In an earth-like world, what can I provide as examples of areas where high energy is generated naturally?

I'm looking for sources of energy other than heat, for e.g, volcanoes and geothermic vents.

  • $\begingroup$ Do you want areas with high energy fluctuations or high energy generation? $\endgroup$
    – Mormacil
    Commented Feb 27, 2019 at 11:46
  • $\begingroup$ @Mormacil I'm looking for areas generating high energy. But if such areas generate energy only in spikes occasionally that would be fine as well. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 27, 2019 at 11:51
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Could you elaborate on what kind of energy you're thinking of? Are you thinking of magnetic / electric fields, weather events like lightning, the kintetic energy of the sea, etc? $\endgroup$
    – Jack
    Commented Feb 27, 2019 at 11:55
  • $\begingroup$ "sources of energy other than heat, e.g, volcanoes and geothermic vents": volcanoes and geothermic vents are pretty hot. I don't understand what you are trying to say. That apart, welcome to worldbuilding. Please take the tour and visit the help center to getter a better understanding of this community. $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Commented Feb 27, 2019 at 12:27
  • $\begingroup$ What is "high" for you? $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Commented Feb 27, 2019 at 12:28

6 Answers 6


Depending on what kind of energy you're interested, this phenomenon(Catatumbo lightning) could provide an approach to high static/electrical energy. I'm pretty sure that if it's possible on earth at this rate it would be possibly even stronger if the conditions are even stronger than they're here. Which is likely, as you can create the conditions as you're creating an alternative world. This would also provide a reason why this energy is available in only specific places.

  • $\begingroup$ you're welcome. Little tip, wait a bit before accepting an answer, because than you'll likely get more answers. There are certainly other people with good ideas around here. Already accepted questions get less attention ;) $\endgroup$
    – miep
    Commented Feb 27, 2019 at 13:29
  • $\begingroup$ Haha yeah, thanks for the tip though! $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 27, 2019 at 13:59

Just some very basic ideas:

  • tectonic plate movement
    • creates enough energy to cause earthquakes
    • forms volcanoes
    • enough to move continents, over time, but in a fantasy world you can get away with speeding this process slightly and still it be earth-like.
  • The sun's energy
    • creates wind (for further explanation look up atmospheric convection)
    • wind creates weather and therefore lightning and stuff
    • heats up the surface enough to scorch places it hits directly
  • the orbit of the moon
    • actually has a role in warming the earth
    • creates tide
    • effects ocean current which is very powerful

Now if we're talking immediate power unleashed in a very visible and observable way:

  • volcanoes
  • tidal waves/tsunamis
  • lightning, storm clouds
  • earthquakes
  • meteorites
  • solar flares
  • gravity, not just from the planet itself, but neutron stars if close enough can massively affect a planet when they shift or pulse.

As far as I know, energy on the earth comes from 3 places; The Sun, The internal heat of the planet itself and Nuclear energy stored in elements.

If you are looking for naturally occuring energy sources other than heat, you'll have to look at the sun and nuclear energy. Examples of possible sources could be

  • Naturally occurring fission reactors

  • Solar flares, which could be a source of occasionally spiking naturally occuring energy, which is discussed nicely over here

  • Faultlines between tectonic plates, where energy would be generated in the form of earthquakes. Which are non-thermal but technically caused by the internal heat of the earth.

In addition to these you've got loads of phenomena such as wind from storms, lightning, strong magnetic fields and ocean currents. Which are all energy sources which could be made to spike or be abnormally high.

  • $\begingroup$ Does a place where the earth's crust keeps shifting unceasingly due to tectonic action seems plausible? $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 27, 2019 at 13:37
  • $\begingroup$ I am unsure, it certainly doesn't seem impossible to me given that we have high activity areas such as the ring of fire here on earth and tectonic plates are constantly shifting. geo.mtu.edu/UPSeis/where.html $\endgroup$
    – MB123
    Commented Feb 27, 2019 at 14:32
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    $\begingroup$ + for the natural fission reactors! $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Commented Feb 28, 2019 at 2:09

Tidal bores

A tidal bore, often simply given as bore in context, is a tidal phenomenon in which the leading edge of the incoming tide forms a wave of water that travels up a river or narrow bay against the direction of the river or bay's current

There's a lot of energy there although it takes a lot of engineering to tap it and it's only available at certain times of the day. But on the bright side, those times are predictable.


Maybe a certain terrain configuration that makes forming of clouds easy. This could give you a lot of natural water power in the form of rivers. Or you could make it so a large gold/iron/conductive metal deposit is located in such a location, increasing the chances of lighting striking a certain point, allowing you to harness it's power.

Caves on a cliff side using the power of the sea to generate winds? Something like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_organ , but on a much larger scale.

A tall, icy mountain next to a hot seaside, generating lots of snowfall and avalanches on the mountain, or a mountain with wide temperature swings in short periods of time (a bit sci-fi, but I suppose it could work).


A few ideas:

  • Incredibly large waterfalls and rapids, where the climate downstream is hot enough to effectively keep the water cycle going could.
  • Peat bog wetlands with highly efficient rate of moss growth. The area itself doesn't generate a lot of energy, but the peat could be dried and used as fuel.
  • Storm fields. Large fields with tropical climates surrounding it or adjacent to it, creating the warm, moist air needed for lightning storms. And of course, the wind direction that leads this air towards the cooler plains or tundra plains climate. People can then build various lightning rods, leading to vast underground energy storages.
  • $\begingroup$ Storm Fields seem like a pretty neat idea to explore! Thanks! $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 27, 2019 at 13:25

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