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Geothermal Energy: Harnessing the Power of the Earth

KQED, Teachers' Domain

This video describes how geothermal heat resources in California have been tapped to supply 850 MW of electricity. Images and animations show how the area known as The Geysers has been developed to capture steam, produced from trapped rainwater and heated by the earth. Major challenges include finding suitable geothermal resources to develop, and ensuring that underground water is replenished.

Video length 7:36 min.

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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • After viewing this video and associated materials, students could explore other areas of the country (or world) that are utilizing or developing geothermal energy sources.

About the Science

  • Video explains how geothermal energy is tapped, converted to steam, transported to generators, and and converted to electricity.
  • Comments from expert scientist: Highlights challenges with drilling, including its high cost. Focuses on geothermal steam power plants, which are rare.

About the Pedagogy

Technical Details/Ease of Use

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