Advantages of using Geothermal Energy for Producing Power
Geothermal energy is the energy stored below the earth’s crust. Due to heat below the earth’s crust water gets heated and also sometimes gets converted into steam. This hot water and steam can be used for generating electricity. Here are the advantages of using geothermal energy for producing electricity:
1) No fuel is required: The thermal and nuclear power plants use fossil and nuclear fuels respectively to heat water and generate steam for production of electricity. The geothermal power plants use the readily available hot water from the geothermal reservoir so no fuel is required.
2) Clean source of power: The fuels used in conventional thermal power plants produce lots of toxic gases and particulate matter polluting the surrounding atmosphere. Electricity can be produced from geothermal reservoir without creating any air-pollution.
3) Less area is required: The land required for the geothermal power plant per megawatt of power produced is much lesser than that required for the other types of power plants.
4) Unhindered production of power: The energy from geothermal reservoir is available 24 hours a day and all the days of the year without any breakage or change during varying seasons, natural disaster and political turmoil. Thus geothermal energy is the reliable source for producing electricity continuously without any hindrance.
5) Additional capacity: The geothermal power plants are very flexible and adding additional capacity for producing more power due to higher demands is quite feasible and affordable.
6) Saving money: The fossil fuel used for the thermal power plants has to be imported. By using geothermal energy lots of local currency is saved.
7) Electrification of the remote places: The geothermal energy reservoir present in the far off and remote areas especially villages can be utilized for the electrification of these areas. It may be very difficult to supply power to these places by the national grid.
The first commercial geothermal power plant was developed in the year 1904 in Italy. At present throughout the world more than 7000 MW of power is being generated by using the geothermal energy. In US about 2700 MW of electricity is generated from geothermal energy reservoir.