of electricity generated. The country’s archipelagic location, along with its geothermal resources, presents vast potential that can be further explored. In the Philippines, close to 20 percent of the country’s energy demand is met through geothermal power generated from the country’s natural hot springs.
The Future of geothermal Energy
As the world shifts towards renewable energy in its quest to reduce carbon emissions, geothermal energy presents an exciting opportunity. With countries increasingly investing in this technology and exploring new ways to harness it, the future of geothermal energy looks bright. As the IGA states, “Geothermal power is the only renewable that can provide a stable base load 24/7 power solution.” Rather than being a temporary solution, geothermal energy presents a sustainable and renewable option for meeting the world’s energy demand.
Geothermal energy can be found in most parts of the world, with countries situated along the Pacific Ring of Fire having the highest potential. However, even countries not located in this geographical region are exploring the possibilities of harnessing this abundant resource. The future of geothermal energy looks promising, and it presents a sustainable and renewable option for meeting the world’s energy demand.
1. International Geothermal Association. (n.d.). Geothermal in the World. Retrieved from https://www.geothermal-energy.org/what_is_geothermal_energy.html
2. U.S. Energy Information Administration. (2021, June 1). Geothermal Explained. Retrieved from https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/geothermal/
3. European Geothermal Energy Council. (n.d.). Geothermal Energy in Europe. Retrieved from https://egec.org/geothermal-energy-in-europe/
4. Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century. (2020). Renewables 2020 Global Status Report. Retrieved from https://www.ren21.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/200617_GSR_2020_FULL_304.pdf