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USGS CMG InfoBank: Earth's Internal Heat Engine

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Comment: 20:19 - 21:32 (01:13)
Source: Annenberg/CPB Resources - Earth Revealed 26. Living With Earth, Part II
Keywords: "Fred Teeters", "internal heat engine", crust, geothermal, volcanism, power, energy, Larderello, Italy, technology, "United States", oil, gas, resource

Our transcription: But Earth's internal heat engine can provide energy as well.
Hot rock in the shallow crust has been tapped to produce geothermal power.
In volcanic regions, geothermal energy is used to heat thousands of homes and places of work.
More commonly, however, it is used to generate electricity.
Geothermal sites around the world, there's quite a few.
There's 250 plants operating in 16 countries on 6 continents, so it's widespread.
The first geothermal power plant that actually produced electricity like we are here was in 1904 in Larderello, Italy.
So it's an old technology that's been applied in a lot of other places.
The United States, per se, did not start until recently with the increase in energy costs.
The geothermal energy contained in the upper five kilometers of Earth's crust is said to be 40 million times greater than the energy contained in oil and gas reserves.
But only a small fraction of this energy can be exploited economically.

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