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geothermal.jpgThe Earth's heat is called geothermal energy.

Geothermal direct use dates back thousands of years, when people began using hot springs for bathing, cooking food, and loosening feathers and skin from game. Today, hot springs are still used as spas. But there are now more sophisticated ways of using this geothermal resource. In modern direct-use systems, a well is drilled into a geothermal reservoir to provide a steady stream of hot water. The water is brought up through the well, and a mechanical system delivers the heat directly for its intended use.

Geothermal hot water can be used for many applications that require heat. Its current uses include heating, raising plants in greenhouses, drying crops, heating water at fish farms, and several industrial processes, such as pasteurizing milk.