It’s introduced that there are only 6 national capitals in the world that have geothermal resources, among which Beijing is one of the qualified cities to be exploited. It has been found that there are 10 low-temperature geothermal power fields in Beijing. The water temperature from most geothermal wells is about 50 degree centigrade, but that of several have reached over 70 degree centigrade. There are underground heat sources in the 8 main urban districts in Beijing. It is estimated that nearly 12 million cubic meters of underground hot water could be exploited every year, which is equivalent to over 90,000 tons of coal if we convert the utilizable heat into the standard coal.
Beijing began to use geothermal power in the seventies, during which the geothermal wells were dug in the Temple of Heaven and Zhongshan Park. Since 1990s, after introducing the petroleum drilling equipment, the dug depth of Beijing geothermal well rose to 4000 meters from 2000 meters, which made a considerable development in geothermal power in Beijing. There are several hundred geothermal wells that are being used in Beijing at present. There are over 20 reported geothermal wells every year now.
According to the introduction of expert from Institute of geology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, there are mainly two ways to use the geothermal energy. Generally, middle to low temperature geothermal power is utilized directly, namely geothermal heating, greenhouse, etc, which is the way of using geothermal power in Beijing at present. Another kind of method is to turn the high-temperature geothermal power into steam, and then generate electricity.
The Beijing basin has been divided into ten geothermal areas on the basis of geological and geothermal conditions. The best-known are the Urban and Xiaotangshan areas, which have been utilised since the 70's and 80's, respectively. Plans are being made to increase geothermal utilisation in Beijing, in particular for space heating, in order to help battle the serious pollution facing the city.