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Geothermal energy:

Geothermal energy is heat energy comes from molten magma in the core of the Earth. This energy is brought up to surface by thermal conduction and by intrusion of magma into the Earth’s crust. As fossil fuel is not implicated geothermal energy transports only slight CO2 emission compared to usual energy sources.

History of geothermal energy:

“Geothermal” comes from Greek words: “geo” means earth and “therme” means heat. So the word “geothermal” means earth-heat. Geothermal steam and hot springs have been used from the earliest times. Thermal springs have principally been used in therapy and for relaxing. The Romans called it “magic water” and used it to treat eye and skin diseases. It also was applied at Pompeii to heat buildings and people at New Zealand used thermal springs for bathing, washing and curing, and geothermal steam was used for cooking the same way. Nowadays it is used for heating and curing. More than 200 thousand buildings have been heated by hot springs in France since 1960.

Utilization of geothermal energy:

Geothermal energy can be used for:
heating various buildings like glasshouses, plastic houses, poultry farms, stables, etc.
providing hot water
hot springs
industrial and agricultural purposes like drying grains and in fisheries
producing electricity
demisting roads

By the diverse usability of biogas, we could not only save oil and natural gas but also use it as a basis of enterprises.

Japan, China, countries of the former Soviet Union, Hungary and Iceland are the main geothermal energy producers. Although the conditions are favorable and we have significant resources to bring us amongst the world’s leading geothermal energy producers, Hungary uses geothermal energy only by thermal springs. Our thermal water resource is unique in Europe. There are more than a thousand hot springs in the country. Waters are available almost all over the country though most of the thermal springs are on the Great Hungarian Plain. From the 150 hot water spas in the country we have 36 with special features. Tapolca, a North-Eastern-Hungarian city houses the only European cave-spring. Hévíz, located near Lake Balaton is the most known hot-water lake in Europe. In 1934, Budapest has gained the epithet “City of Spas” where you can find 2 dozens of pleasure resorts and 13 spas. List of the most important spas over the country: Berekfürdő, Bük-Bükfürdő, Debrecen, Dombóvár-Gunaras, Eger, Gyula, Hajdúszoboszló, Harkány, Hévíz, Kiskunmajsa, Orosháza-Gyopárosfürdő, Sárvár, Siófok-Igal, Túrkeve, Zalakaros.

The future might be geothermal energy:

According to experts, 250 thousand times more than the world’s energy consumption is waiting for us under the surface as geothermal energy. If we were able to extract this energy it would be enough forever without any subsidiary environmental damage.

Experts are working on developing new techniques to mine geothermal energy more effectively. Their suggestion is to drill 4,5 km deep holes into the ground and lead water onto the hot rocks and then lead the generated steam into a special turbine via lowered pipes. The turbine blades spin and the shaft from the turbine is connected to a generator to make electricity. Professionals in the USA believe that 40 percent of the heat energy from under the country’s surface would be 56 thousand times more than the energy requirement of the USA. Mining technique can evolve significantly enough to build geothermal power plants with a performance of 100 GW and this would cost only $0,8-1 billion. This energy is equal to the energy that could be produced by a hundred nuclear power plants.

Issues with this solution: drilling into this depth under the surface could easily cause earthquakes, volcanic activities and at the same time it is expensive. A single 4,5 km deep hole could cost $7-8 million. Drilling an oil-well is much cheaper. An other problem is that the rocks used in this process cool down within a few decades hence we would need to establish more and more wells on different places to ensure continuous energy supply.