Places Around the World
that Use Geothermal Energy
Icelands capital city
of Reykjavik (rayk-yah-vick) gets 90 % of its heat for homes and public
buildings by directing hot water from the earth into a system of pipes
under the streets. Natural hot water is also used in swimming pools, washing
machines, and showers. Large greenhouses heated by the earths hot
water make it possible for Icelanders to grow fruits and vegetables that
would otherwise never survive in the bare, cold countryside. Part way
across the world, Klamath Falls, Oregon, uses geothermal district heating
systems heating that runs through areas of town called districts.
Neither city has much need for air conditioning.
The City of San Bernardino,
California, uses geothermal energy directly in a district-heating program.
The city of San Bernardino is located near several earthquake fault zones,
including the San Jacinto, Loma Linda, and San Andreas faults. The consequences
of being close to these faults is that, since the turn of the century,
residents of San Bernardino have enjoyed natural heat in the form of steam
baths and hot springs. Many wells in the valley are between 120º
and 140º F. The heating district lies in the southwest portion of
the city and currently serves more than 35 public and private buildings.
Similarly, geothermal water warms greenhouses in Idaho, nurtures fish
in Utah, and provides hot baths at resorts in Virginia.
The Geysers, in California,
is the worlds largest producer of renewable geothermal power. The
dry steam field has successfully produced power since the early 1960s,
when Pacific Gas & Electric installed the first 11
plant. Today, nearly 2,000 MW are on line enough energy to supply
the needs of San Francisco and Oakland.