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How Geothermal Energy works

Resource Type Media
Publish Date 24th Nov 2011

This is an animated video explaining the origin of geothermal energy and showing how it can be extracted. It shows the distribution of deep, hot granites in Australia and the structures of the rocks in the Cooper Basin of South Australia. The closed loop, hot fractured rock (HFR) technique used by Geodynamics to extract energy from this basin is illustrated. The video explains that geothermal energy is renewable and emission-free.

Conditions of use:
This video is for educational purposes only. Geodynamics owns the copyright of this content and users must acknowledge the video as “Courtesy of Geodynamics Limited”. Permission must be sought from Geodynamics Limited for any additional use of this content.

Educational value statement

  • Shows where geothermal reserves are located in Australia and how they can be tapped.
  • Explains the radioactive origin of geothermal energy.
  • Explains the process of hydraulic fracturing to create reservoirs.
  • Describes how water is circulated within the reservoir to be heated to drive steam turbines.

Key learning objectives

  • Students explain the origin of heat deep within the earth.
  • Students describe how geothermal energy is extracted and used to generate electricity.
  • Students describe the process of hydraulic fracturing and explain why it is used in the geothermal industry.
  • Students list the advantages of geothermal energy in sustainable resource use.


  • Science Understanding: Earth and space sciences; Physical sciences
  • Science as a Human Endeavour: Use and influence of science

Australian Curriculum content statements (explicit)

Science: ACSSU049; ACSSU219; ACSSU116; ACSHE083; ACSHE100; ACSHE120; ACSHE135

Australian Curriculum content statements (implicit or able to be connected)

Science: ACSSU046; ACSSU153; ACSSU177

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