Geothermal Energy is the energy obtained by the heat of hot rocks and fluids in the depths of the earth crust, which is passing through the weak layers and reaching the earth. Approximately 4 billion years ago, the internal temperature of the globe caused by dust and gases which is come together with high temperature, is continuously renewed as a result of the deterioration of the radioactive elements located in the all earth’s rocks.
Geothermal energy is the energy generated by the heat accumulated in the depths of our planet’s crust. This heat reaches the earth from cracks directly as hot water or steam. We can also obtain this heat by drilling. With the increasing temperature in the magma, is obtained from underground hot water and steam. This heat is achieved either by opening wells or by water sources or rocks near the surface. We make use of geothermal energy in various parts of the world in heating, industry, agriculture, and electricity production.
We can also produce electricity generation by the power of geothermal steam. The first usage area of geothermal energy from ancient times to the present day is the thermal springs. People use geothermal energy sources mainly in electricity production, heating (housing, greenhouse, thermal plant heating), industrial applications, thermal tourism – treatment and aquaculture depending on temperature. The use of geothermal energy does not cause waste to the environment and atmosphere.
Geothermal Energy Advantages And Disadvantages
Have you ever hear advantages of geothermal energy? The efficiency of the geothermal source is very high. And we use clean energy mainly. The heat is directly available, so it is a low-cost, good, renewable, unlimited, environmentally friendly, domestic power source. The cost of unit power obtained from geothermal energy is much cheaper than that obtained from thermal and other power plants. It causes much less ecological problems than thermal power plants.
Thanks to the development of reinjection applications, there are no environmental obstacles anymore. With the new technologies developed in recent years, electricity production is also possible in lower temperature areas, and researchers additionally reduced unit energy costs by increasing power plant cycle efficiency.
With the systems developed integrated with electricity generation, we get more thermal energy and other methods (integrated) than geothermal fluid. This cost drops even more in the case of integrated ways. So geothermal resources can be used at the same time for more than one purpose.
As a result of the use of geothermal energy, the harmful effects caused by the consumption of fossil fuels in the world and the greenhouse effect arising from their usage and the emission of acid rain gases into the atmosphere have reduced. Besides, there is no such risk in geothermal energy such as the risks of explosion, fire, poisoning of natural gas. The advantage of geothermal energy is at this comparison light.
Fundamentally geothermal energy is an environmentally friendly source. But, the fluid causes corrosion, decay, calcification, contamination of surface waters due to its boron content, the presence of substances such as CO2, H2S, and boron in its structure, it requires some technological measures in practice.
To geothermal fluid not to cause environmental problems, experts have developed re-injection application and legally mandated in various countries. In this case, geothermal energy is used instead of petroleum, natural gas, and coal and also provides currency savings.
Geothermal energy is an energy source that we can use in particular places, and transport to long distances is limited (Up to 100 km). However, there is a benefit: in terms of temperature and noise, geothermal areas are often away from residential areas. Besides, Geothermal power plants occupy little space and do not cause visual pollution.
It may also cause heart and liver complications. Sulfur, carbon dioxide, ammonia, methane, and boron spread may occur in the areas used as open systems and may cause the diseases mentioned above. Hydrogen sulfide is the most widely distributed in open systems.
When we look at the odour of this substance, it is almost like a rotten egg. And, when it comes into contact with the air, it goes down to the lungs and mixes with the blood and can cause heart and lung diseases.
The upper levels of the dangers mentioned above are acid rain. Because the resulting sulfur dioxide gas will also cause acid rain, plants, trees, lakes, and streams will also be affected by this situation. If we make a comparison here, the sulfur dioxide emitted by geothermal energy is 30 times less than a coal mine emits.
- The efficiency of geothermal energy is very high, and we can obtain directly.
- The cost is quite low.
- If we do it correctly, then it provides the uninterrupted power supply.
- The cost of energy from geothermal energy is economical than all energy sources except hydroelectric power.
- It does not need fossil energy for heating and evaporation of water.
- We use natural resources, so it is not externally dependent.
- They do not harm the environment in any way, and we use them as a source of healing.
- Usage area of Geothermal energy is various. We can use it in many different areas.
- Geothermal energy has minimized the need for fossil fuels.
- There is a risk of explosion in natural gas. However, there is no such risk in geothermal energy.
- The establishment of geothermal power plants is more expensive than other power plants.
- Even though environmental pollution is very low, not taking measures can cause health problems.
- Water quality may face to deterioration.
- Geothermal power plants drain hot fluids into the soil and re-inject them in seismically active areas. Researchers declare that this re-injection may cause earthquakes.
- Due to the release of gases such as hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide in their structures, it requires a separate process.
- The biggest adversary of geothermal energy is that it is only close to the earth’s surface and where the temperatures are high. They are near the edges of tectonic plates or near hot spots, where the hot magma rises near the surface.