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Thursday, 30 June 2011



The oldest known pool fed by a hot spring, built in the Qin dynasty in the 3rd century BC.
Hot springs have been used for bathing at least since paleolithic times.[32] The oldest known spa is a stone pool on China’s Lisan mountain built in the Qin dynasty in the 3rd century BC, at the same site where the Huaqing Chi palace was later built. In the first century AD, Romans conquered Aquae Sulis, now Bath, Somerset, England, and used the hot springs there to feed public baths and underfloor heating. The admission fees for these baths probably represent the first commercial use of geothermal power. The world's oldest geothermal district heating system in Chaudes-Aigues, France, has been operating since the 14th century.[15] The earliest industrial exploitation began in 1827 with the use of geyser steam to extract boric acid from volcanic mud in Larderello, Italy.
In 1892, America's first district heating system in Boise, Idaho was powered directly by geothermal energy, and was copied in Klamath Falls, Oregon in 1900. A deep geothermal well was used to heat greenhouses in Boise in 1926, and geysers were used to heat greenhouses in Iceland and Tuscany at about the same time.[33] Charlie Lieb developed the first downhole heat exchanger in 1930 to heat his house. Steam and hot water from geysers began heating homes in Iceland starting in 1943.
Global geothermal electric capacity. Upper red line is installed capacity;[19] lower green line is realized production.[1]
In the 20th century, demand for electricity led to the consideration of geothermal power as a generating source. Prince Piero Ginori Conti tested the first geothermal power generator on 4 July 1904, at the same Larderello dry steam field where geothermal acid extraction began. It successfully lit four light bulbs.[34] Later, in 1911, the world's first commercial geothermal power plant was built there. It was the world's only industrial producer of geothermal electricity until New Zealand built a plant in 1958.

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