Advantages and Disadvantages of Geothermal Energy

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pros and cons of geothermal energy infographicToday I’ll be writing about some of the pros and cons of geothermal energy so that people might have a better understanding of this interesting source of alternative energy.

I won’t really be getting into the specifics about how geothermal energy works today but instead I’ll just be presenting both the positive and negative impacts that this form of energy might have on our ecosystem and society. I hope you find this information interesting and helpful in some way.

Some of the Advantages of Geothermal Energy

  • This is a true source of renewable energy.
  • Since there isn’t a need to purchase fuels like oil or coal to run geothermal power plants, operational costs are quite low.
  • No matter what humans do, we will never be able to exhaust this source of energy.
  • When geothermal energy is used to either produce electricity, heat water, or heat buildings, there are never any harmful emissions like we see when burning coal, oil, or wood.
  • Because this is a form of renewable energy, there may be government subsidies as well as tax benefits for using it.
  • This is a source of energy that can be found all over the world. Harnessing it lessens our dependency on foreign oil.
  • The overall amount of land that is required to build a geothermal power plant is less than other types of power plants.
  • There is less of an impact on wildlife because structures like dams that dramatically alter wildlife habitat don’t need to be built.
  • This is a technology that can be scaled to fit the particular application. It can be used on a small scale to heat or cool homes but it can also be scaled up to provide heat and electricity for large businesses. It can be scaled up even more to generate electricity for entire communities.
  • It is a source of energy that can be harnessed to do multiple things which include heating, cooling, and generating electricity.
  • This is a very stable and consistent source of energy. Wind speeds can fluctuate which will affect wind power. Solar panels don’t produce electricity at night. Lastly, hydro energy can be impacted by changes in water flows. Geothermal energy is the same all the time.

Some of the Disadvantages of Geothermal Energy

  • There are certain challenges associated with finding ideal locations to drill that will produce a consent source of geothermal heat that is sufficient for its intended use.
  • Geothermal wells cost money to drill and there’s no guarantee that they will be useable. This means that there is a certain amount of financial risk involved during the exploration process.
  • Unlike wind turbines that can be built and installed by homeowners, harnessing geo-energy requires specialized equipment and skills.
  • Changes in the underlying structure of the earth’s crust may cause geothermal wells to go dry and stop producing heat. This is something that we have absolutely no control over. A productive geothermal well that is working perfectly today may be useless 10 or 20 years from now.
  • Sometimes during the drilling process, gasses such as hydrogen sulfide are released from the well. These gasses must be captured and dealt with instead of just letting them vent into the atmosphere.
  • Not everyone can afford to harness this source of energy. Solar panels can be purchased a few at at time and the size of the array can be increased over time as finances allow. Utilizing this form of energy requires an “all or nothing” commitment.

I think that about covers it but if you can think of anything that I might have missed, please send me an email or leave a comment in the box at the bottom of this page. If you found this article to be helpful, please help me spread the word about by clicking on the Facebook Like or the Twitter Tweet buttons! Hope to see you around here again real soon!

If you enjoyed this article, you might also enjoy reading Wind Power Pros and Cons which covers similar issues but in regards to wind energy.

One Response to “Advantages and Disadvantages of Geothermal Energy”

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  1. Sajida Mohammed says:

    Nice topic. I am currently graduated university research work on geothermal energy, especially for direct use of geothermal heating houses. Thank you. Sajida Mohammed

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