Scientists seek out new sources of geothermal energy

January 27, 2016 0 By Alicia Moore

Researchers are looking for new ways to make use of geothermal energy that could benefit cities

Cities may become new sources of geothermal energy in the future. Scientists from Germany and Switzerland have developed a way to measure the groundwater temperature that may lurk beneath the surface of many large cities. Urban environments typically have higher temperatures than what can be found in rural areas. This has to do with how structures trap heat, as well as other factors, and could hint at the potential for cities to be valuable geothermal energy resources.

Satellites are being used to measure the heat in cities in Germany

Scientists from Germany and Switzerland have begun using satellites to measure the heat in urban environments. Satellites have long been used to measure surface temperatures throughout the world, but relatively little research on the relationship between ground temperatures and underground temperatures has been done. Scientists aim to better understand the thermal conduction occurring between the surface and the underground. Research will be conducted in four German cities: Berlin, Munich, Cologne, and Karlsruhe.

Older cities are typically hotter than other cities

Cologne Germany - Geothermal EnergyResearchers have already discovered that older cities have more underground heat. Nearly 95% of the areas that have already been researched have shown to have higher groundwater temperatures than surface temperatures. Scientists believe that this could be due to an abundance of underground anthropogenic heat sources. These heat sources could become a valuable source of geothermal energy in the future. Tapping into these resources could become a boon for cities, allowing them to become more environmentally friendly and energy independent .

Geothermal energy continues to gather support in many parts of the world

Geothermal energy is beginning to attract strong support from several countries, but not all have promising geothermal potential. This potential is typically highest in places with frequent geological activity. In countries with high geothermal potential, making use of geothermal energy is becoming an attractive option, especially as they work to become more environmentally friendly. Finding new sources of geothermal power could help more countries tap into this form of renewable energy in the future.