Geothermal energy can be used for electricity production as well as space or process heating applications. The process of electrical production uses fluids heated by the Earth to run a generator. The relatively high temperature and high-pressure fluid is expanded across a turbine to provide power to a generator, producing electricity.

For a geothermal resource to be capable of economically-viable power production, a number of attributes must be present:

  1. a heat source,
  2. a reservoir of geothermal fluids with sufficient permeability and porosity,
  3. sufficient heat conduction within the formation, and
  4. high enough fluid flow.