Last Updated on March 12, 2021 by Filip Poutintsev
What is Geothermal Energy?
Earth center is loaded with high-temperature magma which keeps developing constantly by radioactive substances or by the vivacious movement of tectonic plates, so when this incredibly hot magma pushes the rock above it, the rocks take the heat from the magma and gets hot.
So when underground water changed over the steam and as this steam arrives at the outside of the earth, water fountains or water springs are formed. So we can utilize the steam that comes out of these fountains directly to form electricity and what do we need for it? Sharp blades of the turbines to rotate, then we have our geothermal energy.
The United States of America leads the world in the amount of electricity generated with geothermal energy. Geothermal energy is expected to have a significant role in the future.
Considering the fact that it is an alternative and renewable source, nations are trying to research and implement how can it be benefited and what could be the possible drawbacks of geothermal energy.
Pros of Geothermal Energy
The extraction of geothermal energy doesn’t require any kind of fossil fuels and is referred to as green energy considering the fact that it is environmentally friendly compared to gas or oil furnaces. Anything that is eco-friendly has always been attractive in today’s world context!
Renewable Source of Energy
According to scientists, it is estimated that geothermal reservoirs will last billions of years. The energy is extracted from the center of the earth and as long as the earth exists, geothermal energy will be available.
No Fuel Required
Usually, power plants require lots of fuel. A traditional fossil fuel would require you to burn coal, natural gas or oil, but no fuel is required for geothermal energy. No mining of transportation is required related to the process so no truck gushing fuels as well!
You should definitely not worry about weather conditions not being on your favor because it doesn’t depend upon factors like the wind of the sun which is usually unpredictable and unstable. The power outcome of a geothermal power plant can, in fact, be estimated with noteworthy factuality.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ( IPCC), it is estimated that the potential of geothermal power plants varies between 0.035 to 2 TW depending on the scale of investments.
Since it is not impacted by a global deficit of resources or by soaring fossil fuel prices as per the information by IRENA, it certainly can be said it’s a way to future.
Incredible for Heating and Cooling
Geothermal energy systems produce fewer greenhouse gases compared to traditional heating and cooling systems. According to the US Department of Energy, geothermal heating systems are 70 percent more worthwhile than conventional heating and cooling system that uses oil or gas.
According to Fanjoy, geothermal energy homeowners can save 70 percent on a home heating bull and 50 percent on cooling bills.
Source of Employment
According to a 2014 report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the United States alone, the geothermal industry provided 35,000 jobs between 2012-2013. It can be predicted that advancement in technology related to geothermal energy can create more job opportunities in the days to come.
From manufacturing to operational work and from commercial to agricultural and more, electricity takes a huge role in any nation’s economy. Plus, many nations are trying to come up with an alternative that contributes to the conservation of the environment so geothermal energy can be an ideal alternative source that can help the nation’s reliability on imports of the foreign fuel market. This way, the country can secure its future.
Geothermal energy takes up relatively fewer spaces than dam based hydropower or solar schemes. Comparing it to the amount of energy you might possibly be benefited with, it’s just wells and access roads that are to be built up.
Lower Capital and Higher Capacity
If geothermal energy is to be compared with another renewable source of energy, it operates at 95-96% of its ability. Looking from an economic point of view, the capital cost and the maintenance cost are also pretty low hence making it an efficient source of energy.
Cons of Geothermal Energy
Convenient to Only a Particular Area
Required geology is not found everywhere around which is the reason why geothermal energy is not being used in its maximum potential.
Countries like Iceland and the Philippines are blessed with geothermal energy that can meet up the demand of approximately one-third of their electricity but it is not the same everywhere. Also, normally geothermal reservoirs zones are far away from cities and towns.
Although geothermal energy’s pollution is comparatively low than conventional fossil fuels and its production doesn’t release greenhouse gases, we cannot ignore that during drilling processes, emissions are common. Geothermal plants are associated with harmful heavy metals like Boron, Mercury, Arsenic, and emissions like Silica and Sulphur Dioxide.
The stability of the land can be affected. There is a potential of distorting the structure of the earth. it might not affect that much as the geothermal power plant is normally situated in remote locations but natural disasters such as earthquakes can be threatening.
Although a promising return of investment can be expected, the initial cost is very high because of the complex installation process and extensive research that might have to be conducted before the installation.
It can be a major turnoff if individual homeowners decide to use geothermal energy as installation of a geothermal heat pump can range from $10,000 to $20,000
May Run out of Steam
Geothermal reservoirs may run out of steam over a certain period of time because the temperature may cool down. The temperature can also drop if too much water leaks into the earth’s surface and into the geothermal stores. This can also cause huge losses to companies if they do not conduct their initial research well.
Geothermal energy as a sustainable source of energy is totally feasible. But the planet changes and advances after some time, in any case, so a few stores can be exhausted over the long haul once they have been tapped.
The above mentioned were a few advantages as well as disadvantages of geothermal energy.
According to researches, a lot of countries have exploited this form of energy with countries like Iceland generating over 30% of its energy from geothermal sources.
Hence, geothermal energy can decrease our reliance on fossil fuels and evade the outcomes of the condition that are regular to the burning of fossil fuels. At the end of the day, it is an incredible alternative source we can depend on!