Disadvantages Of Geothermal Energy
Here we shall discuss the different disadvantages of geothermal energy.
Geothermal heat is extracted from deep within the earths surface, and this is the main disadvantage concerning finding a suitable build location,
There are some other deciding factors that may convince a constructor to build a different type of renewable energy power plant in a different location, such as a wind turbine.
So, we have established the main disadvantages of building a geothermal energy plant mainly lie in the exploration stage. During exploration, researchers will do a land survey (which may take several years to complete) and then post their findings to the company that contracted the survey.
Many companies who order surveys are often disappointed, as quite often the land they were interested in cannot support a geothermal energy plant. To extract the heat we have to find certain hot spots within the earths crust, these are very common around volcanos and fault lines, but who wants to build their geothermal energy plant next to a volcano?
Some areas of land may have the sufficient hot rocks to supply hot water to a power station, but what if these areas are contained in harsh areas of the world (near the poles) or high up in mountains. Some very good proven spots have been found in New Zealand, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
The questions that are usually asked during a survey are; is the rock soft enough to drill through, do the rocks deep down contain sufficient heat, will this heat be sustainable for a significant amount of time, is the environment fit for a power plant. If the answer to these basic questions is yes, a more in depth survey should go ahead.
Another big disadvantage of geothermal energy extraction, is that in many cases, a site that has happily been extracting steam and turning it into power for many years, may suddenly stop producing steam. This can happen and last for around 10 years in some cases.
Developers of such sites must be careful and aware that in some cases, harmful gases can escape from deep within the earth, through the holes drilled by the constructors. The plant must be able to contain any leaked gases, but disposing of the gas can be very tricky to do safely.
So there we have the min disadvantages. If you would like to read about the advantages, please visit our advantages of geothermal energy article.