Q:

What are the benefits and drawbacks of geothermal energy?

A:

Quick Answer

Geothermal energy has several benefits including being environmentally friendly, reliable, being visually attractive and sustainable. While geothermal energy has many benefits, there are several drawbacks to it including cost to initiate and availability.

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Full Answer

Geothermal energy is environmentally friendly in several ways. Most plants operate with virtually no emissions, emissions that are non-toxic such as water vapor and emissions that can be recycled. The plants use smaller land space in comparison to other energy sites. It's reliable and requires very little resources outside of its site, such as fuel, to maintain. Because these sites are small, they are visually attractive to city planners and other who are concerned with the appeal of the environment.

It's proposed that some can be built entirely underground. Because it is generated from the Earth, geothermal energy is a sustainable resource and some believe it can supply the population with energy for billions of years. There is more geothermal energy available than oil, gas, coal and all mineable nuclear energy sources combined.

The drawbacks to geothermal energy regarding cost and availability refer to the significant costs associated with building a new facility and performing adequate drilling. In addition, geothermal energy is mostly available in spots on the Earth where groundwater can be heated to a specific temperature.

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