There is more than one type of geothermal energy, but only one
kind is widely used to make electricity. It is called hydrothermal
energy. Hydrothermal resources have two common ingredients:
water (hydro) and heat (thermal). Depending on the temperature of
the hydrothermal resource, the heat energy can either be used for
making electricity or for heating.
Low Temperature Resources: Heating
Hydrothermal resources at low temperatures (50 to 300 degrees
Fahrenheit) are located everywhere in the United States, just a few
feet below the ground. This low temperature geothermal energy is
used for heating homes and buildings, growing crops, and drying
lumber, fruits, and vegetables.
In the U.S., geothermal heat pumps are used to heat and cool homes
and public buildings. In fact, approximately 750,000 geothermal
exchange systems are installed in the U.S. Almost 90 percent of the
homes and businesses in Iceland use geothermal energy for space
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