Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra India (PressExposure) September 25, 2007 -- Bharat Book Bureau, a leading market information aggregator has put forth a report âGeothermal Energy Market Potential â([http://www.bharatbook.com/detail.asp?id=28611])
Geothermal power is the use of geothermal heat to generate electricity. Geothermal comes from the Greek words geo, meaning earth, and therme, meaning heat.
The utilization of geothermal energy for the production of electricity dates back to the early part of the twentieth century. For 50 years the generation of electricity from geothermal energy was confined to Italy and interest in this technology was slow to spread elsewhere. In 1943 the use of geothermal hot water was pioneered in Iceland. Estimates of exploitable worldwide geothermal energy resources vary considerably.
The largest dry steam field in the world is The Geysers, about 90 miles (145 km) north of San Francisco. The Geysers began in 1960 which has 1360 MW of installed capacity and produces about 1000 MW net. Calpine Corporation now owns 19 of the 21 plants in The Geysers and is currently the United States' largest producer of renewable geothermal energy. The other two plants are owned jointly by the Northern California Power Agency and Santa Clara Electric. Since the activities of one geothermal plant affects those nearby, the consolidation plant ownership at The Geysers has been beneficial because the plants operate cooperatively instead of in their own short-term interest. The Geysers is now recharged by injecting treated sewage effluent from the City of Santa Rosa and the Lake County sewage treatment plant. This sewage effluent used to be dumped into rivers and streams and is now piped to the geothermal field where it replenishes the steam produced for power generation.
Another major geothermal area is located in south central California, on the southeast side of the Salton Sea, near the cities of Niland and Calipatria, California. As of 2001, there were 15 geothermal plants producing electricity in the area. CalEnergy owns about half of them and the rest are owned by various companies. Combined the plants have a capacity of about 570 megawatts.
Geothermal energy can be used as an efficient heat source in small end-use applications such as greenhouses, but the consumers have to be located close to the source of heat. Geothermal energy has a major environmental benefit because it offsets air pollution that would have been produced if fossil fuels were the energy source. Geothermal energy has a very minor impact on the soil - the few acres used look like a small light-industry building complex. Since the slightly cooler water is reinjected into the ground, there is only a minor impact, except if there is a natural geyser field close by.
This report explores the factors associated with utilizing the actual potential of geothermal energy. The report covers all the technological details, along with issues and challenges faced during the utilization of geothermal energy. Major projects, power plants, players in the industry, the major role of the United States in the global geothermal industry, the active role of the U.S. Department of Energy, and the various environmental benefits of using geothermal energy are all explored in-depth in this report
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