California, United States [RenewableEnergyWorld.com]
Think of renewable energy, and you’re likely to envision power from above, such as from the sun or wind. In fact, industry insiders often distinguish between above-ground sources like solar and wind power and below-ground sources like oil and coal. But while geothermal energy gets far fewer headlines – and far less venture capital – than solar or wind power, it actually supplies more megawatt-hours than either of these other renewables.
According to the Geothermal Energy Association, geothermal power makes up a total of 3.15 gigawatts (GW) of installed capacity in the United States, its largest producer, and more than 10 GW worldwide. And those numbers are growing in spite of the recession, with the association calling 2009 “a take-off year for a new era of geothermal growth.”