Useful Geothermal Energy Facts

The earth stores something that’s better known as geothermal energy. If you have no clue what that is, we’ll tell you in the following post!

A very simple definition for geothermal energy sounds like this: energy that is made via heat stocked beneath our Earth’s surface. One of the most important advantages of this type of energy is the fact that it’s renewable. Areas with a lot of volcanic activity have a lot of geothermal energy. A synonym for this renewable energy source is the following: geothermal power.

“Geothermal” is a word that has its origin in these Greek terms: “geo” and “thermos”. The first means “Earth” and the second one is translated as “heat”. The Paleolithic Era was first to see hot springs. People back then used them to wash themselves. Romans made good use of hot springs for underfloor heating and public baths in 1st century AD. People from the Qin dynasty had what is now considered the oldest spa in the world. Then there’s France, a country which has the oldest geothermal district heating system.geothermal-energy-diagram

Here are several interesting facts and info on geothermal energy:

  • it can cool and also heat a building. It generates electricity, too. Even plants in a greenhouse benefit from this renewable energy source. Snow on sidewalks can be melted via geothermal power, too;
  • 4 years ago, a study was made on the use of this type of energy. According to it, 70 countries in total use geothermal power for heating purposes. 24 countries rely on it because it’s a great electricity source;
  • apart from volcanoes and hot springs, geysers are also known to provide geothermal energy;
  • the world’s most important producer of this type of energy is the US;
  • there are no safety hazards associated with this natural resource; also, geothermal energy is one of the cleanest sources;
  • to extract it, geothermal plants are used; they’re classified as Binary power plant, Flash steam, and Dry steam;
  • a binary plant doesn’t release a large quantity of emissions;
  • coming back to its pros, it should be said that geothermal energy is easy to extract. The process doesn’t involve the burning of oil, coal or other types of fossil fuel;
  • geothermal power is somewhat cheap;
  • there’s also something called geothermal heating, which means that swimming pools can benefit from this type of energy;
  • there are some top countries where this resource is generated (the U.S., France, Japan, Iceland, Russia, New Zealand, Lithuania, Mexico, Portugal, Costa Rica, Philippines, and Indonesia);
  • by 2050, 10% of the electricity could be produced via geothermal power;
  • Italy was the first nation to produce this energy back in 1904;temperatures-in-the-earth
  • there are also cons to using geothermal energy; the environment in particular is affected by hydrogen sulfide, easily recognizable by its rotten egg smell, carbon dioxide, ammonia, and methane;
  • the latter all contribute to the production of both acid rain and global warming;
  • a second disadvantage when it comes to geothermal power consists of geothermal fluids (arsenic, mercury, antimony, and boron), which are disposed afterwards in the environment; these have toxic materials that are released in the atmosphere;
  • the construction of plants affects soil stability (which can also result in earthquakes);
  • Earth’s internal thermal energy is driven to the surface through something called “conduction” at a rate of 44.2 TW;
  • San Francisco is known for its geothermal development, which is the largest worldwide;
  • a geothermal heat pump system is able to provide heat to a house during those long winter months;
  • geothermal energy is available in 2 forms (liquid-dominated and vapor-dominated).

Hope you enjoyed these interesting facts about geothermal power. Which is very important. But it can also affect the environment. Tell us your thoughts on it!

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