In this article we will learn following things about Geothermal energy.
- What is Geothermal energy?
- Its uses (or applications)
- Methods to harness it
- Its advantages and disadvantages (or limitations)
What is Geothermal energy?
Geothermal energy is a type of thermal energy which is generated and stored in earth.
Note: Thermal energy is a type of energy which is responsible for the temperature of the matter.
The geothermal energy in the earth’s crust has originated from the formation of earth and the radioactive decay of materials.
Theoretically its reserves are more than adequate to satisfy the needs of humankind but only a very small fraction of it may be profitably exploited.
Applications (or uses) of Geothermal energy
It has several applications and some of them are:
- Space heating
- Cooking food
- Electricity generation
- Process heat
- Raising plaints in green house
- Drying crops
- Heating water at fish farms
Advantages (or benefits) of Geothermal Energy
It has several advantages and some of them are:
- Cost effective
- Reliable and stable
- Environment friendly
- It is immune to fuel cost fluctuations
- It is renewable
- Low emissions
- High efficiency of energy conversion
- Little maintenance of the system
- Very less noise pollution
- Independent on weather unlike solar energy
- Massive potential
- Small land footprint
- Clean source of energy
Disadvantages (or limitations) of Geothermal energy
It has a few disadvantages and some of them are:
- Drilling and exploitation of it is expensive
- Environmental concerns due to release of greenhouse gases during extraction
- Land requirement for geothermal system installation is high
- Geothermal power plants may affect stability of land
- Cost of power produced is high
- It is location specific
- Energy transportation cost is high since geothermal power plants are often located on remote locations
- Pumps required for extracting it may require external power, which may possibly come from burning fossil fuels
Featured Image attribution: By Gretar Ívarsson – Edited by Fir0002 – Gretar Ívarsson, geologist at Nesjavellir, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2523755