Geothermal Energy Uses and Advantages
The first time geothermal energy was used for electricity production in 1904 in Italy and since then it has spread all over the world. It is now practiced in 21 counties around the world with the United States producing 2700 megawatts of electricity alone.
One of the good things about geothermal energy is that it can be used for electricity production even if the water is not hot enough. Besides, using geothermal energy is much safer and less harmful for the environment if you compare it with fossil fuels, that are used for energy production and that really emit such a great number of harmful stuff into the atmosphere. In this respect geothermal heat pumps are so beneficial.
Geothermal water temperatures range from 50 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and therefore they can be used for absolutely various purposes.
The waters of hot springs are used in spas around the world for treatment purposes and this kind of therapy is extremely popular.
- Hot spring geothermal waters are is used to heat greenhouses where agricultural products are grown.
- In such industries as fish and shrimp growing and etc. hot spring waters are used for making the period of their growing shorter.
- Hot spring waters are also used in industries for milk pasteurization and wool washing and etc.
- Geothermal energy is also broadly used for heating of districts and buildings. In some countries, e.g. Iceland, heating buildings with the help go underground hot springs is common practice. One of the results of such energy usage is that the country and the city of Reykjavik are so clean if compared to other capitals where energy is yielded from traditional resources.
Geothermal energy has got a number of advantages as opposed to traditional energy resources. Here are some of them:
- As it has already been mentioned, geothermal energy is clean in the sense that its less harmful for the environment than fossil fuels. Besides, fossil fuels refer to non-renewable energy sources and using geothermal energy keeps the former safe. Geothermal plants do not emit tons of toxic smoke and can be placed in locations where traditional plants are impossible to be thought of locating.
- Lake County California has been the place where 5 geothermal plants are located for 10 years now. The place meets all the air standards as opposed to other areas where traditional fossil-fuelled plants are located.
- Any plant that uses fossil fuel for energy production is supposed to be located in a particular area, which is generally quite a large territory. In this respect building geothermal plants is more cost-effective as they require less space. There is no need in such dramatic measures as, say, damming of a river. Such plants usually occupy quite a moderate piece of territory.
- Geothermal plants are supposed to work for 27/7 all year round. The source of energy is right underneath the plant and it does not depend on the alternations of weather and political situation in the country.
- It is also much easier to build a geothermal power plant as due to the modular design additional parts can be installed when needed without the need for massive reconstruction of the plant.
- Such energy saves money. There is no need for importing expensive fuel as well as spend billions on the development of the new deposits (even if the country is lucky to have such ones). Geothermal power plants do not need any fuel to function – they already are located above the energy source and they will stay there no matter what happens (with a little chance that the hot spring cools down with time – but such things do not happen out of the blue.)
- Geothermal power plants are also a quite great option for the developing countries. They are much better in the environmental terms and the appearance of such plants will create new working places, which definitely contribute to the increase in quality of life.