Geothermal power is clean energy that is generated by heat stored beneath the Earth’s surface. While the temperature of the surface of the earth changes with the seasons, the temperature about 6 ½ feet below the ground does not change and stays about 59 degrees Fahrenheit all year round. A geothermal residential heating/cooling and hot water heating system can save you up to 50% on your water-heating bill. This system can also cut your home energy consumption by 20 to 50% and reduce maintenance costs.
Newport, Rhode Island is starting to catch on to the potential of geothermal technologies! Bellevue Gardens condominium and retail complex is being designed as a “green project” and is putting major emphasis on using geothermal heating.
Did you know? Geothermal sources are used to heat 89% of the households in Iceland. The nation ranked 53rd in the list of countries by carbon dioxide emissions per capita in 2003, emitting 62% less than the United States per capita despite using more primary energy per capita! The move from oil-based heating to geothermal heating saved Iceland an estimated $8.2 billion from 1970 to 2000 and lowered the release of carbon dioxide emissions by 37%. Perhaps we can learn a few things from the country of Iceland before destroying our coastlines and giving these multibillion corporations billions of dollars of our hard earned money. If it is true individual energy independence we seek, geothermal power is yet another way we can make our own individual energy independence a reality.
Sveinbjorn Bjornsson, Geothermal Development and Research in Iceland (Editor. Helga Bardadottir. Reykjavik: Gudjon O, 2006)