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0% of global electricity is generated from Geothermal

0.35 % Share of global electricity
38 gCO2eq/kWh Carbon Intensity

Geothermal energy is a significant form of clean, sustainable energy derived from the immense heat stored beneath the Earth's surface. Available all year round, it is one of the few renewable energy sources that can provide a constant and stable power supply. This thermal energy is primarily produced by the decay of naturally radioactive materials present in the Earth's core such as uranium, potassium and thorium, generating temperatures that can exceed 5000 degrees Celsius.

Electricity generation using geothermal energy involves using this heat to produce steam, which then powers a turbine connected to a generator. The process begins with drilling into the Earth's crust to tap into geothermal reservoirs, in order to access hot water and steam. The steam is separated out from the water and used to power a turbine, which generates electricity. The remaining water returns to the reservoir, where it is reheated and reused, making this a continually renewable process.

One remarkable advantage of geothermal energy lies in its very low carbon intensity. With an average emission of just 38 gCO2eq/kWh, geothermal energy emits far fewer greenhouse gases compared to fossil fuel sources such as coal and gas, which emit 820 and 490 gCO2eq/kWh respectively. This makes geothermal energy a low-carbon source, aligning it with other clean and sustainable energy sources like nuclear, wind and solar.

Although geothermal energy is currently generating just 0.35% of all electricity consumed globally, in certain regions where favorable geothermal conditions exist, its contribution is much higher. The use of geothermal for electricity production is prominent in several countries, serving as a testament to its potential. In Iceland, for example, geothermal energy generates 29% of their electricity, thanks to their abundant geothermal resources.

Other countries also benefit from the geothermal advantage. In New Zealand, geothermal contributes to 18% of the electricity generation, a significant portion of their energy mix. Similarly, in Central America, Costa Rica and El Salvador utilize geothermal energy for 13% and 19% of their electricity generation respectively. Even in a country like Turkey, with its diverse energy profile, geothermal accounts for 3% of the electricity generation.

In conclusion, geothermal energy shines as a low-carbon, sustainable solution for electricity generation. Its environmental benefits, coupled with its considerable use in countries like Iceland, New Zealand, and those in Central America, showcase its potential alongside other critical power sources like nuclear, wind and solar energy. These clean energy sources, all having low carbon intensity and negligible greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil fuels, serve as crucial components in mitigating climate change and promoting green, sustainable energy development worldwide.

Country/Region Watts / person % TWh
Iceland 1744.0 W 28.7% 5.7 TWh
New Zealand 176.9 W 18.0% 8.0 TWh
Costa Rica 36.3 W 13.0% 1.6 TWh
El Salvador 28.9 W 19.3% 1.6 TWh
Turkey 14.7 W 3.3% 10.9 TWh
Nicaragua 13.0 W 13.0% 0.8 TWh
Kenya 12.0 W 44.9% 5.6 TWh
Philippines 11.7 W 10.4% 11.7 TWh
Italy 10.9 W 1.8% 5.7 TWh
Indonesia 6.6 W 5.1% 15.9 TWh
United States 6.3 W 0.4% 18.6 TWh
Papua New Guinea 4.6 W 8.2% 0.4 TWh
Mexico 4.0 W 1.3% 4.5 TWh
Honduras 3.4 W 2.6% 0.3 TWh
Chile 2.7 W 0.6% 0.5 TWh
Japan 2.7 W 0.3% 2.9 TWh
Guatemala 2.0 W 2.1% 0.3 TWh
Portugal 2.0 W 0.3% 0.2 TWh
EU 1.7 W 0.2% 6.7 TWh
The World 1.4 W 0.3% 98.6 TWh
France 1.0 W 0.1% 0.6 TWh
Russia 0.3 W 0.0% 0.4 TWh
Germany 0.3 W 0.0% 0.2 TWh
Croatia 0.3 W 0.1% 0.0 TWh
Hungary 0.1 W 0.0% 0.0 TWh
Republic of China (Taiwan) 0.0 W 0.0% 0.0 TWh