Why is Geothermal Energy Considered a Renewable Resource?

Why is Geothermal Energy Considered a Renewable Resource?

Have you ever wondered why geothermal energy is regarded as a renewable resource? You can learn the solutions from this article.

Geothermal energy is renewable because it derives from naturally occurring heat that is produced and kept in the Earth’s core. Hot springs in Iceland, deep wells in Asia, and our own towns and backyards are just a few places where geothermal energy can be found.

Please read this article to learn more about this renewable resource.

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Why is Geothermal Energy Considered a Renewable Resource?

A geothermal power plant’s capacity factor can range from 60% to 90%, making it suitable for base load (continuous) electricity production. Unlike renewable energy sources like wind and solar farms, geothermal power plants are not impacted by the weather, allowing them to provide a stable supply of electricity.

The average availability for geothermal power plants is 90% or higher, compared to about 75% for coal-fired plants.

Since energy can be extracted from geothermal sources without burning fossil fuels like coal, gas, or oil, there are fewer harmful emissions as a result, making geothermal energy a renewable resource.

Additionally, geothermal power plants utilize the nearly limitless heat energy produced by the Earth’s core. Even in regions dependent on a hot water reservoir, the volume extracted can be re-injected, making geothermal energy a sustainable energy source.

What is Geothermal Energy?

What Is Geothermal Energy? Types and Advantages. Why should we care about  Geothermal Power Plant?

Geothermal energy is essentially heat that is produced beneath the rocky mantle of the Earth. This heat can be harvested and used in different ways, from generating electricity to home heating.

Normally, the temperature rises as we descend deeper, but occasionally, geothermal heat is transferred to the surface, i.e. hot springs and volcanoes.

Many health spars have been built over hot springs, where the Earth’s heat naturally warms water which is then contained in hot baths and used as part of health cures.

Volcanoes can be a very destructive force and the high temperature of lava (molten rocks) gives some indication of the high temperatures existing deep underground.

Just one meter underground the temperature fluctuates according to local insolation (the sun’s energy level) but at a depth of over two meters the temperature is generally constant.

Types of Geothermal Power Plants

Turbines, generators, and transformers are all common components of geothermal power plants, just like their conventional counterparts.

Up until 1958, when the Wairakei plant in New Zealand was put into service, Italy was the only industrial producer of geothermal electricity in the world. The first commercial geothermal station was constructed in Tuscany in 1911.

There are three main types of geothermal power plants:

  • Dry steam plants utilize steam directly from a geothermal reservoir in order to power turbines and generate electricity. A dry steam plant was the first geothermal power plant ever constructed; it was in Tuscany, Italy, in 1904.
  • Flash steam plants are the most common type of geothermal power plant. They function by transforming hot, high-pressure water from deep within the Earth into steam, which cools and condenses to water, which is then injected back into the ground to be used once more.
  • Binary cycle power plants transfer the heat from geothermal hot water into another liquid. This then converts to steam that powers a generator turbine.

How Does Geothermal Energy Help the Environment?

Geothermal helps the environment because it replaces, or partly replaces, non-renewable energy sources such as coal, oil, and gas (fossil fuels). Current estimates place the remaining useful life of these resources—which are heavily used—at 40 to 75 years.

Unfortunately, it will take much longer for renewable resources like wind and solar energy to replace fossil fuels. Part of the problem is that we need fossil fuels to create machines and tools that convert renewable energy into electricity and heat.

Fossil fuel consumption decreases as geothermal energy usage increases. The goal is to keep fossil fuels in the ground so that the percentage of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere doesn’t reach dangerous levels.

How Effective is Geothermal Energy?

Geothermal energy - Wikipedia

A few meters below the Earth’s surface, where the temperature difference is relatively small, home heating makes use of the elevated temperature. Using heat pump technology, the difference is enough to amplify 4 or 5 times for heating an indoor space.

Domestic heat pumps are said to be 400% efficient because they produce four times as much heat energy as is required to power the unit. Heat pumps are an effective way to heat a house.

As we drill into the Earth further, the temperature rises significantly. Below several hundred meters there are found reservoirs of water under pressure that are being heated to high temperatures by geothermal forces.

The pressurized water can be tapped and used to power turbines that generate electricity by escaping to the surface as steam. Plants designed to convert underground hot water reservoirs are very effective and can have an efficiency of up to 97%.

How a Residential Geothermal Heat Pump Uses Renewable Energy?

Consider the operation of a home geothermal heat pump. Ground loops that are 10 feet or more below the frost line are able to access a constant amount of heat coming from the Earth’s core. The water and antifreeze solution inside the loops absorbs this heat and transports it indoors where the heat pump will use it for heat exchange.

Why Is Geothermal Energy Considered a Renewable Resource?

In contrast, it has the ability to remove indoor heat and deposit it underground. The heat emanating from the Earth’s core quickly replaces any lost energy. Although much less than with other kinds of heat pumps, you will still need to use electricity to power the heat pump’s indoor components.

By using a geothermal heat pump, you can reduce your reliance on the burning of non-renewable fossil fuels like coal, gas, and oil. In addition, when operating, geothermal systems emit fewer pollutants. Installing a geothermal system in your home benefits you, the environment, and your comfort and wallet.

What is Renewable Energy?

Any source of power that can be replenished through use is referred to as a renewable energy source. Electricity generated by natural gas, oil, or coal depletes its limited supply of energy as it is used.

However, geothermal energy uses the nearly limitless heat that the Earth’s core produces and will continue to produce for the majority of the planet’s lifetime.

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