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Geothermal energy: All you need to know

Geothermal energy

The Earth is a beautiful and powerful planet, but it is also a planet in urgent need of saving. Fuel and pollution are slowly draining its power, but we can save it by using renewable energy. Part of the solution is geothermal energy, or geothermal heat. It is a source of energy that literally comes from the earth. We are happy to tell you more about it.

What is geothermal energy?

People have been enjoying geothermal energy for thousands of years. If you have been on holiday to Iceland, Switzerland or Hungary, you may have enjoyed it too. How? Through hot springs, of course. These thermal baths use geothermal energy to heat the water. But what is that exactly? The word 'geothermal' comes from ancient Greece. Geo' means earth and 'thermos' means heat. So it is literally geothermal energy.

How does geothermal energy work?

Carbon-free, sustainable and renewable. Geothermal energy ticks all the boxes to be a clean, cost-effective alternative to fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas. But how does it work? As we told you earlier, this energy source uses the heat generated by the earth itself. According to scientists, 99.9% of our planet is warmer than 100 degrees Celsius. So it is a huge source of energy.
During chemistry classes at school, we learn that heat equals energy. Why? Because it creates a movement of atoms and molecules. Geothermal energy uses currents and hot springs within the Earth's crust for energy. Special geothermal heat pumps convert this heat into energy to heat and cool our homes.

What is a geothermal heat pump?

Geothermal heat pumps are becoming increasingly popular. These heat pumps absorb the heat in the ground and use this heat to heat your home. They can also be used the other way around to cool your home.

Different types of heat pumps

There are generally two types of geothermal heat pumps:

  • On the basis of a horizontal capture network
  • On the basis of a vertical capture network

The first type of heat pump uses heat from the ground in your garden. In your garden a network of tubes is dug up, through which a fluid flows. This fluid extracts the heat from the ground. A heat pump based on a vertical capture network works basically the same way. Instead of using the ground in your garden, wells are drilled with this type of heat pump. This last type is mainly used when there is not enough ground surface available around your house.

Other types of renewable energy

Our planet is so polluted by the use of fossil fuels that climate change is a serious threat to our society. The good news is that there are plenty of alternatives to these fuels, such as geothermal energy.
Want to learn more about renewable energy sources? Then check out our other guides. Learn more about different energy sources and how you can enrich them with our green energy products.