What are The Environment Impacts of Geothermal Energy. Another source of energy called geothermal energy. Geothermal energy is one kind of thermal energy which stored in the Earth. Thermal energy is the energy that has affiliated to its temperature. The geothermal energy has been used since ancient Roman times for space heating and since Paleolithic times for bathing, but today geothermal energy is used to generate the electricity. In 2013, 11,700 MW of geothermal power is online around the world. Meanwhile 28 gigawatts of direct geothermal heating is utilized for spas, space heating, district heating, desalination, agricultural and industrial processes.
It is environmentally friendly, cost effective, sustainable and reliable for using geothermal power. Historically it has been limited to near tectonic plate areas. Nowadays, the geothermal technology has expanded the size and range of viable resources, particularly for applications like home heating, opening a prospect for widespread exploitation. The wells of geothermal release greenhouse gases that trapped deep in the earth, but compare with fossil fuels the emissions of geothermal energy per energy unit are much lower. Because of that, the geothermal power is potential resource to help mitigate the global warming if widely deployed in fossil fuels place.
Theoretically, geothermal resources are more than enough to supply energy needs for human, but only a very small portion may be advantageous exploited. It is very expensive to explore and drill from deep resources. Future predictions of geothermal power depend on energy prices, assumptions about technology, interest rates and subsidies. EWEB's customer opt in Green Power Program as pilot programs expose that peoples would be willing to pay more for a renewable source like geothermal energy.
What are The Environment Impacts of Geothermal Energy
What are The Environment Impacts of Geothermal Energy?
1. Water Consumption and Its Quality
2. Emissions into the Athmosphere
3. Land Use and Subsidence
Water Consumption and Its Quality
What are The Environment Impacts of Geothermal Energy-Water Consumption
The geothermal power plants could give impacts to water consumption and quality. Hot water that pumped from below the surface of the earth reservoirs frequently contains highly salt, sulfur and other minerals. Commonly geothermal power plant facilities utilized closed-loop water systems, that extracted water is directly pumped back into geothermal reservoir after it has been accustomed for electricity or heat purpose.
Fluids of geothermal contain higher levels of boron, mercury, lithium and arsenic because of the contact between rocks and hot fluids in the underground. Whenever these materials are released into lakes or rivers instead of being injected or pumped into geothermal field, it can harm aquatic life and will make water unsafe for irrigation or drinking.
Arsenic pollution is a serious environmental impact of geothermal industry. In the Waikato River, arsenic levels almost constantly exceed standard of World Health Organisation (WHO) for drinking water of 0.01 ppm (parts per million). Large of quantity arsenic release from waste water discharged from geothermal Wairākei power station. The hot springs as a natural feature also an arsenic source, but it could be removed from water as colourful mineral precipitates such as yellowy green orpiment and bright red realgar.
Water is used for cooling and re-injection by geothermal power plants. All geothermal power facilities in the US utilized wet-recirculating technology for cooling process with the cooling towers. The geothermal plant can need between 1,700 to 4,000 gallons of water per MWH (megawatt-hour). Commonly, many geothermal plants can use either freshwater or geothermal fluid for cooling. The use of geothermal fluids instead of freshwater clearly reduces water impact of the plants.
In order to prevent land subsidence and contamination, almost all geothermal plants inject water again into the reservoir. In most cases, because some water become into steam, it has to used the outside water to keep a constant water quantity in the reservoir. The water quantity required depends on the technology and plant size.