Geothermal power

Geothermal energy has been used for thousands of years in some countries for cooking and heating. It is simply power derived from the Earth’s internal heat.


This thermal energy is contained in the rocks and fluids beneath the Earth’s crust. It can be found from shallow ground to several miles below the surface. In New Zealand there is a beach where you can dig a hole in the sand and hot water will come from under the ground and fill your hole.


These underground reservoirs of steam and hot water can be tapped to generate electricity or to heat and cool buildings directly.

Before you watch and listen to the video about geothermal energy in the US, read the questions below and identify keywords and synonyms. Then listen to the video to find the answers.


A. Geothermal energy comes from

  1. underground rivers

  2. under the sea

  3. underground reservoirs

B. Sometimes, heated water can break through the earth's surface, especially

  1. Where the earth is cracked

  2. Where the earth's plates collide

  3. Where the earth is very dry

C. The most common type of system used to obtain geothermal energy is

  1. dry steam technology

  2. binary cycle technology

  3. flash steam technology

D. When liquid 'flashes', it

  1. boils water

  2. become gas

  3. cools down very quickly

E. Which of the following is NOT a benefit of geothermal energy

  1. little land space needed

  2. low impact on the environment

  3. low costs

F. A survey has shown that 10% of US energy needs could come from:

  1. existing geothermal power plants

  2. the development of new geothermal technologies

  3. currently unused underground thermal reservoirs

Listen to the video again and try and determine the meaning of the ten words and phrases below.


geothermal (adj), reservoir (n), vapour (n), to drive (v), generator (n), untapped (adj), power plant (n), fluid (n), minimal (adj), fossil fuels (n)


When you are ready, enter the answers to the five questions and complete the vocabulary test below


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