Geothermal Energy: Renewable Energy and the Environment, Second Edition, 2nd Edition (Hardback) book cover

Geothermal Energy

Renewable Energy and the Environment, Second Edition, 2nd Edition

By William E. Glassley

CRC Press

423 pages | 20 Color Illus. | 195 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781482221749
pub: 2014-10-13
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429161988
pub: 2014-10-13
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An In-Depth Introduction to Geothermal Energy

Addressing significant changes in the energy markets since the first edition, Geothermal Energy: Renewable Energy and the Environment, Second Edition expounds on the geothermal industry, exploring the expansion, growth, and development of geothermal systems. This text covers every area of geothermal energy, including environmental and economic issues, and technological advancements.

Considers the Vast Technological Achievements within the Geothermal Industry

Factoring in new concepts for distributed generation, hybrid technologies, and the development of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS), the book incorporates real-world examples designed to illustrate the key aspects of chapter topics. It provides case studies in nearly every chapter, and includes examples from the U.S., Iceland, France, and Japan.

  • Contains comprehensive, quantitative, and rigorous treatment of the geology, geochemistry, and geophysics of geothermal resources, and how they impact exploration, resource assessment, and operations
  • Provides a state-of-the-art description of current Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS)
  • Presents an objective description of the most recent economic comparisons including all energy resources
  • Covers environmental issues of energy use and quantitative descriptions of the relative impacts of all renewable and non-renewable energy resources
  • Describes geothermal resources from a global perspective, including direct use and geothermal heat pump applications, as well as power production

Geothermal Energy: Renewable Energy and the Environment, Second Edition can be used for undergraduate coursework; as a reference for designers, planners, engineers, and architects; and as a source of background material for policymakers, investors, and regulators.


"… a well-written all-inclusive updated version of the first edition… presents advances in understanding the economics and valuation of resources, particularly the expanded attention to life cycle analysis on energy returned on energy invested approaches."

Energy Sources, Part A: Recovery, Utilization, and Environmental Effects, 2015

"This is a very well written book and is very useful for both scientists as well as technologists as the ready reference for geothermal energy. It deals with every possible latest aspect with basic concepts along with the mathematical description. It will certainly be very handy for the planner as well as students who like to tap the potential of alternate energy resource."

—Professor Sandeep Singh, IIT Roorkee, India

"Great introductory treatment of all aspects of geothermal energy – from sources and occurrences, to exploration and utilization, to economic and environmental aspects, and to the future possibilities."

—Andrew Chiasson, Oregon Institute of Technology, Klamath Falls, USA

"This book provides a thorough, solid grounding in the basic physical science needed to understand geothermal energy. This is not always the case in writings on renewable energy! The reader of Glassley’s book will come away with a clear understanding of basic thermodynamics, geophysics, and geochemistry at a fundamental level. That leads to a deeper appreciation for the technological needs and challenges of geothermal energy systems. The book is quantitative throughout—an essential feature if one is to grasp the true potential of any renewable energy resource."

—Richard Wolfson, Professor of Physics & Environmental Studies, Middlebury College, Vermont, USA

"…provides an excellent general discussion of the major elements in this new aspect of geothermal energy development such as the "magnitude" and "characteristics" of these systems for the non-geoscientist as well as undergraduate and graduate science students."

—Joe Iovenitti, Consulting Geoscientist, USA

"This textbook will help educate the next generation of geothermal practitioners who will implement the solutions needed to grow geothermal energy so that it becomes a key part of the future renewable energy mix."

—Trenton Cladouhos, AltaRock Energy, Inc., Seattle, Washington, USA

Table of Contents


Global Energy Landscape

Geothermal Energy as a Renewable Energy Source

Electrical Demand and the Characteristics of Geothermal Energy

How This Book Is Organized




Further Information Sources

Sources of Geothermal Heat: The Earth as a Heat Engine

Origin of the Earth’s Heat

Transfer of Heat in the Earth

Plate Tectonics and the Distribution of Geothermal Resources

Classification of Geothermal Systems by Their Geological Context

Availability and Utilization of Geothermal Energy


Case Studies



Further Information

Thermodynamics and Geothermal Systems

First Law of Thermodynamics: Equivalence of Heat and Work and the

Conservation of Energy

Second Law of Thermodynamics: Inevitable Increase of Entropy

Gibbs Function and Gibbs Energy (ΔG)

Thermodynamic Efficiency


Case Study: Thermodynamic Properties of Water and Rock–Water Interaction



Additional Sources

Subsurface Fluid Flow: Hydrology of Geothermal Systems

General Model for Subsurface Fluid Flow

Matrix Porosity and Permeability

Fracture Porosity and Permeability

Effect of Depth on Porosity and Permeability

Hydrologic Properties of Real Geothermal Systems


Case Study: Long Valley Caldera



Further Information Sources

Chemistry of Geothermal Fluids

Why the Geochemistry of Geothermal Fluids Matters

Water as a Chemical Agent

Components and Chemical Systems

Saturation and the Law of Mass Action

Kinetics of Geothermal Reactions

Gases in Geothermal Fluids

Fluid Flow and Mixing in Natural Systems

Simulating Reactive Transport


Case Study: Silica System



Exploring for Geothermal Systems: Geology and Geochemistry

Classifying Geothermal Environments

Classification of Geothermal Systems from a Regional Perspective

Origin of Geothermal Fluids: Significance for Resource Exploration and Assessment

Surface Manifestations

Fluid Geochemistry as an Exploration Tool

Fluid Inclusions

Alteration and Exploration




Additional Information Sources

Exploring for Geothermal Systems: Geophysical Methods

Geophysics as an Exploration Tool: Aeromagnetic Surveys

Resistivity and Magnetotelluric Surveys

Gravity Surveys

Seismicity and Reflection Seismology

Temperature Measurements

Remote Sensing as an Exploration Tool: Promising New Technique


Case Study: Fallon, Nevada



Additional Information Sources

Resource Assessments

Assessing a Geothermal Resource

Resource Base and Reserves

Determining the Reservoir Volume

Establishing the Reservoir Heat Content

Significance of Heat Capacity

Efficiency of Heat Extraction


Case Study: Establishing the US Geothermal Resource



Further Information Sources



Drilling for Geothermal Heat Pump and Direct-Use Applications

Drilling for Geothermal Fluids for Power Generation

Case Study: Kakkonda, Japan



Further Information Sources

Generating Power Using Geothermal Resources

History of Geothermal Power Production

Flexibility and Consistency

General Features of Geothermal Power Generation Facilities

Dry Steam Resources

Hydrothermal Systems

Binary Generation Facilities: Organic Rankine Cycle


Case Study: The Geysers



Further Information

Low-Temperature Geothermal Resources: Geothermal Heat Pumps

Basic Heat Pump Principles

Thermodynamics of Heat Pumps

Coefficient of Performance and Energy Efficiency Ratio

Near-Surface Thermal Reservoir

Thermal Conductivity and Heat Capacity of Soils

Design Considerations for Closed-Loop Systems

Local Variability: Why Measurements Matter


Case Study: Weaverville and a US Cost–Benefit Analysis of GHP Installation



Further Information

Direct Use of Geothermal Resources

Assessing the Magnitude of the Direct-Use Reservoir

Nature of Thermal Energy Transfer

Establishing the Feasibility of a Direct-Use Application

District Heating




Case Study: Canby Cascaded System



Further Information

Enhanced Geothermal Systems

Concept of EGS

Magnitude of EGS

Characteristics of EGS

History of Enhanced Geothermal System Development

Reservoir Engineering

Reservoir Management for Sustainability


Case Study: Newberry Volcano Enhanced Geothermal System

Demonstration Project



Additional Information Sources

Use of Geothermal Resources: Economic Considerations

Economics of Geothermal Power

Economics of R&D Investment in Geothermal Energy

Developing a Geothermal Project

Alternative Economic Models




Further Information

Use of Geothermal Resources: Environmental Considerations


Solute Load and Resource Recovery


Ground Subsidence

Water Use

Land Use




Further Information

Geothermal Energy Future: Possibilities and Issues

History of Geothermal Emergence in the Market Place

Geopressured Resources

Supercritical Geothermal Fluids

Thermoelectric Generation

Flexible Generation

Hybrid Geothermal Systems




Further Information


About the Author

William Glassley is the executive director of the California Geothermal Energy Collaborative. He has more than 30 years’ experience in R&D in the earth sciences. The focus of his research has been in areas related to geothermal processes. He has held faculty appointments at several academic institutions. He was on the staff of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for more than 20 years. He currently is with the University of California. The author of more than 50 research articles in international journals, he has also participated on numerous national and international panels and working groups, and holds a doctorate in geochemistry.

About the Series

Energy and the Environment

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Energy
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Power Resources / Alternative & Renewable
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Power Resources / Electrical