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CHAPTER 2

Geothermal Energy Geothermal energy is a form of renewable energy derived from heat deep in earth’s crust. This heat is brought to the near surface by thermal conduction by intrusion into the earth’s crust of molten magma originating from great depth. As groundwater is heated, geothermal energy is produced in the form of hot water and steam. The heated groundwater can be used for direct heating of homes and greenhouses, for vegetable drying, and for a number of other uses. These are known as direct uses of geothermal energy. Geothermal energy is also used for electricity production. Geothermal power generation is used today throughout the world where good geothermal resources exist, including many locations in the western United States. The REPP geothermal issue brief on this page provides a general background on the fundamentals of geothermal power including discussions of the technical, economic, and policy dimensions of geothermal power worldwide. Economic data and current U.S. geothermal policy help illustrate the concepts of the issue brief. Extensive references to reports and internet links to be the latest developments in geothermal power’s role in clean energy generation are included. “Ecologists also agree that geothermal energy could be used at little or no cost to the environment. Unlike fossil or expensive fissionable fuels, it does not pollute the atmosphere with combustion products or radiation” explained Escobar in ‘Geothermal Energy supply to sustain a growing economy. Geothermal energy gives us supply of electrical power with minimal environmental impact. The basic processes are: the water is heated to high temperature by magma production of well drills 10 000ft below the earth’s surface tap into this hot fluid. Under its own pressure the fluid flows through this well towards the surface, as it travels, the pressure lessens causing a small amount to become steam. Together the hot fluid and steam moves to a surface pipeline to a well head separator where the pressure is reduced. Electrical charges are created and directed to a transformer where the voltage is increase and send to power line. Any fluid not flush to steam, return to the underground reservoir where in time they will be reheated and reuse. “We drill horizontally trying to intercept deep fracture full of steam flows directly to the power plant and it will spin the machinery that makes electricity that goes up to the grid, you can now turn on your lights, air conditioning system and watch movies” said Ron Suess in his journal.

Geothermal energy in the Philippines “The country’s geothermal power plants sustainable the commitment of the government to bring the benefits of power to as many communities as possible.” quoted by Imelda Marcos in 1982. In 1960’s, Dr. Arturo Alcaraz introduced geothermal energy in the Philippines. Dr. Alcaraz built the first small geothermal plant in Tiwi, Albay near Mt. Mayon. According to Dr. Alcaraz, the natural stream all over the Philippines could cheap power for at least 200 years ago. “What makes us energy developers invigorated is that President Fidel Ramos has taken cognizance of the gravity of the nation’s power crisis.” Hernandez wrote in his column. The environmental aspects of geothermal development are receiving increasing attention with the global shift in attitudes towards the world’s natural resources. Not only is there a great awareness of the effect of geothermal development on the surrounding ecosystem, social system and landscape, but there is also growing appreciation of the need for efficient and wise use of all natural resources. Most countries have embodied their environmental concerns in legislation, and a geothermal development may now face significant costs, very significant time delays, and indeed can be completely halted if the environmental concerns of the country are ignored. For so many years, the Philippines have been using geothermal energy to sustain its energy needs. In fact, the country us the second highest user of this kind of energy worldwide, which is understandable, given the number of active and dormant volcanoes it has. It is now going for colossal expansion. The expansion of geothermal capacity at these 19 sites is estimated to bring a total of 620 megawatts. This includes energy generation at two volcanoes Mt. Labo in Camarines Norte with a potential yield capacity of up to 65 MW and Mt. Isarog in Camarines Sur province with a possible capacity of up to 70 MW’s.
Currently, 17% of the Philippine’s energy is generated from geothermal energy. It represents a total 2 GW of energy according to the figures published by the government in 2009.

CHAPTER 3

If we have the opportunity to finish this research, here are our questions for our interview:

1. Where are geothermal resources located? 2. Is geothermal energy an intermittent resource like wind or solar energy? 3. How dependable are geothermal resources? 4. Are there other uses for geothermal energy besides generating electricity? 5. What are the environmental effects of developing geothermal resources? 6. Is there energy really a renewable source? 7. Why is geothermal energy not more widely used?

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