Characteristics, development and utilization of geothermal resources – a Nordic perspective

John W. Lund, Leif Bjelm, Gordon Bloomquist, Anette K. Mortensen
2008 Episodes  
Geothermal energy is classified as a renewable energy source and it utilizes the heat generated in the earth primarily from the natural radioactive decay of isotopes of uranium, thorium and potassium. Heat is extracted from the earth to generate geothermal energy via a carrier, usually water occurring either in the liquid or steam phase. In the late 19th century and the early 20th century, the first developments of geothermal resources for power generation and household heating got underway
more » ... ng got underway successfully. Many of these geothermal fields are still being utilized today, proving their sustainability. Today geothermal energy is being utilized in more than 72 countries around the world and of the Nordic countries Iceland and Sweden have been in the forefront in each of their respective fields. While geothermal heat pumps are widely used for space heating in Sweden, geothermal energy covers 55% of the primary energy consumption in Iceland where it is used for space heating, power generation and industrial purposes. Future developments aim at expanding the range of viable geothermal resources by improving the capabilities to generate electricity from geothermal resources at temperatures as low as 100°C, as well as developing geothermal resources where water needs to be introduced, so-called hot dry rock resources. But the biggest expansion is expected to continue to be in the installations of geothermal heat pumps.
doi:10.18814/epiiugs/2008/v31i1/019 fatcat:fibxwftldbagjjo4pa5gzbjebm