This article on the Clean Technica website, shows what a strong year 2013 was for geothermal—the best since before the financial crisis by far. The article is mainly about the growth in geothermal power generation (as opposed to the residential geothermal heating and cooling systems we install), and cites benefits such as “a geothermal power plant can generate electricity 24 hours a day with low operation and maintenance costs—importantly because there is zero fuel cost.”
The United States, the Philippines, and Indonesia are currently generating the most megawatts via geothermal. But there is an anomaly: despite the US’s status as leading the geothermal megawatt production by generating nearly 3500 megawatts of power, “the United States currently generates less than 1 percent of its electricity from the earth’s heat.” Who does better? Iceland does far better—it’s at the top, using geo for 29%; then El Salvador (25%); then Kenya (19%). There are many more countries that are covering more of their electrical with geo than the US, and maybe it’s time for us to pay more attention to, say, Costa Rica (15%) and New Zealand (14%), and learn from them.
The more geothermal used, whether for home heating and cooling, or for electrical generation—it all helps the environment by “simultaneously reducing energy poverty, air pollution, carbon emissions, and costly fossil fuel imports.” Go geo!