Need Help?

Get in touch with us


What is Geothermal Energy? Advantages and Disadvantages.

Sep 6, 2022

Geothermal energy renewables derive their heat from the inside of the Earth. It was produced by heat created during the planet’s initial development and heat produced by the decay of elements. The minerals and fluids that make up the planet’s interior are where this thermal energy is kept.

What is geothermal energy renewable?

The thermal energy produced and stored inside the crust of the Earth is referred to as geothermal energy renewable. Due to the ongoing procedure of nuclear fusion, the core of the Earth maintains a similar temperature to the Sun. It is practically constant. Some of the rocks eventually melt because of the very high temperatures and pressures, which causes the mantle to rise. These molten rocks, produced in the Earth’s crust, are forced upward. Now, they get stuck in some locations known as “hot spots.” Steam is produced when the underground water comes into contact with a hot place because of the temperature difference. 


Where does geothermal energy come from?

To generate electricity using geothermal energy. The wells are sunk more than a kilometre deep into reservoirs. This allows access to the hot water and steam inside the pools, which can be utilised to drive turbines linked to electricity generators. Flash, Dry steam, and binary power plants are the three varieties of geothermal power plants.

Dry steam is the first type of geothermal greenhouse technology. It involves extracting steam from the Earth to power a turbine in a straightforward manner. Geothermal power plants transfer hot water through a second liquid with a very low boiling point, transforming it to vapour to drive the turbine. Flash plants convert high-pressure hot water into cool, low-pressure water. 


Types of geothermal Energy

There are two primary forms that geothermal energy may take: vapour-dominated and liquid-dominated. Both Larderello and The Geysers are mostly composed of vapour. Locations dominated by smoke have temperatures ranging from 240 to 300 degrees Celsius and create superheated steam.

Liquid-dominated plants

Liquid-dominated reservoirs, also known as LDRs, are more prevalent in regions with temperatures higher than 200 degrees Celsius (392 degrees Fahrenheit). These reservoirs may be found in rift zones, hot spots, and near young volcanoes that ring the Pacific Ocean. The most prevalent method for generating energy from these sources is using flash plants. 


Pumps are unnecessary in most cases since the water’s transformation into steam provides the energy required. The vast majority of wells produce between 2 and 10 MW of power. Using cyclone separators, moisture is extracted from a liquid, and the liquid is sent back to the reservoir to be reheated or reused. Mexico’s Cerro Prieto liquid system is the world’s biggest as of 2013, producing 750 MW of power from temperatures exceeding 350 °C (662 °F). No other liquid system comes close. There is the potential for 2,000 megawatts of power to be generated from the Salton Sea resource in Southern California. 

Enhanced geothermal systems

They are often known as EGS. It involves introducing water into wells, which are heated and pumped back out again. The water is injected into existing rock fissures at high pressure to widen them and allow water to flow freely in and out of the rock. The method originated in extracting oil and gas but has since been altered. On the other hand, the geologic formations are deeper, and there is no use of hazardous chemicals, reducing the likelihood of environmental damage. Directional drilling is a technique that drillers may use to increase the capacity of a reservoir.


How do harness geothermal energy?

A hydrothermal system is used in the process of harvesting geothermal energy. During this step, a hole is bored deeply into the ground, and a pipe is threaded through that opening. Through this pipe, the steam in the rocks may be brought to the surface of the Earth. After that, the smoke is used in a turbine part of an electric generator by turning the blades. In a different approach, the steam can heat water from a different location; this water is used to revolve the turbine.

Applications of geothermal Energy

Geothermal power plants are often constructed within a radius of two miles of a geothermal resource to facilitate energy generation. The steam from reserves is used directly to power the generator’s turbines. If it is utilised immediately, the steam is said to be “directly utilised.”


Farming: Geothermal energy may be utilised to heat greenhouses or the water used for irrigation in colder areas. This is especially useful in nations with a colder climate.

Industry: It is employed in various industrial processes, including dehydrating food, pasteurising milk, mining for gold, and other functions.


Heating: It is used to heat buildings via district heating systems—these systems transport hot water from springs directly to the facilities using pipes.

Advantages of geothermal energy 

  • Renewable resource: It is both plentiful and completely free. Because heat emanates from the planet steadily, this resource will never run out and has no upper limit on its usefulness, at least for the next four billion years. The pace of energy extraction may be brought into equilibrium with the rate at which the heat of the geothermal power plant is being refilled if the pool is managed correctly.
  • Green energy: Geothermal energy does not result in the emission of any toxic gases, making it an environmentally responsible and non-polluting kind of energy. This is one of the greatest advantages of geothermal energy.
  • Generation of employment: They are very complex, and their construction requires a significant amount of preliminary study. This creates job opportunities on a very big scale for unskilled and skilled labourers at each step of management and production.
  • Can be used directly: Geothermal energy is utilised now in cold areas for a variety of applications, including the melting of ice on roadways, the heating of homes during the winter, public baths, greenhouses and other similar establishments. Even if the installation cost at the beginning is somewhat costly, the maintenance and repair prices are almost nonexistent. There is 0 emission of greenhouse gases from modern closed-loop geothermal power plants. The emission of greenhouse gas from geothermal power (50 g CO2 eq/kWh) is four times lower than those from solar photovoltaics and six to twenty times lower than those from natural gas. Geothermal power plants, on average and throughout the lifespan of the energy they produce, have a lower water consumption rate compared to most conventional production methods.
  • Baseload: Regardless of the temperature or humidity outside, the geothermal greenhouse continues to generate energy around the clock, operating seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day.
  • Domestic: It is possible to generate electricity from a geothermal greenhouse without importing fuel.

Disadvantages of Geothermal Energy

  • Transportation and transmission: Geothermal energy, in contrast to conventional fuels, cannot readily move from one location to another. As soon as the energy is harnessed, it can only be utilised effectively in close places. In addition, because of the transmission, there is a possibility that harmful substances may be discharged into the environment.
  • High installation cost: The development of geothermal power plants, which draw steam from deep below the Earth, calls for a significant investment of human and material resources.
  • Intensive research required: Extensive study must be conducted before a plant can be established. Over time, the sites may lose their ability to generate steam due to a decrease in temperature brought on by an excessive or irregular water intake supply.
  • Limited to particular regions: The availability of the geothermal energy source is restricted to specific areas. As a result, extracting geothermal energy is frequently not feasible from an economic standpoint. These are some disadvantages of the geothermal system.


Hot water-formed regions may sometimes have exited at the surface during other periods. Hot springs are the name given to the locations where boiling water emerges from one of these exits. Geothermal sites are located at great depths below the surface of the Earth. The drilling process may occasionally discharge very poisonous gases into these sites’ environments. These chemicals can sometimes be deadly to the workforce engaged in the drilling process.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. What can go wrong with geothermal?

It would help if you were looking for typical concerns with geothermal heat pumps, such as leaks, water pollution, and ducting problems.

2. Who invented geothermal energy?

In 1904, Prince Piero Ginori Conti of Italy developed the first geothermal power plant in the town of Larderello.

3. Is geothermal better than solar?

Geothermal heat pumps use the heat already inside the Earth, and the farther north you reside, the greater the need for heating during the winter months. They also give 500 per cent higher efficiency than gas or oil heating, making them a better choice than solar climates with lower average temperatures.

geothermal energy


Relevant Articles

Thermal Energy

Understanding Thermal Energy: What It Is and How It Works

Thermal energy is essential to our daily lives, from warming …

Understanding Thermal Energy: What It Is and How It Works Read More »

Avogardo’s Number

Avogadro’s Number: Meaning, Importance, and More

Introduction The concept of measuring the microscopic particles that make …

Avogadro’s Number: Meaning, Importance, and More Read More »

Types Of Circuits

Types Of Circuits

Electricity has a critical place in modern society. It has …

Types Of Circuits Read More »

Kinetic Friction

Kinetic Friction – Definition, Laws, Types

Kinetic Friction Kinetic force is a force acting between two …

Kinetic Friction – Definition, Laws, Types Read More »


Study Abroad

card img

With Turito Study Abroad

card img

With Turito Study Abroad

card img

Get an Expert Advice from Turito

card img

Get an Expert Advice from Turito


card img

With Turito CAP.


card img

With Turito Coding.


card img

With Turito RoboNinja


card img

1-on-1 tutoring for the undivided attention