Institute of Geosciences and Earth Resources - Pisa, Italy
Published online: 27 August 2015
Geothermal technologies use renewable energy resources to generate electricity and direct use of heat while producing very low levels of greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions. Geothermal energy is stored in rocks and in fluids circulating in the underground. Electricity generation usually requires geothermal resources temperatures of over 100°C. For heating, geothermal resources spanning a wider range of temperatures can be used in applications such as space and district heating (and cooling, with proper technology), spa and swimming pool heating, greenhouse and soil heating, aquaculture pond heating, industrial process heating and snow melting. Geothermal technology, which has focused so far on extracting naturally heated steam or hot water from natural hydrothermal reservoirs, is developing to more advanced techniques to exploit the heat also where underground fluids are scarce and to use the Earth as a potential energy battery, by storing heat. The success of the research will enable energy recovery and utilization from a much larger fraction of the accessible thermal energy in the Earth’s crust.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2015
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.