Geothermal energy pros and cons – energy informative gas works park seattle


Commercial geothermal power projects are expensive. The exploration and drilling of new reservoirs come with a steep price tag (typically half the costs). Total costs usually end up somewhere between $2 – 7 million for a geothermal power plant with a capacity of 1 megawatt (MW).

The upfront costs of geothermal heating and cooling systems are also steep. On the other hand, these systems are likely to save you money years down the line, and should therefore be regarded as long-term investments. Ground source heat pumps typically costs $3,000 – $10,000 and have a payback time of 10 – 20 years.

Rainwater seeps through the earth’s surface and into the geothermal reservoirs over thousands of years. Studies show that the reservoirs can be depleted if the fluid is removed faster than replaced. Efforts can be made to inject fluid back into the geothermal reservoir after the thermal energy has been utilized (the turbine has generated electricity).

Geothermal power is sustainable if reservoirs are properly managed. This is not an issue for residential geothermal heating and cooling, where geothermal energy is being used differently than in geothermal power plants. Error, group does not exist! Check your syntax! (ID: 2)

The bottom line is this: Geothermal energy is generally regarded as environmentally friendly, sustainable and reliable. This makes geothermal energy a no-brainer in some places, but heavy upfront costs stops us from realizing the full potential.

How much influence geothermal power will have on our energy systems in the future depends on technological advancements, energy prices and politics (subsidies). No one really knows what the situation will look one or two decades down the line.

Please understand what you are talking about before rendering opinions. First off there are two types of “geothermal” systems, true geothermal and heat pumps. True geothermal uses the earth’s inner heat that has been generated by radiation from the core. Think volcanoes and Old Faithful. True, this can and does bring more heat to the surface, but it statistically is inconsequential when referencing global warming. The direct and local affect on purge water in large power plants using geothermal can be a problem though.

The second type uses latent energy that has been stored in the soil directly from the sun. Using this heat will NOT affect global warming at all because it naturally conduct and transfer to the atmosphere anyhow. Now, greenhouse gasses… where do you think the electricity comes from to generate the energy to run the heat pump? Fossil fuels mostly, aka greenhouse gases. True it doesn’t burn anything locally, but that doesn’t mean that geo’s have a net zero carbon footprint. You are purchasing electricity that has been made from the burning of natural gas and coal.

My small Island country is on the verge of completing a geothermal energy project, we have over 9 volcanoes, hundreds of rivers, a large boiling lake and tons of hot springs. I’ve read lots of concerns with regard to global warming, toxins being released from the earth and cooling of the earths core etc. which I believe to be all nonsense. Yes global warming is real but in the context of heat being released from the earth that is not what global warming is… its gasses released into the atmosphere that prevent the earth from releasing heat from the sun. concerning the toxins this is normal, minimal and relatively insignificant as it relates to other forms of electrical production. I am concerned however with regard to how the water is returned back into the soil. We have an abundant yearly rainfall but based on the potential use of the plant I’m not sure it will be enough to replenish what is removed in the long term. We have also experienced a few earthquakes as well as a river drying up completely since the project began.

Global Warming is caused when Carbon is released into the atmosphere which strengthens the Ozone Layer. The suns rays enter the earth and bounce back, but when they bounce back towards space, they get trapped by the Ozone Layer. The heat realesed from the geothermal plants plants will heat up the earth by a bit, but the important thing is that it is not adding to the Ozone Layer. Humanity is destined to leave Earth, at the rate at which the planet is heating from the burning of fossil fuels is estimated, Earth will become too hot in 50-200 hundred years, since we keep increasing our emition of fossil fuels yearly. This will give humanity more time, a possibly technology would eliminate the problem all together. About the budget, if we can make a, if you will, a super powerplant, by combining solar, hydro, biomass, wind, and Geothermal energy. One profit from a energy source could cover the cost of a bigger more expensive power source. To solve the substaniable issue, what makes the water hot? The ground. For every gallon of water we pump up, we pump down another gallong, let’s say from the ocean. The water will come down in the form of precipitation and replenish the water source. Once you have the hot water, you pump it into a chamber where their is a liquid with a low boiling point that’s steam would turn the turbines. Of course this fuid would have to enviromently friendly. Go Geothermal!!!!