Are we entering the golden age of geothermal energy?
Geothermal energy is mostly utilized to heat swimming pools, buildings, greenhouses, and urban heating systems across the globe. Boreholes up to 5,000 meters deep are used to pump water with temperatures reaching 200 degrees Celsius. The heat is subsequently extracted, and the cooled water is reintroduced through a second hole. This technique of capturing heat is viable globally, affordable, and becoming more popular in places with little volcanic activity. According to Renewables Global Status Report estimates, the installed capacity of geothermal heat plants globally is presently 38 gigawatts — more than twice the capacity of geothermal power plants that produce electricity. China (14 GW), Turkey (3 GW), Iceland (2 GW), and Japan (2 GW) are now the leaders in generating deep geothermal energy, which is heating an increasing number of metropolitan areas and greenhouses. Six German research organizations found that producing heat with deep geothermal energy costs less than three euro cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). Prior to Russia's invasion on Ukraine, several municipal utilities in Europe could produce heat at a lower cost than this. However, since Russia's invasion, dramatic increases in gas prices have increased that cost to more than 12 cents per kWh, making geothermal options more appealing.