User:NL Maria Ramirez

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Geothermal Power

1). How does it work?

  • Hot rocks underground heat water to produce steam. We drill holes down to the hot region, steam comes up, is purified and used to drive turbines, which drive electric generators. There may be a natural groundwater in the hot rocks anyway, or we may need to drill more holes. The first geothermal power station was built at Landrello , in Italy and the second was at Wairekei in New Zealand. Others are in Iceland, Japan, The Philippines and the United States. In Iceland, geothermal heat is used to heat houses as well as for generating electricity.

If the rocks aren't hot enough to produce steam we can sometimes still use energy- the civic centre in Southampton, England, is partly heated this way as part of a district heating scheme with thousands of customers.

800px-Geothermal energy methods.png

2). Where can you find "plants" of this source and why?

  • You can find geothermal power plants by rocks. Or they call it, volcanically active places such as Ice-land and New Zealand. There is also one in Landrello in Italy and in :

Unites States, Indonesia, Mexico, Italy, Japan, Peru, Colombia, Canada, Russia, China, Phillippines, Australia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Germany, France, Iceland, Australia, Chile and El Salvador.

3). Can it be used in The Netherlands, why / why not?

  • It could be used in the Netherlands, but you have to drill very deep to a hot region. Because we do not have any rocks or volcanoes in the Netherlands. If there were rocks or volcanoes, it could be used in the Netherlands because then you can drill very deep holes.

4). Is it expensive?

  • Yes, it is. Geothermal power is an expensive way to generate electricity. There is no question that the project is much better than using nuclear energy, however the costs of Geothermal Power Plants is much higher than their counterparts. Even drilling a three mile tunnel below the surface of earth would cost around $8 million and to generate 100 Gigawatts of electricity an investment of over a billion dollars will be required.

5). What is the effect on the environment?

  • Scientists claim that electricity generation through this method is a completely safe, clean, and a virtually inexhaustible process and can fill the world's annual needs 250,000 times over with nearly zero impact on the climate or the environment.

6). Are you dependent of other countries / people when you want to generate electricity with this energy source?

  • No, because the energy obtained is not sufficient for a country depends on it.

7). How much electricity is generated in one plant?

  • (This varies according to plant capacity)

8). What are the advantages and desadvantages of this energy source?

  • Advantages:

·Sustainable: virtually unlimited (Earth's thermal balance unchanged).

·Availability will continue to increase.

·Cleaner energy source than fossil fuels.

·Base-load energy source.

·Safer to develop and use, than fossil fuels.

·Conserves fossil fuels, still required in some applications,

·Contributes to diversity of energy sources.

·Independent of weather

  • Desadvantages:

·Not universally available.


0 - 88 lbs of CO² per megawatt-hour: comparatively negligible.

Trace amounts of mercury, boron, arsenic, antimony, etc.

·Localized Depletion:In 3 oldest sites, use outruns energy renewal.

·Geological instability: Basel, Switzerland operation suspended (10,000 seismic events/6 days).

·Hazard: exploration entails significant risks.

·20% failure rate: with significant harm to environment.

·High Cost:

Drilling and exploration.

Corrosion maintenance can out-weigh benefit.

9). Is it sustainable?

  • Yes, it is. Because geothermal power is energy which comes from natural resources, in this case, from geothermal heat, and this resource is inexhaustible. Geothermal power is also clean and alternative.