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Geothermal electricity is electricity generated from geothermal energy, which is the thermal energy generated and stored in the Earth. Geothermal power is cost effective, reliable, sustainable, and environmentally friendly, but has historically been limited to regions near tectonic plate boundaries. Recent technological advances have dramatically expanded the range and size of viable resources, especially for applications including home heating, opening a potential for widespread exploitation. Geothermal wells release greenhouse gasses trapped deep within the earth, but these emissions are much lower per energy unit than those of fossil fuels.