There are many hot regions beneath the Earth’s surface. We can drill down to these regions and use steam to drive turbines that power electric generators. There are many drawbacks to this method of energy productions. This article will discuss the disadvantages of geothermal energy.
One of the biggest disadvantages of geothermal energy is the low number of suitable locations for a power plant. An ideal location has suitable hot rocks at a depth that allows for easy drilling. The type of rock above the hot rocks must also be easy enough to drill through. After finding a suitable location, there is another drawback.
Another one of the disadvantages of geothermal energy is the longevity of the locations. Sometimes the locations may temporarily run out of steam. This sometimes lasts for months. During this time, the power plant won’t have enough energy to generate electricity.
Oil is extremely easy to transport. One of the disadvantages of geothermal energy is that it is not easily transported. It can only be used to generate electricity for surrounding areas. Furthermore, geothermal energy can only be used to generate small amounts of electricity when compared to other fuel sources. Power plants can also use the steam to produce heat, but only on a localized basis. While difficult transportation of the produced energy is a drawback, released substances is also a concern.
One of the most important disadvantages of geothermal energy are hazardous gases and minerals. They can come up from underground along with the steam. One of the most common substances to be released is hydrogen sulfide, which is extremely difficult to dispose of safely. Other minerals that can be troublesome are arsenic, mercury, and ammonia. In addition to geothermal energy extraction releasing hazardous gases and minerals, it can also cause earthquakes.
One of the final disadvantages of geothermal energy is the likelihood of recurring earthquakes. People who live in areas of production report that there is an increasing number of earthquakes in the area. Although they are low-level quakes no stronger than magnitude 4, they are damaging homes and foundations.
There are many disadvantages of geothermal energy. Proper locations are difficult to find and sometimes they run out of steam. The method of extraction can also release hazardous minerals and gases that are difficult to dispose of properly. It can even cause recurring earthquakes in the surrounding areas.