renewable energy: geothermal (and heat pumps)

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Here is a simplified illustrion of a geothermal heat pump

Geothermal energy is most commonly found in large scale developments. In a city like Reykjavik, where this energy source is dominant, geothermal energy is generated from volcanoes, geysers and hot springs. Typically, naturally occurring steam from the earth runs generators in a geothermal power plant.

Geothermal energy can also be produced through the use of man-made technology. Enhanced geothermal systems (EGS), also known as engineered geothermal systems (formerly hot dry rock geothermal), refers to a variety of engineering techniques used to artificially create hydrothermal resources (underground steam and hot water) that can be used to generate electricity. Enhanced geothermal energy is also commonly found in large scale developments. Geothermal has a micro application along with its macro counterpart. This micro form is primarily in the form of geothermal heat pumps.

Geothermal heat pump systems significantly reduce fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions, by reducing electricity demands and consumption. They regulate home temperature by the use of ground-source heating and cooling. Geothermal heat pumps are very environmentally friendly, generating no emissions or pollution. Geothermal heat pumps are cost-effective, lowering electricity costs by as much as 50%. Strengthening their cost-efficiency, these systems can produce results which are double that of even the best fossil fuel technology.

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