The Benefits of Geothermal Energy

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Geothermal energy is a renewable energy source that is harvested from heat from the Earth. It is considered a renewable resource because the heat coming from the inner Earth is essentially limitless. The amount of heat produced from the inner Earth primarily travels via conduction and is estimated to be around 42 million megawatts of power and is expected to continue producing that for billions of years. A geothermal system requires heat, ability to reach the heat source and water. Since it is coming from the inner Earth, it can be harvested anywhere in the world where these three factors can be satisfied. Lava under the Earth’s crust heats nearby rock and water, sometimes as hot as 700 degrees Fahrenheit. When the water heats, it can be trapped in porous rock under a layer of impermeable rock in the form of hot water or steam, creating a geothermal reservoir. Then, geothermal energy can be used for electricity production or heating uses. Geothermal energy can create electricity by the same basic method as current power plants. This occurs by drilling into a geothermal reservoir and using the steam power to spin a turbine to create electricity. Geothermal energy can also be used for heating directly without a power plant or using natural gas. It can be used for heating and cooling, food preparation, agriculture, and industrial processes. The one of the most important current benefits of geothermal energy is that it is essentially limitless and is considered clean, producing around one-sixth of the carbon dioxide that a comparative clean natural-gas- power plant produces. Costs of geothermal energy are initially expensive but much lower than other sources to operate after the initial costs. Drilling and construction of power plants and pipelines can be relatively high but looking at the cost long-term, it is significantly

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