Talk:Geothermal energy

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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Geothermal energy:

Here are some tasks awaiting attention:
  • Expand:  :incorporate information from [1]
  • Other:  :Add some illustrations showing how Dry Steam, Flash Steam and Binary Cycle plants work
    Add list of efficiency, comparison to other energy resources.

References needed[edit]

There is several statements in this article that do not cite their references, like: "Worldwide, geothermal plants have the capacity to generate about 10 gigawatts of electricity as of 2007, and in practice supply 0.3% of global electricity demand. An additional 28 gigawatts of direct...." Citation needed —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tauiris (talkcontribs) 22:27, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

This quote is taken from the lead section, where footnotes are usually avoided for stylistic reasons. (See Wikipedia:LEAD#Citations) The information is repeated in the first two sections, and that is where footnotes are given supporting these statistics.--Yannick (talk) 04:14, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Merge of articles[edit]

I think the article Geothermal electricity goes well to be merged into this article. Both share the same subject. Regards. Rehman(+) 07:11, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

  • I disagree. Geothermal power is a summary of two major topics, geothermal heating and geothermal electricity, both of which are major summary topics in themselves. This article has to exclude a lot of detail in order to keep the size and complexity manageable. Keeping separate subarticles allows us to include more detail there.--Yannick (talk) 18:31, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
  • I disagree also. Geothermal heating and geothermal electricity are comparable industries in their size (order magnitude), yet completely different in terms of economic behavior and players, which supports the idea of having two separate subarticles. Also, I frequently find people confused and mixing up the two, so an article explaining the difference and linking to the two sub articles would be a great idea. If there is overlap between geothermal power and geothermal electricity (per Materialscientist's point), all information specific to the electricity should be removed from this article. GNOJED3891 (talk) 00:29, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Support - both articles share same set of images and many paragraphs are exactly same. For example, "history" of geothermal electricity is already entirely present in geothermal power, word by word. Because of similarity in many parts, this merge won't swell the article that much. Materialscientist (talk) 07:47, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
The reason the two articles are so similar is because I've largely written both, especially the history section. I've focused on this combined power article, and then extracted the portions that were applicable to electricity and copied them there. My intention was then to diverge the electricity and heating article, making them more specific to those subfields. There are already a number of details in the electricity article that I really do not want to merge back into the power article because they are specific to electricity and would obscure the heating part of the industry.--Yannick (talk) 18:07, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Support: No offence, but eventhough each article is about heating and generating, largely it is the same subject, geothermal energy. If it is an extra large article, we could leave it split it up. But these two are small enough to go together... Separate headers within the article will go well. Regards. Rehman(+) 02:08, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
No offense taken, I just disagree, and I have some effort invested in splitting them. Note that this article already has separate headers for Electricity and Direct application. This article is currently 36 kB long, versus a guideline of 30-50 kB. I have tried to explain the advantages that I see in keeping the articles split. Could you explain the advantages you see in merging them? So far all I've read above is that it could be done easily and wouldn't do much harm, but what would be the benefits? I would also point out that wind power has an analogous split between wind power, wind turbines and wind mills.--Yannick (talk) 05:04, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

No consensus? So far we have 2 in favour and 2 against, and I think the discussion has been inadequate. I'm willing to discuss this, but you need to present some arguments and participate in consensus building.--Yannick (talk) 13:51, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

  • Support--mostly

    Vertical Integration Nothing New Edison Heats New York With "Left over" Steam

    Desalinization is also a utilization of geothermal heating and generation; though, would it go too far to include rendering of fresh water from the ocean? The See Also section provides a compromise for merging of related articles. Sorry, I waffle. The market will determine how disparate the topics are.

    Thanks for doing the legwork to write the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:28, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

Intro reads like a sales pitch. Better to keep Wiki references to factual material or references to cited opinions. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:40, 8 April 2011 (UTC)


"Binary cycle power plant" could link to the Wikipedia page on the topic.

Gcc1 (talk) 18:08, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

The article is semiprotected with a comment of "Excessive vandalism: Did Lebron James mention this?". If you want to request unprotection, go to WP:RFUP or ask Hiberniantears, the protecting admin, directly. If you want to make ather edits, use the {{editsemiprotected}} template to get attention. The first occurance of "Binary cycle power plant" was already linked, but I linked the first use under "History" per the exception that they are far apart. Regards, Celestra (talk) 19:30, 2 January 2010 (UTC)


Slight reduction in copy, with more conversions and links. Comments appreciated. Lfstevens (talk) 02:45, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

Maths Error[edit]

"Estimates of the electricity generating potential of geothermal energy vary six–fold, from .035 to 2 TW depending on the scale of investments." - That's a factor of sixty, not six.

Edit request from José Anderson Batista, 15 July 2010[edit]

{{editsemiprotected}} External links

Geothermal Education Office

José Anderson Batista (talk) 18:35, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Not done: Too many external links in article already. Please explain what this link would add to the article. SpigotMap 20:10, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Moved to Gladstone LNG. Beagel (talk) 17:52, 19 August 2010 (UTC)

Geothermal powerGeothermal energy — Power usually means electrical power/electricity. This article deals with both:geothermal heating and geothermal electricity. To avoid confusion, geothermal energy seems to be more precise title for this article. In other wikis the articles is named just Geothermal (de; fr) or geothermal energy (es; it; ce; da). Beagel (talk) 17:37, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Edit request from, 8 January 2011[edit]

In the section on Resources, please change "(77-86 degF)" to "(45-55 degF)." In this case, you are using the 25-30 degC in a relative sense, and not an absolute sense. This source of confusion is why we always prefer to give absolute temperatures in Kelvin and not Celsius. For example, we define a calorie as the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 mL of water 1 degC. Do we mean that the water always has to be one degree above freezing (1 degC)? Absolutely not; we are using it in a relative sense only. In this case, the 25-30 degC/km is using the temperature in a relative sense, so you find the equivalent rate in Fahrenheit by just multiplying by 1.8. Thanks! Michael Wysession Professor of Geophysics Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences Washington University St. Louis, MO 63130

Mwysession (talk) 20:51, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

Done, thanks for the keen observation. Someone used the wrong parameter for automatic conversion to F. Kbrose (talk) 00:13, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

Source and transport[edit]

The introduction contains the sentence:

"Earth's geothermal energy originates from the original formation of the planet, from radioactive decay of minerals, from volcanic activity, and from solar energy absorbed at the surface."

I think, it would match the facts better to say:

"Earth's geothermal energy originates from the original formation of the planet, from radioactive decay of minerals and from solar energy absorbed at the surface. It is transported by heat conduction and heat transport by volcanic activity meaning transportation of molten lava, hot water and hot gas." Klamser (talk) 21:29, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

Sun as Source[edit]

The sentence refers to the sun as source of energy. But this surface energy is not used by any geothermal heating applications and should not be called geothermal. It's simply solar energy stored temporary in the surface, useless for any application. What we use is an energy coming from the earth inner layers. This is also stated in next sentence: "...a continuous conduction of thermal energy in the form of heat from the core to the surface." It is true, that energy from the sun is slowing the geothermal energy transfer and in this way conserving it in some way, but it is definitely not the source of energy understood widely as geothermal. That's why I will remove reference to sun as source of geothermal energy. Radzimir (talk) 16:46, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

It is true to say that the sun is not a source of geothermal energy (which comes from the centre of the earth). However, the sun is the primary source of heat energy in the top 200 metres of soil - this low level energy can be extracted by ground source heat pumps for space heating. Confusion arises when ground source heat pumps are referred to as "geothermal heat pumps".

Err, you should not emphasize "the centre of the earth" as the escape of deep internal heat is slow (by convection); much of the surface heat flow is supplied from the radioactive disintegration of various nuclei, such as potassium, not just the famous uranium. In places where rock flow from depth to the surface is strong (as at spreading ridges between plates) then the heat is from hot rock rising from the depths. But at the surface of continents floating atop rock flow regions, the surface heat escape is supplied mostly by radioactive decay in the continental rock. Thermal transfer through a thickness of kilometres of motionless rock is slow. Heat supplied to the surface from above by the sun, offsetting heat lost by radiation and evaporation cause temperature changes that propagate downwards, with all sorts of patterns such as the effects of the end of the ice ages being measurable. All such patterns are obliterated by the movement of water (carrying its own temperature) should the studied volume be at all permeable and there be water movement through it. Thus, under a lake, saturated ground atop impermeable bedrock is suitable for measurement, but the same ground above the lake is hopeless because water drains through it. NickyMcLean (talk) 20:18, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

Edit request from Radzimir, 8 July 2011[edit]


Please see my comment about "Sun as Source" on discussion page.

I'm sure this should be corrected.

Radzimir (talk) 16:50, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

My request to have the page unprotected has gone through, I'm not comfortable enough with your edit request to do it on your behalf, as the current version of the article is not entirely wrong, but could better explain the situation. I don't have enough knowledge of the subject to do that justice. So as you are now able to edit the article, I will leave it to you to make the change. Monty845 01:38, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

October 26, 2011 WSJ resource, focus Indonesia[edit] (talk) 23:25, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Indonesia content[edit]

The source does not say the resource is easily tapped along the ring of fire and it quotes some politician who says that Indonesia has 40% of the resource, which seems unlikely. We need a better source to say this as a fact. You could say, as the source does, that the politician said such things. Thanks, Celestra (talk) 14:19, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

Century misprint?[edit]

In the last paragraph of "Renewability and Sustainability" while speaking of Wairakei power station (first unit commissioned 1958) it says "Around the start of the 20th century...". I understan it means either "the end of the 20th century" or "the start of the 21st century". (talk) 12:12, 4 May 2013 (UTC)

Edit request[edit]

Please change "The laws of thermodynamics limits the efficiency of heat engines in extracting useful energy." to "The laws of thermodynamics limit the efficiency of heat engines in extracting useful energy." Thanks -Marek — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mrozkiewicz (talkcontribs) 05:01, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

Potential mistake in Environmental Effects section[edit]

The statement(s) with source no. 32 seem to be applicable to ground source heat pump (GSHP) solutions only, which are not the same as geothermal energy as referred to in the rest of the article. GSHP utilizes low depth (say 0.5 to 5m) heat by circulating a water/glycol solution in e.g. plastic piping buried underground. Alternatively GSHP can utilize low/medium depth heat (say 50-250m) by either forcing plastic tubing vertically into the ground (as an heat exchanger) or, more commonly, circulating groundwater from an aquifer. The source of the statement in the article specifically discusses low depth GSHP application, which is not comparable to geothermal solutions as discussed in this article. In short GSHP = 0.5-5m depth and roughly 10-12degC heat source, Geothermal energy as in the article is 1000-4000m depth and roughly 80-200degC (or more). Taking the environmental concerns, based on energy production and pump loads, from GSHP applications and applying them to geothermal energy as described in the article is therefore nonsense. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:37, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

Issues with description of sources and nature of Earth's internal heating[edit]

I made some edits to correct the above issue, and added an additional reference. As it was, the previous information was emphasizing magma as the vehicle for heat flow within the Earth, and this is an understandably popular misconception. The mantle is mostly solid but it behaves plastically, and with heating from below, the result is mantle convection. Although magma delivers heat to Earth's surface this is a relatively small component compared to mantle convection, which in turn does generate magma, hydrothermal sources, and conduction within the crust. Also, the reference "How Geothermal energy works. Retrieved on 2013-04-24." is not the best resource for the mechanisms of Earth heating. Bkilli1 (talk) 15:33, 16 November 2013 (UTC)


Directly under "Types": "Laredllo" should be "Larderello"

Fixed - thanks, Vsmith (talk) 12:27, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

Edit request, include helpful graph please[edit]

I found this graph very helpful, and believe it would help readers a lot.

The radiogenic heat from the decay of 238U and 232Th are now the major contributors to the earth's internal heat budget.

Reference 39 and Chevron corporation[edit]

The reference for Chevron Corporation is the world's largest private geothermal electricity producer does not support this claim. It is a New York Times article written in 2008 about the expansion of geothermal in the Phillipines. This error has been seen in both the Chevron wiki page and the Geothermal electricity page. This is a bold claim and should be well supported and further clairified with some sort of numerical data as in what does 'largest' mean in this scope. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:51, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

Removed. Vsmith (talk) 21:34, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 19 March 2014[edit]

The External Links are out of alphabetical order. I was going to fix it and add a link to the list:

Jleyshon (talk) 23:23, 19 March 2014 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done - The problem with A>Z is that some entries are listed author/institute first, and others title first. - Arjayay (talk) 09:03, 20 March 2014 (UTC)