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Sustainability

What Really Is Geothermal Energy And How Does It Work?

From When Does Geothermal Energy Derive Its Power?

Geothermal energy is defined as the heat that originates from the earth’s subterranean layers. In the rocks & fluids beneath the earth’s crust, it can be found all the way down to heated molten rock, or magma, at the core of the earth’s crustal layer.

For geothermal energy to be used to generate electricity, wells must be built a mile deep to underground reservoirs in order to reach the vapour and hot water that exists there. This steam and hot water could be used to spin turbines that are connected to generating electricity. Dry steam, flash, and binary geothermal power plants are the 3 types of geothermal plants available.

Known as dry steam technology, it is the oldest kind of geothermal energy and involves extracting steam from the earth and using it to directly spin a turbine. Flash plants convert high-pressure heated air into cool, low-pressure water, whereas binary plants transfer hot water through a second liquid with a lower boiling, which transforms to vapour and drives the turbine. Flash plants are more efficient than binary plants, which are more expensive.

When And Where Does It Come Into Play ?

Geothermal energy is employed in more than 20 nations throughout the world. The The Us is the world’s largest generator of geothermal energy, and it also has the world’s largest geothermal field, which is located in Alaska.

The area, which is known as “The Geysers” in California, is spread over 117 kilometres and is made up of 22 power units with a combined installed capacity of more than 1.5 gigatonnes.

red and white barn near brown field under white clouds during daytime

Iceland, where it’s been in use since 1907, is another country where this energy source is common. The country prides itself on being a “pioneer” in the use of geothermal energy, and five geothermal plants provide 25 percent of the country’s total energy. This is owing to the fact that the country has 600 hot springs & 200 volcanoes.

Geothermal Energy Has Both Advantages And Disadvantages

In the words of the British Geological Survey, geothermal energy is a “carbon-free, renewable, and sustainable source of energy that ensures continuous, uninterrupted power supply of warmth that can be used to create heat and office buildings while also being used to generate electricity.” Geothermal energy is also known as “thermal energy” or “thermal power.”

Geothermal energy emits only one-sixth of a CO2 emitted by a gas plant and it is not an unpredictable form of energy such wind and solar, as is the case with wind and solar. Its possible output capacity might be as much as 2TW and as low as 35GW, depending on the technology.

However, there are several disadvantages to using this type of energy. Despite the fact that geothermal energy produces little CO2, it has been linked to other pollutants such as sulphur dioxide & hydrogen sulphide.

Geothermal power facilities, like fracking, have been linked to the occurrence of minor earthquakes in the areas where they operate. They also have a high initial construction cost, similar to that of fracking. As a result of its activity occurring along the plate tectonics of the earth’s crust, it has also been dubbed “the most position source of energy known to man.” As a result, it is restricted to nations such as the United States and Iceland, as well as Kenya and Indonesia.

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