Sunday, August 21, 2011

Geothermal Energy and Its Benefits

Krafla Geothermal Station. Taken in July 2006 ...Image via WikipediaBy Rob S Snyder

Geothermal energy is energy that comes from heat naturally generated inside the earth. Rain water percolates down into the earth where it forms underground pools and subterranean rivers.

When the earth's internal heat (which is conducted through the earth's interior rock formations from magma pockets close to the earth's surface) comes into contact with this water it heats it up, turning it into steam or a very hot brine solution. This heat is used for geothermal power plants and heating systems.

Geothermal heat pumps work in a different way. They rely on the relatively stable ground temperature of the ground directly below the surface of the earth to absorb heat in the summer and supply heat in the winter.

What are the benefits of geothermal energy?


Burning fossil fuels has certainly taken a toll on the environment. Some believe it is the biggest contributor to global warming. Geothermal energy is very clean. It does not emit any significant emissions nor does it consume any fuel. It uses the natural heat that is stored in the earth and cycles it through modern pump technology, giving us a never ending source of energy with virtually no effect on the environment.


The way the geoexchange takes place is healthy, clean and safe. There is no open flame and no venting requirements, which eliminates the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning or explosion. The air also does not dry out or have an odor. This type of energy does not rely on outside air so it keeps everything inside buildings free from pollen and all the outside exposures. Finally in regard to health, heat pumps are very quiet and don't have noisy outside compressors.


Like solar energy, after the initial costs of set up, it can mean tremendous savings for the homeowner once the initial investment is recouped. Since it is a 100% renewable energy source it does not require the cost of fossil fuels.


The Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency have both endorsed this type of technology to heat and cool buildings. It is a great choice for government buildings, high rises, schools and any other type commercial buildings. Maintenance costs are lower as well as operating costs.


A ground source heat pump can be installed in any residential home. They work on any size house.

The operating cost of geothermal energy is fairly low. It is much lower than traditional fossil fuels energy. The initial installation costs can vary depending on what part of the country you are in and how sophisticated of a system you need and how big your house is. The western states and Alaska and Hawaii have lower installation rates than other parts of the country currently.

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1 comment:

  1. Geothermal energy is thermal energy generated and stored in the Earth. It is very reliable and efficient for saving money and resources. This post shares very useful information about geothermal energy. I learn something new and informative about geothermal energy from this post. Thanks for this share.