The pros and cons of geothermal energy

The pros and cons of geothermal energy

In 2015, the United States had an installed capacity of 3,442 megawatts (MW) from geothermal energy. The Philippines followed with 1,968 MW.

The Geysers, the world’s largest geothermal developer, is in San Francisco, California. The Philippines is home to three of the world’s biggest geothermal plants in the world and 14% of the country’s electricity requirement comes from geothermal power.

Geothermal energy is derived from the Earth’s internal heat. This energy can be found in rocks and fluids beneath the earth’s surface. This source of electricity has been used for years in some countries, mostly for cooking and heating.

Geothermal energy only burns one-sixth of carbon dioxide produced by a natural gas power plant. This renewable energy can be sourced out without burning fossil fuels like coal and gas.

Aside from this, geothermal energy does not contribute to pollution, rather it helps in the reduction of global warming. Geothermal systems only release gases beneath the earth that are not exactly harmful to the environment.

The availability of geothermal energy is year round, unlike solar and wind energy, which can be tricky. It is also relatively inexpensive, and its direct use may save as much as 80% over fossil fuels.

However, geothermal energy has its limits. Although some sites are capable of providing heat for a long period, locations may cool down eventually. Fluids released by geothermal sites may also contain low levels of toxic materials, and sites release hydrogen sulfide, a certain gas that smells like rotten eggs at low concentrations.