Geothermal energy is widely considered as a key contender for future electricity production in various corners of the earth. Countries including Iceland, the USA and New Zealand already make use of this renewable energy source to provide electricity on a significant scale. There are many advantages relating to the use of geothermal energy and these are described below.
- Environmentally Friendly – Geothermal energy is a renewable energy source that’s highly environmentally friendly. Little disruption is made to the environment as a result of the various processes that are used to harness this energy source in order to provide electricity. Few chemicals and pollutants feature in geothermal electricity production.
- Highly Efficient – Geothermal energy is highly efficient and can be used to provide electricity in select areas or even to provide heating for our homes and business on a much wider scale via the use of ground source heat pumps.
- Cost Effective – As geothermal power stations are relatively small and less complex than large fossil fuel alternatives, they are highly cost effective, especially when they are placed in areas of high geological/tectonic activity where magma is closer to the earth’s crust when compared with other locations.
- Job Creation – The introduction of geothermal energy systems on both an industrial and domestic scale has helped to boost jobs in many different countries. This is a key advantage for areas that may have already been experiencing job shortages.
- Land Value – Another advantage of geothermal energy and tied into the cost effectiveness of this energy source is land value. Geothermal power stations are often placed in areas of high geological activity where land values may be low due to obvious reasons. This helps to provide cost savings for energy companies that wish to make use of geothermal activity.
- Almost Infinite – Although geothermal activity in a particular area is actually finite, this is likely to be available for anywhere between 5,000 and 1,000,000 years. This huge time scale means geothermal energy is almost infinite and will be able to long live out many fossil fuel alternatives.
- Always On – As long as geothermal activity is present in a particular region, this energy source will always be on and will be fairly constant. This means that unlike solar, wind, wave and tidal alternatives, geothermal energy can provide continuous electricity production whatever the weather.
- Very Quiet – Another significant advantage of geothermal energy is how quiet it can be. Geothermal energy is the electric car of power stations and is likely to provide little noise pollution to nearby residents.
Above are many of the key advantages of geothermal energy, however this doesn’t mean that this form of energy comes without its disadvantages.