Despite efforts by the new administration to increase support for fossil fuels, there is increasing momentum towards a clean-energy future. State and local efforts are driving the country to a 21st-century energy infrastructure, with or without the federal government.
Geothermal energy uses the heat trapped beneath the Earth’s surface to generate electricity. Typically, geothermal energy plants tap into the steam from natural sources such as geysers, or they draw water from hot, high-pressure underground sources. The hot vapors are then used to drive electric turbines.
Geothermal heat pumps use the heat stored in the earth’s surface to heat homes and buildings. Even in the dead of winter, the temperature not very far below ground remains at a temperature typically in the 50s. Geothermal systems tap into this immense thermal resource. Conversely, this same temperature sink can be used to provide cooling during the summer. It takes electricity to run the heat pumps, but is vastly more efficient than using electricity directly to produce heat or to cool air.