Actually, geothermal energy use has been around since ancient times. Hot springs have been used for bathing for the entire history of mankind. Commercial bathhouses using hot springs for public baths and underfloor heating in the 1st century Rome probably represent the first commercial use of geothermal power. The oldest geothermal district heating system in Chaudes-Aigues, France, has been operating since the 14th century. The earliest industrial use was in 1827 with the use of geyser steam to extract boric acid from volcanic mud in Larderello, Italy. Many cities throughout the world have turned to exploit geothermal energy for district heating systems over the past two centuries. And as a source of electricity, the first geothermal power generator was tested in 1904, so even that has been around for awhile. The first geothermal power plant was built in Italy in 1911. This remained the only one for a long time — the first geothermal power plant in the US wasn’t built until 1960, only the third in the world by that time. As of 2007 worldwide, geothermal plants have the capacity to generate about 10 GW of electricity, and supply 0.3% of global electricity demand.
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