Geothermal energy involves the use of heat from beneath the surface of the Earth for energy -- for applications ranging from heating and cooling, to the generation of electric power. Although the country of Iceland is well known for its use of geothermal energy, the state of California is actually the planet's biggest geothermal power producer -- with 13,000 gigawatt-hours of electricity generated last year. On a smaller scale, geothermal technology can be used in the operation of heat pumps for building heating and cooling. In this segment, as part of our ongoing series on alternative energy sources, we'll take a look geothermal energy, and talk about its prospects in the USA.
Produced by Charles Bergquist, Director and Contributing Producer