In addition to their many advantages, geothermal power stations also have some disadvantages. See the lists below for more information on their benefits and drawbacks.
There are countless treasures in the earth’s interior that have been used safely for a very long time and are known to humans. We are all aware of minerals, actively use gas, oil, and coal in our daily lives, and own silverware, jewelry, and precious stones. However, we often overlook one invaluable resource: geothermal energy.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of geothermal power plants? Here are the answers.
Advantages of Geothermal Power Plants
The advantages of geothermal power plants are listed in this section:
Unlike coal-powered plants, geothermal power plant stations use a renewable heat source that has a steady supply. They only capture a tiny fraction of the heat that exists in the earth’s core, in actuality.
Studies have also revealed that the industry has only utilized 6.5% of the total global potential, indicating that there is still plenty of energy to last the world for many more years. Furthermore, geothermal power stations produce only 5% of the greenhouse gases that coal-powered plants do, making them significantly more environmentally friendly than the latter. Read More: Why is Geothermal Energy Considered a Renewable Resource?
Produce Large Amounts of Energy
These geothermal power station stations’ large power capacities are one of their biggest advantages. As a result, they can significantly contribute to meeting the world’s and developing countries’ growing energy needs.
Result in Stable Prices
Because conventional power plants are fuel-dependent, the price of the electricity they generate varies with the market price of fuel. This isn’t the case with geothermal power plant stations; since they don’t use fuel, they don’t have to rely on fuel prices and they can offer their consumers stable electricity costs.
Renewable and Sustainable Source
Unlike non-renewable energy sources, geothermal energy is limitless. As long as the earth supports our lives, geothermal energy will exist and geothermal power will work.
Permanent Power Supply
Unlike other renewable energy sources, geothermal one can provide a constant supply of energy – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, regardless of external factors. As an illustration, wind turbines can only generate energy when there is enough wind, and solar panels can only do so during the day.
You can learn more about other types of power plants, such as Nuclear Power Plants, Hydroelectric Power Plants, Thermal Power Plants, Solar Power Plants, Wind Power Plants, Tidal Power Plants, and Biomass Power Plants.
Disadvantages of Geothermal Power Plants
Below are the disadvantages of geothermal power plants:
Can’t Be Built Just Anywhere
The heat of the earth can be found almost anywhere, but the best places (i.e. those that have all the components needed to support geothermal power plant stations) are only found in selected areas.
These areas are typically far from urban and industrial communities, which are the locations with the greatest demand for electricity. Because of this, certain infrastructure would have to be built before the electricity that the plants produce could reach the consumers.
Expensive to Build
Geothermal power plant stations require specially made heating and cooling systems as well as other equipment that can withstand high temperatures. They are typically situated in remote locations, as was already mentioned. To deliver electricity from these remote locations to populated areas, the necessary infrastructure must be built.
Cause Environmental Damage
Although geothermal power plant stations are more environmentally friendly than other energy stations, they still have the potential to harm the environment. One of these is the amount of freshwater they use, which is heated to run generator turbines and can make people’s access to potable water more difficult.
Arsenic, mercury, and other hazardous substances are present in large quantities in the drilling fluids, which also contain radon and methane, two greenhouse gases. These can cause havoc on the environment and people’s health if they are improperly handled or disposed of. They can also escape into the atmosphere or seep into the water table.
There are reasons to believe that geothermal structures have caused underground shakings in different parts of the world. Despite the fact that seismic activity is frequently insignificant, it can cause building damage, injuries, and even fatalities.
An earthquake series in Basel, Switzerland, in 2006 was attributed by scientists to a geothermal exploration project there. On the Richter scale, some of these earthquakes registered as 3.4. Further research in 2011 revealed a strong correlation between geothermal exploration and seismic activity.
Geothermal tanks can run dry if not managed carefully, according to studies. Such circumstances will render the geothermal power plant obsolete until the tank is repaired.
The only inexhaustible option is to get geothermal energy directly from the magma, but this technology is still in the process of development. This option is worth investing in at least because the magma will exist for billions of years.
The Potential of Geothermal Energy
Obviously, geothermal energy has a rather serious potential and will play an important role in the future. In Europe, geothermal energy is used for a variety of purposes, but primarily for the production of electricity and the heating and cooling of buildings.
Nine new stations with a total capacity of 75 MW were only operational in 2017 throughout the European Union, particularly in France, Italy, and the Netherlands. Geothermal power generation is anticipated to reach 17 GW globally by 2023, with Indonesia, Kenya, the Philippines, and Turkey seeing the largest increases in capacity.
Some researchers believe that geothermal energy should be about 1/6 of the world’s energy supply, and others are vice versa, giving it a minimal chance for further existence. Whether you decide to invest in the construction of a geothermal power plant is entirely up to you. In any case, as pure minerals and combustible minerals vanish, they will become a necessary component of the renewable energy that powers the world.
Conclusion: Geothermal Power Plants
Geothermal energy is regarded as one of the most economically advantageous energy sources. The magma contains a substantial portion of this energy. Building geothermal power plants is becoming a growing trend among households around the world as a cost-saving measure.
Many nations around the world have geothermal power plant stations already in operation. To make sure we take advantage of these stations while minimizing their drawbacks, it is still important to take into account the benefits and drawbacks mentioned above.