Generally, there are various forms of renewable energy which mainly accrue from natural sources and they include geothermal heat, tides, rain, wind and sunlight. Of all these forms of renewables, geothermal energy is perceived as one of the renowned forms of renewable energy which is generated from the crust of the earth.
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This kind of energy however persists as heat that is deposited within the core of the earth (AusAID 2000, p.3). Thus, just like supplementary energy sources, geothermal energy has both disadvantages and advantages given that no any source of energy is deemed perfect.
One advantages of geothermal energy is that this kind of energy is renewable and clean. Basically, geothermal energy is renewable since it is continually replaced by the decay of the radioactive minerals which occur at the rate of thirty TW.
Geothermal energy is a clean renewable energy source because it emits minimal greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (Fräss-Ehrfeld 2010, p.124). This happens to be the case since geothermal power plants are made of control systems which minimize the emissions of greenhouse gases emanating from the possessed drawn-fluids.
Besides, geothermal energy is a renewable form of energy which may be used directly. In the contemporary society, geothermal energy has unswervingly been drawn on when lighting households and this mainly occurs through geothermal heat pumps. In the olden days, hot springs which were forms of geothermal energy, was used to bath.
This implies that, geothermal energy hardly suffers from the intermittency issues such as those experienced in wind and solar energy sources (Fräss-Ehrfeld 2010, p.125). In fact, geothermal energy is a reliable source of renewable energy given that it is always available and does not need energy stowage solutions to function every moment.
Minimal freshwater and land are required when harnessing the geothermal energy. This cannot be compared to solar energy which needs a lot of water to cool and a large area for harnessing. A geothermal plant just needs 1.4 square mi/gigawatt with only twenty liters of fresh water apiece megawatts per hour for cooling (Vogel & Kalb 2010, p.337).
On the other hand, geothermal energy is associated with high cost of implementation. The initial capital cost is only used in drilling and exploitation. Currently, drilling and constructing a geothermal power plant costs two to five million pounds, for each electric megawatt that is produced.
Furthermore, geothermal energy is only available in very few countries because such power plants are just cost effective in regions situated next to the plate tectonic boundaries (AusAID 2000, p.4). However, this problem is currently overcome via the use of enhanced geographical systems which expands the degree of feasible geothermal sources.
Deficiency in competent workers required during the installation of geothermal systems is a further disadvantage. Unlike wind and solar energy that cost less and require less qualified staffs, geothermal is unpopular, hence needs more competent personnel. Finally, geothermal resources have been locally depleted in certain geothermal sites like geysers.
This implies that when extracting geothermal energy, there must be close monitoring to evade such local resource depletion to ensure long run supportable geothermal energy (Vogel & Kalb 2010, p.338). In fact, when the advanced geothermal systems are not adequately handled with care, they could possibly prompt earthquakes. This might in turn severely affect the stability of land.
In conclusion therefore, geothermal energy has become the preferred source of renewable energy in an environment where energy sources have continually gained increased demand. Despite the advantages associated with geothermal energy, this type of energy also has disadvantages.
However, pros of geothermal energy clearly outweigh its cons thus making it to be the most admirable alternative source of energy. The pros and cons of geothermal energy mainly relate to its efficiency, cost, reliability and environmental effects.
AusAID 2000, “Power for the people: Renewable energy in developing countries”. Web.
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Fräss-Ehrfeld, C 2010, Renewable energy sources: a chance to combat climate change, Kluwer Law International, New York, NY.
Vogel, W & Kalb, H 2010, Large-scale solar thermal power: Technologies, costs and development, John Wiley & Sons, Sudbury, MA.