Ten Major Disadvantages of Geothermal Energy



Geothermal energy is one of the largest sources of electrical power in the world. The USA, Philippines and Indonesia are the three largest producers of geothermal electricity. The science behind this technology is simple – we use the heat beneath the ground either by extracting the steam produced underground or by pumping water into the heat source, thereby steam and bringing it up to be used. Inside the plant, the steam conveyed through the pipes is used to turn generator which eventually produces electricity.

This type of energy is renewable as the heat underground does not get exhausted. It sounds promising, but there are certain disadvantages with its use. Here are the ten major drawbacks of geothermal energy:  

1. Location. Geothermal systems are site specific. Though hot rock reserves are found all over the world, the technology is very much applicable only to places located near the Pacific Ring of Fire, volcanic areas, or spots near tectonic plate boundaries. Hot rock reserves in these places are shallower and hence, easier to access than other sites.



2. Reachable reserves. Aside from their depth with respect to ground surface, the type of rock above the reserve is also important. It must be a type that can be easily drilled through.



Image courtesy of Conserve Energy Future.

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