Geothermal energy is warm water energy that is taken from the earth. As a renewable energy source, interest in geothermal energy has grown in recent years.
What is Geothermal Energy?
This type of energy has been used for centuries as a source of hot water and energy. The most common sources of geothermal energy are from heat vents, hot springs and geysers found where the earth’s crust is thin and water is heated from the vast heat stemming from the earth’s core.
This type of energy is considered renewable because while heated water is removed from the heat sources (hot springs, geysers, etc) regular rainfall regularly replenishes the water. As a result, geothermal is considered a readily available renewable green form of alternative energy.
Geothermal Energy Plants
In large part, geothermal energy is about using steam energy collected from hotspots found at the earth’s crust where excessive heat burst forth in the form of heat vents found at hot springs and geysers. At these places, the heat is high enough to boil water and produce steam. This steam is then collected and turned into electricity.
Another method of using geothermal energy is to tap into the spectacular heat that is found in volcanic magma. The temperature of this molten magma is approximately 650 degrees Celsius. The heat from the magma is collected and used to boil water, which turns into steam, which is then turned into electricity.
Finally, another type of geothermal plant utilizes heated hardened magma. This system uses what are called hot dry rocks. Pipes are configured through the rocks and water is pumped through the pipes. The water is converted to steam which is then transferred to a steam generator, which turns and becomes electricity.
Advantages of Geothermal Power
One of the strongest benefits of this type of energy generation is that it is ecologically friendly and clean. It does not require dependence on fossil fuels in order to be used, nor does it require mining natural resources in a way that destroys the environment. Generally, geothermal plants are located in places where heat from the earth is already available and simply redirected to create and generate electricity. Also, geothermal power does not result in destructive or damaging power plant emissions found at coal or other fossil fuel energy plants.
Another benefit is that geothermal power is self renewing. As long as the earth’s core is heated and as long as rain falls to replenish the water that steam generation removes, then geothermal will continue to be a self renewing and sustainable form of available green energy.
Geothermal power is a form of renewable sustainable green alternative energy that takes advantage of naturally occurring heat vents in the earth’s crust. In most cases, this energy takes the form of creating steam. Either because the naturally occurring side effect of the heat vent is steam or through utilizing the extreme heat available to pump water through to create steam; which is in turn used to turn steam turbines and generate electricity. The advantages of geothermal energy are numerous and are worthy of consideration.