According to a study by BP, global energy consumption has seen a 5.3% increase within the last year, the largest jump since 1973. Our digital lifestyles have contributed to the rise in energy consumption — it takes 35 times more energy to produce a pound of smartphone than to make a pound of book. While strides have been made to increase the output of solar panels and biofuels, some cities are turning to the energy found beneath their feet.
Geothermal energy relies on the near-constant heat source running underneath the earth’s crust, which can be converted into different forms of power. By tapping into the crusts natural fissures, heat from deep underground — in the form of hot water and steam — can be channeled as a low-cost and renewable energy source. While geothermal sites theoretically can transmit energy to far away places, current technology benefits cities along continental plate boundaries or where hot springs are present. (more…)