Geothermal energy is located all over the world. One big place where almost all of the geothermal energy in the world comes from is called the Ring of Fire. The Ring of Fire produces almost 60% of geothermal energy in the world. Geothermal energy is produced everywhere on earth exept for Antarctica. Some countries that use large amounts of geothermal energy are Iceland, New Zealand, Italy and the United States. The Ring of Fire is where many tectonic plates connect, so it is an ideal place for geothermal energy to get through because of all the gaps in between the plates.
imagesCAYXXEDZ.jpg A map of geothermal heat from http://www.theoildrum.com
The red spots are the hot spots for geothermal energy. Most red areas are in the west. This is because a tectonic plate is there and more geothermal energy can come through. In the eastern United States there are no tectonic plates, so not as much geothermal energy is located there.

Geothermal Energy Production

Created by Mitch

As you can see, the U.S. produces the most geothermal energy, followed by the Philippines and then Mexico. Other places, like Costa Rica and El salvador produce very small amounts of geothermal energy. Countries all over the world do not produce much geothermal energy because it is not as popular as fossil fuels or solar energy etc.



There are 6 main ways to obtain geothermal energy: boreholes, heat exchangers, wells, flash power platns, binary power plants and dry steam power plants.


Wells are one of the six ways to obtain geothermal energy. The well is dug to find a geothermal reservior. The reservoir may not be there - the only way to be sure that there is a reservoir is to drill a well and take the temperature. If there is a reservoir, then a boarhole is dug.


A borehole is made by injecting cement into the well, making a concrete tube. The tube is usually around 8 centimeters thick. After the cement dries, the water or steam from the geothermal reservoir is brought into the power plant through the boreholes. Once the water or steam enters the power plant, it goes into a heat exchanger.

Heat Exchangers

Once heat exchangers receive the geothermal water, they bring heat from the dirty geothermal water and turn it into clean water. This step is very important because dirty water in the turbine generator can cause damage that costs up to $100,000,000 to fix. Once the water is heated, it cools off in the turbine generator and is injected back into the boreholes to reheat.

Picture from Google Images

Dry Steam Power Plants

At a dry steam power plant, steam is pumped from a well to a turbine, which creates electricity. This power plant releases low levels of pollution.

Binary (Or Hot Water) Power Plants

A binary power plant. (Picture from Google Images)
At a binary power plant, hot water is turned into steam and powers a turbine generator. The turbine generator creates electricity. The extra steam condenses into water, to be turned into steam later and reused. A binary power plant is sometimes also called a hot water power plant. This power plant produces no pollution because it reuses chemicals insted of resleasing them into the environment, where they could be harmful.

Flash Power Plants

At a flash power plant, a geothermal reservoir with not much steam in it is used for the geothermal energy production. The hot water in the geothermal reservoir has enough heat to boil, but the pressure underneath the
A flash power plant. (Picture from Google Images)
reservoir stops it from boiling.


Click here to go to the next page

Click here to go to the previous page