The word geothermal comes from two Greek words, Geo and Therme. Geo means earth and Therme means heat. Thus the literal meaning of geothermal is earth heat. Geothermal energy is the energy obtained from the earth in the form of heat. Geothermal energy comes from reserves of water deep inside the earth. The water inside the earth is heated by the molten rock called magma. The geothermal reservoirs can be drilled to obtain the geothermal energy. Geothermal energy is available in abundance on the earth in the form of hot springs.
The history of geothermal energy can be traced back to at least ten thousand years. The geothermal energy was used by Native Americans in the form of water from hot springs for cooking and for use in medicine. Geothermal energy from hot springs was also used by Romans to heat their homes. The Romans also used geothermal energy for its medicinal value that could treat eye and skin diseases. Geothermal energy was also used for bathing by Romans. France started using geothermal energy in 1960’s. This energy was used for heating homes in France.
However, the potential of geothermal energy has not been realized completely. It can be put to several uses other than heating and bathing.
Scientists are developing and exploring new methods for using geothermal energy. Geothermal energy will become an important energy source in the future. Unlike fossil fuels that will finish one day, geothermal energy will always be available for use like it has been in the past.