Through rain or snow, the subsoil remains at a constant temperature just a few metres below our cities. This geothermal resource, which has been largely ignored until recently, must be properly harnessed.
The technique used to pump the heat from the soil to the surface serves to create climate-controlled buildings. Indeed, it has enormous potential to deliver energy on a city scale.
Large urban projects such as Madrid Nuevo Norte are an excellent opportunity to integrate these innovative heating networks powered by locally-sourced renewable, zero-emission energy.
A great treasure lies beneath our feet that we cannot see and have yet to exploit. Even in the bitter cold of winter, just a few dozen metres below our houses, the temperature remains stable. This represents an as-yet unexploited opportunity to harness clean energy. Geothermal power and the techniques to extract and use the constant temperature to heat buildings is viewed as one of the most efficient and sustainable energy sources.
Although the energy from within the Earth occurs naturally from the dawn of time, in particular in hot springs, volcanoes and geysers, it was in the 20th century when its use grew exponentially, especially in recent decades in Northern Europe and North America. This model was first used in climate-controlled single-family homes. A few years later, it was extended to housing blocks, and now, it is seen as an opportunity for district heating systems.
What is geothermal energy?
Although geothermal energy is a branch of geophysics, the science that studies the thermal conditions of the Earth, the term has become commonplace owing to one of its more practical uses, which transforms the heat from within the Earth into a source of energy. An energy that can be used in industrial processes and for generating electricity. However, the most promising use is to create climate-controlled buildings. An area that will see further development in the coming years.