Sunday, February 20, 2011

Disadvantages of Geothermal Energy - It's All Location, Location, Location

1. The location must offer geothermal activity close by. Here is a quick lesson on the disadvantages of geothermal energy. Check out the picture below. Study it for a few minutes.

Do you see any lava flows or steam vents? Probably not. This is a picture of Amelia Island where I live.

There is no volcanic activity anywhere near this area.

So you see the big drawback to geothermal energy is that there must be hot rocks close enough to drill into in order to harness this energy. Not only do the rocks have to be hot, but they also must be suitable for drilling.

The rocks also must be close enough to be able to access. Not many areas are as fortunate as Iceland in this regard.

2. Geothermal activity is not always so faithful. Sometimes the geothermal activity takes a rest. it will be constant for several years and then stop for a few months. Hence, not all areas offer faithful heating resources.

3. You cannot transport geothermal energy. I used to live in the coal region of Pennsylvania. For years coal trucks used to drive by our front door hauling Anthracite coal to home and industries.

Coal cars a mile long along the railroad tracks were often times filled with King Coal to be shipped to the Reading Foundry. Can't do that with geothermal energy. It is only good where it is at. So the steam is utilized to run the generators to produce electricity. Another big one in the discussion of the disadvantages of geothermal energy.

4. There may be geothermal gases. Geothermal steam and hot water do contain naturally occurring traces of hydrogen sulfide (a gas that smells like rotten eggs) and other gases and chemicals that can be harmful in high concentrations.

Geothermal power plants use "scrubber" systems to clean the air of hydrogen sulfide and the other gases. Sometimes the gases are converted into marketable products, such as liquid fertilizer. Newer geothermal power plants can even inject these gases back into the geothermal wells.

For a good article to read on the disadvantages of geothermal energy, click here 5. Tectonic Activity. Usually where there is volcanic activity where you find geothermal energy, you will also find other types of tectonic activity such as earthquakes and also active volcanoes.

There have been cases where earthquakes have caused damage to the geothermal plants and/or caused disruption in the geothermal heat source. Click on the following link to learn more about alternative energy along with the disadvantages of geothermal energy

What is Geothermal Energy Advantages of Geothermal Energy



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