Treasure under your feet

  • What is geothermal energy?

    Geothermal is the natural heat of the Earth.  It is derived from the decay of the radioactive elements in the Earth’s crust and transferred to the subsurface by conduction and convection.

  • What is geothermal used for?

    For centuries, geothermal springs have been used for bathing, heating and cooking. But only in the early 20th century people have started to consider geothermal as a practical source of energy. Today it is used to produce electricity, to heat and cool buildings as well as for other industrial purposes like fruit and vegetable cultivation.

  • Where can geothermal energy be found?

    The exploitable geothermal resources are found throughout the world and are utilized nowadays in 83 countries.

Quick Geothermal Heat History

The first geothermal heat utilization is impossible to estimate exactly. Yet, in the 16th century Georgius Agricola observed that temperature in mines generally increased with their depth. Later on, Alexander Von Humboldt calculates an approximation of 3.8 deg Celsius increase for every 100 meters of depth, and so we have our first study of the Earth’s thermal gradient.

First modern measurements were performed in 1740, in a mine near Belfort, France. Since the 1950’s, worldwide geothermal heat research have been conducted.

Quick Geothermal Power History

By the end of the 19th Century, Prince Piero Conti proposed an idea to harness natural steam from the Larderello geothermal field in Italy to produce electric power. He started by conducting technical experiments in 1903, and a year later, the first geothermal power experiment produced enough energy to illuminate five incandescent light bulbs.

By 1913, Conti had completed the construction of a 250 kW commercial power plant fed by pure steam, and in 1916, two more power units of 3.5 MW each. And this is how geothermal power production was born.

IGA ‘Geothermal Quick guide’ Brochure
(pdf, 4 MB)

Our Geothermal Legacy
(pdf, 1 MB)

Why choose geothermal?

It is a beautiful renewable energy source, supplying Iceland with close to 70% of its needs for primary energy. Through its variations in nature, it can combine beauty, wonders and great practical benefits.

Geothermal energy is a baseload, low cost, environmentally clean, and indigenous source of energy for all countries of the world. In particular, geothermal energy has a huge potential to contribute to the development of the remote areas.

Why choose geothermal? For me it’s simple. It is clear that geothermal is a clean, sustainable and reliable energy source. It is one of the best renewables to reduce the CO2 Emissions.