Is Geothermal Energy Safe for the Environment?
Geothermal energy is a new way to power our large and ever-expanding cities. With over 7 billion people on Earth, our world is demanding and consuming more and more and we are constantly searching for alternative methods to coal and oil. Geothermal energy is a new expansion to our lines of alternative energy sources, running solely on the heat of our earth.
How does it work?
Geothermal energy relies on thermal energy trapped within the crust of the earth. Geothermal scientists mine deep into the crust and insert tubes which will carry heat to the surface where it can then be converted to energy. Once the heat has reached ground level, it will heat tubes filled with water. Water becomes steam when exposed to extreme heat. The steam produced from the boiling water will then power large turbines.
How much energy is produced?
In the United States, over 25% of the electricity needed can be produced from geothermal energy technology by 2030. This is a great, cost-effective way to cut not only our carbon emissions as we move away from coal and oil but also to produce clean energy.
Is it safe?
Geothermal energy incorporates tectonic plates since near these tectonic plates, it is easier for heat to escape. Digging deep into the earth causes segments of earth to be cracked which can potentially cause earthquakes. According to reports, all earthquakes linked to geothermal plant sites have been under magnitude 3, meaning that they are very small. However, for geothermal plants to become as reliable as we need them to be, we have to improve our infrastructure.
At the end of the day, we need to have geothermal energy in our arsenal of renewable energy resources. It isn’t as safe as other reliable alternatives such as wind or solar energy but it has huge potential to go a long way in helping us solve our energy crisis.
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