Geothermal energy plants, which use heat from deep inside the Earth to produce steam to make electrical energy.
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The United States generates the most amount of geothermal power of any other nation. Just about every year, the U.S. generates about 15 billion kilowatt-hours, or the equivalent of burning about 25 million barrels of oil. Industrial geothermal technologies have been concentrated in the western U.S. In 2012, Nevada had 59 geothermal projects either operational or in improvement, followed by California with 31 projects, and Oregon with 16 projects.
Geothermal charges are largely up front: drilling is expensive, and not each well will function. In nations with an established industry, traditional geothermal plants are price competitive currently. DECC’s own figures show that on a levelised cost basis, geothermal electrical energy from the reduced temperature sources we have in the UK would be the same cost as onshore wind electricity, and less costly than solar or biomass. If the heat can be applied, it is cheaper nonetheless, and the technologies is nevertheless at a phase where substantial improvements are expected.
Yet another method is to use the (fairly tiny) temperature difference between the surface and a ground supply. The earth is commonly much more resistant to seasonal temperature adjustments than air. Consequently, the ground only a couple of meters under the surface can act as a heat sink/supply with a geothermal heat pump (considerably in the same way an electrical heat pump functions).