In order to understand the disadvantages of Geothermal energy, there should be a clear understanding of is Geothermal energy. Geothermal energy is somewhat of an unknown entity in the average person’s knowledge of alternative power sources. The interior of the earth is made from molten rock and what geothermal energy does is capture the heat under the Earth’s crust to create power source. Geothermal energy is the energy derived from the heat in the interior of the earth. Geothermal power is the power extracted from heat stored in the earth. The Geothermal energy originates from the original formation of the planet, from radioactive decay of minerals, and from solar energy absorbed at the surface. It is also known as the thermal energy generated and stored in the earth. The word Geothermal came from the Greek word “geo” meaning “earth” and “thermos” meaning “heat”.
The benefits and disadvantages of geothermal energy were first hypothesized at the end of 1800s. After years of research, the first geothermal generator was built in 1904. On July 4, Italian Prince Piero Ginori Conti activated the machine on the dry steam field in Larderello. Researches working at the time found that the power was efficient and sustainable. Also, they realized that the challenges geothermal power had would hold the technology to its early state of years. Due to its advantages as well as disadvantages, may countries including United States, made efforts to construct geothermal power plants.
The center of the earth is so hot that it can melt rock very easily. As we go down in the earth’s crust, the temperature gets higher and higher. Approximately, for every 40 yards, the temperature raises about 34 degree Fahrenheit. The heated rocks below the earth’s surface heat up water to create steam. Holes are drilled into these specific geothermal regions so that the steam can escape. During the process, the geothermal power station drills the holes mentioned above and creates an injection well where cold water is pumped down the well. This cold water filters through the hot rocks and then pressure is used to bring the water back up. Once the hot water reaches the surface, it turns into the steam which is then connected for power. The steam is cleaned and filtered and then used to power turbines, which in turn provide an electric power source.
One of the beat advantages of geothermal energy is the lack of pollution created. Governments and companies concluded that there was an interest in reducing carbon emissions on a global scale. The U.S. Oceanic and atmospheric administration reports that, humans produce more than 27 billion tons of carbon emissions per year. Since geo thermal energy does not contribute to this pollution, many organizations have pushed its implementation. In addition to that geothermal energy does not use fuel to generate electricity. Cold water is pumped into the ground and super heated. This is again a good for the eco-system.