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Geothermal energy, powered by Earth

Geothermal energy is an ancient technique relying on the Earth’s internal heat to generate energy. Accounting for less than 1% of the global energy mix, this renewable energy is less known than solar and wind energy but holds an interesting potential in some geographies. Let’s discover more with Beatrice Cordiano, environment, energy and sustainability expert at Energy Observer.

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3 Promote the 17 SDGs

An outsider with incredible potential

The environmental impact of fossil fuels has raised awareness on the need of sustainable energy solutions that don't emit greenhouse gases while meeting society’s energy needs. Among the most promising renewable resources is geothermal energy, which has many advantages: abundance, resource availability and low emissions.

According to a recent study conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the potential geothermal energy available on our planet is estimated to be around 12.6 x 1024 MJ. Just think that in 2018 the world energy consumption totalled approximately 4 x 1014 MJ, this means that geothermal alone could theoretically cover the world’s energy needs for billion years!

Of course, not all that glitters is gold, and of this extensive amount -if emerging technologies such Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) keep developing granting access to previously inaccessible resources – only a small fraction could be potentially used: 2 x 1018 MJ, thus covering our needs for roughly 5,000 years.

Let's try to better understand what this type of energy source is and how it works.

Fumée qui s'échappe de la terre

The full article can be found on Energy Observer website.