A History of Geothermal Energy in America
Archaeological evidence shows that the first human use of geothermal resources in North America occurred more than 10,000 years ago with the settlement of Paleo-Indians at hot springs. The springs served as a source of warmth and cleansing, their minerals as a source of healing. While people still soak in shallow pools heated by the earth, engineers are developing technologies that will allow us to probe more than 10 miles below the earth’s surface in search of geothermal energy. We invite you to study the timeline of the recent history of geothermal energy in the United States.

1800-1850  |  1851-1900  |  1901-1950  |  1951-1960  |  1961-1970  |  1971-1980  |  1981-1990  |  1991-2000  |  2001-2010  |  2011-Present
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History Of Geothermal Energy
The first industrial use of geothermal energy began near Pisa, Italy in late 18th century. Steam coming from natural vents (and from drilled holes) was used to extract boric acid from the hot pools that are now known as the Larderello fields.

In 1904, Italian scientist Piero Ginori Conti invented the first geothermal electric power plant in which steam was used to generate the power. With the above experiment, the first geothermal plant in USA started in…Read more>>



Geothermal Energy Timeline
The Geysers is a truly remarkable place.

A million years ago, a plume of molten magma intruded close to the Earth’s surface. The heat from this 1400˚F intrusion recrystallized the overlying rocks, making them hard and brittle, then caused fracturing to create permeability. Subsequent magmatic activity over the next half-million years maintained high temperatures as water seeped down through fractures to form a hot water geothermal reservoir. At about a quarter million years ago, the caprock overlying the ancestral Geysers reservoir fractured, allowing steam eruptions as the high temperature water boiled down to form the current steam reservoir.  Continue reading>>