The Earth's crust in Poland is thinner that in other parts of the world thus making it easier to drill the heated water necessary for providing geothermal energy to homes and hot tubs. Geothermal in Poland is becoming a viable alternative to fossil fuels, but high costs and bureaucracy are providing some obstacles. Parts of the mountain resort Zakopane in southern Poland are heated using geothermal energy, although some people still need to burn coal in their stoves to keep warm. More after the jump; plus jump into "James Brown's Celebrity Hot Tub" with Eddie Murphy courtesy of Saturday Night Live.These Polish pumps extract heated water from a depth of 2600 meters. The video gives a quick rundown on geothermal basics and then takes a dip into the hot tubs at the mountain resort Zakopane in southern Poland which along with some buildings are heated using geothermal energy. Geothermal here is a cheap, profitable and sustainable alternative to natural gas, however some residents of the region who sit on top of vast reservoirs of heated water are keep from accessing the energy source because of red tape.
Still burning coal to heat homes
The video speaks with one man who is seen pouring a bucket of coal into a heating stove. He says that the distance to the heated water underground is the same as the distance to an on-site well that hasn't been used in twenty years; additionally "it has one of the best thermal parameters in Poland with a water temperature over 90 degrees."
Sustainable alternative to unreliable natural gas
Russia shut off supplies of natural gas through Ukraine to Poland in January 2009, countries in Eastern Europe were left without heating. Using geothermal resources would cut down on energy dependence on neighboring countries. According to a UN report, in 2004 geothermal production capacity in 24 countries was equivalent to .3 percent of world electricity. That share could rise to 2 percent by 2030.
Doesn't that sound warm an cosy? So go on, dip a toe into James Brown's Celebrity Hot Tub. Visualize it as heated by geothermal sources. Perhaps even take the plunge into seeing what you can do in your community towards making geothermal the next rising energy star.