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Geothermal Energy

Geothermal energy refers primarily to the heat that is naturally released from the earth’s core. The energy from this heat can be redirected to generate power. After hydropower & biomass, geothermal energy is the third most common renewable energy source used worldwide.

Did you know?

Geothermal energy emanates from the heat in the Earth’s core. This heat generates subterranean reservoirs of steam and hot water, which may be used to generate power.

Geothermal Energy Resources

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Basics of Geothermal Energy

The heat that exudes from the Earth’s interior can be used to generate geothermal energy. These elevated temperatures are harnessed drilling into the earth’s surface to either: 1) pumping liquids, allowing them be heated and forcing them back up for heating applications or 2) tapping underground reservoirs to release steam and extremely hot water that can be used to spin a turbine, produce heat or for direct use. Despite being an ideal location to take advantage of such a resource, Canada has very few geothermal projects underway, however, many are in the research and development stages and could potentially become a reality in the near future.

How much energy can be generated by Geothermal Energy?

Geothermal energy has enormous potential in Canada. Geological surveys used to determine Canada’s geothermal energy distribution are quite promising. Estimates of geothermal energy capacity range from 35 GW to 2000 GW, as determined by project size and level of commitment. As heat produced by the by the earth is virtually indefinite, there are also other manners to leverage this energy, including non-electric heating. In the case of geothermal energy production locations that rely on a hot water reservoir, the water extracted can be funnelled back into the reservoir after use, enabling a typical reservoir to become a long-term energy source.

What are the costs of producing geothermal energy?

Presently, there are over 30,000 geothermal exchange systems installed in residences across Canada. These systems can usually cost anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000 but can be purchased with reasonable financing costs. From a homeowner standpoint, geothermal energy can be quite competitive with traditional fossil fuels and other renewable forms of energy. Commercial geothermal applications have also seen to be cost-effective form of heating and cooling and can be found in approximately 6,000 businesses across the country. To mitigate the expenses associated with geothermal power production, tax incentives and rebates can be used.

Benefits of Geothermal Energy

Geothermal energy is a sustainable, dependable source of electricity production and possesses the potential to enable Canada to address some of it’s most pressing issues, including energy security, economic expansion, and the reduction of CO2 emissions. 

Sustainable

The earth's core will be hot as long as it continues to rotate

Emission-Free

Produces no emissions or greenhouse gases whatsoever

Domestic Energy

Produced entirely by Canadians with Canadian resources
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    Commonly asked questions about Solar

    Geothermal Energy FAQs

    Bioenergy refers to energy produced from biomass. Biomass consists of organic materials including wood, energy crops and organic wastes. Energy produced from biomass is clean, renewable and can be used to produce fuels, heat and electricity.
    Thermal generation is the process in which biomass undergoes combustion that releases heat and energy. This energy release is typically used to heat water which, in turn, creates steam powerful enough to rotate a turbine resulting in electricity production.
    Transportation of bioenergy results in costs for bioenergy that exceed that of other renewable energy sources. Biomass has a lower energy density when compared to non-renewable sources such as coal or petroleum, which presents a challenge for the economic viability of biofuels.
    In Canada, biomass is typically used to produce energy by burning (also called thermal conversion) these organic elements and capturing the energy they release. Biomass can also be processed to create heating oils and biofuels, among others.
    Biofuels are transportation fuels derived from organic materials including plants and animal waste. These fuels are usually combined with petroleum fuels or used independently.
    Bioenergy is considered a carbon-neutral source of energy and is both sustainable and reliable for many uses. The carbon material released during the burning biomass or energy capture process approximately equals the amount of carbon dioxide produced by the plant during their lifetime.