ManagEnergy – Renewable Energy

How Much The World Uses Geothermal Energy




An image showcasing Earth's cross-section, revealing the vibrant, interconnected network of geothermal power plants beneath the surface

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As I delve into the depths of global energy consumption, one source stands out like a hidden gem: geothermal energy. It’s like a reliable underground powerhouse, silently powering nations across the globe.

In this article, I will uncover the extent to which the world relies on this clean and renewable energy source. By analyzing data and trends, we will explore the leading countries, emerging markets, and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for geothermal energy worldwide.

Key Takeaways

  • Geothermal energy production and consumption have increased worldwide.
  • Iceland is a leader in geothermal energy usage, with 25% of its energy consumption coming from geothermal sources.
  • The United States has expanded its geothermal energy capacity through favorable policies and increased investments.
  • Kenya has one of the largest geothermal potentials in the world and serves as a model for other countries in East Africa.

Global Geothermal Energy Production and Consumption

I’m surprised by the global geothermal energy production and consumption levels.

When considering the vast geothermal energy potential in Asia and the progressive geothermal energy policies in Europe, it’s clear that the world is beginning to recognize the importance of this renewable energy source.

In Asia, countries like Indonesia, the Philippines, and Japan have significant geothermal energy potential, with active geothermal power plants already in operation.

In Europe, countries like Iceland and Italy have embraced geothermal energy, implementing supportive policies and investing in research and development. These efforts have resulted in a substantial increase in geothermal energy production and consumption worldwide.

Transitioning to the next section, Iceland’s leading role in geothermal energy usage showcases the immense potential for further growth and innovation in this field.

Iceland’s Leading Role in Geothermal Energy Usage

Iceland has been leading the way in utilizing geothermal power. The country’s unique geological features, including its active volcanoes and abundant hot springs, make it an ideal location for harnessing geothermal energy.

Here are four key reasons why Iceland is considered a pioneer in geothermal energy:

  1. Abundant Resources: Iceland has an abundant supply of geothermal resources, with an estimated 25% of the country’s total energy consumption coming from geothermal sources.

  2. Renewable and Sustainable: Geothermal energy is a renewable and sustainable resource, as it relies on the heat from the Earth’s core. Iceland’s commitment to sustainability has made it a leader in developing and implementing geothermal projects.

  3. Diverse Applications: Icelandic geothermal projects have been used for various applications, such as electricity generation, heating systems, and even greenhouse farming, showcasing the versatility of geothermal energy.

  4. Economic Benefits: Geothermal energy hasn’t only helped Iceland reduce its dependence on imported fossil fuels but has also provided economic benefits through job creation and export opportunities.

With its extensive experience and success in utilizing geothermal energy, Iceland continues to be at the forefront of geothermal energy development and innovation.

Geothermal Energy Expansion in the United States

As an innovative and sustainable energy solution, geothermal power is gaining traction in the United States due to its potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The United States has been making significant strides in expanding its geothermal energy capacity through the implementation of favorable geothermal energy policies and increased geothermal energy investments. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, geothermal energy accounted for approximately 3% of the total renewable energy generation in the country in 2020.

This growth can be attributed to the federal government’s support for geothermal energy projects, such as tax incentives and grants, as well as the development of advanced drilling technologies.

As a result, the United States has been able to tap into its vast geothermal resources and further diversify its energy mix, contributing to a more sustainable and cleaner future.

Emerging Geothermal Energy Markets: Kenya and Beyond

Kenya, along with other countries, is witnessing a promising growth in the adoption of geothermal power as a sustainable and renewable energy source. This is particularly significant considering Kenya’s geothermal potential and the increasing demand for clean energy in East Africa.

Here are four key factors driving the emergence of geothermal energy in Kenya and beyond:

  1. Abundant Resource: Kenya has one of the largest geothermal potentials in the world, with an estimated capacity of over 10,000 megawatts.

  2. Government Support: The Kenyan government has been actively promoting geothermal energy development through policies, incentives, and partnerships with international organizations.

  3. Diversification of Energy Mix: Geothermal power offers a reliable and consistent energy source, helping to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and increase energy security.

  4. Economic Benefits: The growth of the geothermal sector in Kenya has led to job creation, infrastructure development, and increased investment in local communities.

As Kenya continues to tap into its geothermal potential, it serves as a model for other countries in East Africa and beyond, highlighting the viability and benefits of geothermal energy as a sustainable solution to meet growing energy needs.

Challenges and Opportunities for Geothermal Energy Worldwide

One of the challenges faced in harnessing geothermal power is the need for advanced drilling techniques to access deeper and hotter reservoirs. However, the potential of geothermal energy is immense and can have significant policy implications for countries worldwide. To understand the scale of this potential, let’s take a look at the table below:

Country Installed Capacity (MW) Electricity Generation (GWh) CO2 Emissions Avoided (kt)
United States 3,639 17,500 16,000
Indonesia 2,051 7,200 9,000
Philippines 1,931 9,600 8,500
Turkey 1,273 6,700 5,500
New Zealand 1,003 7,800 4,000

These numbers highlight the substantial contribution of geothermal energy to electricity generation and the potential for further growth. With the right policies and investments in advanced drilling techniques, countries can tap into this clean and renewable energy source, reducing carbon emissions and fostering sustainable development.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Main Advantages of Geothermal Energy Compared to Other Renewable Energy Sources?

The main advantages of geothermal energy compared to other renewable energy sources include its constant availability, high reliability, and minimal environmental impact. Geothermal energy utilization offers a sustainable and efficient solution for meeting our energy needs.

How Does Geothermal Energy Contribute to Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions?

Geothermal energy contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by providing a clean and renewable source of power. Its potential for economic growth is evident in countries like Iceland, where geothermal energy supplies 90% of their heating needs, reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

What Are the Potential Risks and Environmental Impacts Associated With Geothermal Energy Production?

Potential risks and environmental impacts associated with geothermal energy production include induced seismic activity, release of harmful gases and chemicals, and water depletion. Proper monitoring, regulation, and mitigation strategies are crucial to minimize these impacts.

What Are the Major Barriers Hindering the Widespread Adoption of Geothermal Energy Globally?

The major barriers hindering the widespread adoption of geothermal energy globally include high upfront costs, technology limitations, and regulatory challenges. These factors impede the integration of geothermal energy into the global energy mix.

Are There Any Potential Health Concerns or Safety Risks Related to Geothermal Energy Utilization?

Potential health concerns and safety risks related to geothermal energy utilization should be carefully assessed. Proper monitoring and maintenance of geothermal systems can help mitigate any potential risks, ensuring the safety of both the environment and individuals.


In conclusion, the global use of geothermal energy is steadily growing, with Iceland leading the way in its usage. The United States is also expanding its geothermal energy production. Interestingly, Kenya and other emerging markets are embracing geothermal energy as well.

Despite challenges, such as high upfront costs and limited resource availability, the potential for geothermal energy worldwide is immense. As an example, consider this: the heat contained within the Earth’s uppermost six miles is estimated to be 50,000 times the energy of all oil and gas resources combined.

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