Geothermal energy is clean and cost-effective. This is a reliable energy source that you rarely hear much about. However, there’s a good reason for that. This type of energy is only available in areas of the world where there are tectonic plate boundaries. About 30 percent of the geothermal power produced worldwide comes from Iceland and the Philippines. At this time, the USA only produces one percent of the world’s geothermal energy.
To date, about 30 countries of the world use geothermal power to some degree to provide heat and electricity. This number grows each year because geothermal power can be more cost-effective than coal. Yet, numerous nations are missing out on its advantages.
Hot springs and healing
One of the most common ways geothermal energy is consumed is through bathing in hot springs. For ages, people have believed that the water coming out of a geothermal spring is somehow richer in minerals and other elements. These minerals are widely believed to improve health and rejuvenate the body. The oldest known spa can be found in China on Lisan Mountain. This stone pool, fed by an underground hot spring, was built in the 3rd century BC.
In the US, there are dozens of well-known geothermal springs. In fact, there’s a city in Arkansas called “Hot Springs”. Here, people flock each year to take advantage of the 47 thermal springs located near Hot Springs National Park. Hawaii is another favorite destination for visitors and health enthusiasts. Hilo, Hawaii has several active volcanoes with hot springs nearby. Steamboat Springs, Colorado is another important destination for tourists in search of geothermal springs. The city boasts dozens of world-class spas fed by springs. This area is one of the best-loved and most visited in the world.
What is geothermal energy used for?
Geothermal heating applications include heat pumps, industrial uses, and space heating. In spite of the important energy sources offered by geothermal energy, it is used more for recreation and health than for supplying heat. Enthusiasts often report physical, mental and emotional healing. They believe bathing in these natural underground waters heated by the earth can bring mental clarity. Though there isn’t much actual scientific data to support the claims, no one can deny how relaxing it is to bathe in a lovely hot tub created by Mother Nature.
Obstacles to distribution
As far as producing energy for planet earth, it may be years before people approach this source with serious intentions. This is due to its inherent drawbacks. Geothermal energy leaves a very low carbon footprint. It does almost no harm to the environment and its cheap. The biggest question is whether science can find a way to make geothermal energy available everywhere; not just near tectonic plate boundaries.
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