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Geothermal Engineering Research Office

Geothermal potential

GEROM - Geothermal Potential99% of our globe is hotter than 1000 °C
The Earth crust is 5 to 60 km deep
The crust has a mean temperature gradient of ~ 30 °C km -1
The mantle has a mean temperature ~ 1000/1200 °C
The inner core temperature is between 4000/5000 °C

Total Heat Content

It has been estimated that the total heat content of the Earth (above an assumed surface temperature of 15°C) is of the order of 12.6 x 1024 MJ, while the heat content of the crust is of the order of 5.4 x 1021 MJ - Armstead, 1983 – I.G.A.)[1]

Taking Earth radius as 6370 km and a mean crust thickness of 30 km, yields an estimated average crust heat content of the order of 3.5 x 1011MJ km-3 (350PJ km-3)

Crustal Heat Content

This is to say that 1 km3  of Earth crust has, an average heat content  ≈ 8.3 Mtoe (million tons of oil equivalent -Taking 1 toe 42 GJ 11.6 MWh)

Enemalta generated 2.26TWh of electricity in total in 2006
(annual report 2006)
≈ 0.18 Mtoe, while the fuel consumption for this was  < 0.65 Mtoe

Comparing these figures with the 8.3 Mtoe km-3 estimate gives an indication of the enormous quantity of energy lying under our feet.


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