Geothermal Energy Pros And Cons
The information debated between geothermal energy's pros and cons primarily involves the environment and cost. Geothermal energy is energy derived from the Earth's heat. The term "geothermal" comes from the Greek words "geo," meaning "Earth," and "therme," meaning "heat." Steam and hot water produced inside the Earth, the core of which is hotter than the surface of the sun, is captured and used to create electricity or heat buildings.
Renewable Energy. One pros of geothermal energy is that it is renewable, meaning that it is replenished as we use it. The Earth continues to produce heat on a consistent level every day. Furthermore, geothermal energy power plants inject the water and steam back into the Earth after it is used. In contrast, coal and oil takes millions of years to create and once used, is not replaceable, leading to high costs when demand outstrips supply.
Less Pollution: Another pro is geothermal energy is less harmful to the environment. Geothermal energy power plants create less pollution than traditional fossil fuel power plants. In comparison to fossil fuel power plants, they release less than one percent of the carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming and 97 percent less of the sulfur compounds that cause acid rain.
Geography: While geothermal energy is better for the environment, its availability is geographically limited. In the United United States, geothermal reservoirs are mostly in the Western states, including Hawaii. Since geothermal power plants are built near geothermal reservoirs, this means that wide-scale use of geothermal energy in other areas, such as the East Coast, is less feasible and costlier.
Cost and Time: A big con of geothermal energy is that geothermal reservoirs take a lot of money and time to find. Geothermal reservoirs are located deep inside the Earth, undetectable to the human eye unless the energy has found some way to escape in the form of a volcano, geyser or hot spring. After finding the geothermal reservoir, engineers need to drill wells deep into the Earth so that the water and steam can be piped up to the surface, a process that costs more and takes more time than setting up solar and wind power plants.