The Geothermal Spectrum: Clearing Up Confusion About Ground Source Heat Pumps and other Geothermal Energy Applications

Geothermal Energy — or Earth Heat — is a clean, abundant, and renewable natural resource that is helping us meet our environmental vision.

In efforts to educate the public about geothermal, or ground-source, heat pumps (GHPs), the Geothermal Exchange Organization (GEO) finds that in many cases its audiences know little about geothermal energy, and often confuse GHPs with resources that create hot springs and high-pressure steam that can fuel electric power plants.

To address this educational opportunity, GEO has created a one-page, illustrated flyer called The Geothermal Spectrum, which describes each of the three ways that we can access the Earth’s heat, including Geothermal Heat Pumps, Direct Use, and Geothermal Power. They are grouped according to their Earth temperature.

“Geothermal heat is an incredible energy resource that can be found at temperatures ranging from 40˚ to 700˚F,” says GEO President and CEO Doug Dougherty. “GHPs and their ground loops tap the upper portion of the Earth’s surface in a temperature range from 40˚ to 70˚F to heat and cool buildings, compared to technologies that directly tap geologically hot water and steam for commercial uses and making electricity.”

“GHPs can be installed almost anywhere and are an ideal way to heat and cool our homes, schools and workplaces,” says the GEO flyer. “Where Nature creates the right conditions, geothermal hot springs can provide energy for fish farms, greenhouses and municipal heating systems. And in some places, deep geologic activity creates super-hot water and steam that can be used by geothermal power plants to generate electricity for thousands of consumers.”

“While GEO is solely interested in promoting GHPs and their environmental and economic benefits to residential, commercial and institutional building owners and tenants, all uses of geothermal resources offer the blessing of renewable energy with few environmental impacts,” says Dougherty.

The Geothermal Spectrum can be downloaded here.