Geothermal Energy

Brief History of Geothermal Energy

Many centuries ago, people began using the naturally heated water from the Earth for bathing. Today, we convert the Earth’s naturally heated water into electricity.

Bathing Heating Electricity
Since Paleolithic times, geothermal energy has been used for bathing. People used natural hot springs for warmth and cleansing. Minerals in the water were considered a source of healing. Pictured above is the oldest known hot spring pool. It was built in China during the 3rd century BC. During the first century AD, Romans started using hot spring water to feed public bath houses. During the 14th century, the commune of Chaudes-Aigues in France—known as a spa town—started using hot spring water not only to heat their spas but also to heat their houses. At the beginning of the 20th century, people experimented with geothermal power of a source of electricity. In 1904, the first geothermal power demonstration was conducted at the Larderello dry steam field in Italy. By 1911, the world’s first power geothermal power plant was built there. It would remain the only industrial plant until 1958 when New Zealand built their first plant.

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