Geothermal Energy Disadvantages

Geothermal energy has the capability to occupy an important role in moving the society toward a sustainable energy path. Being a renewable and sustainable source of energy, geothermal power has unquestionable advantages over overwhelmingly polluting and unsustainable fossil fuels. To ensure bright future for geothermal energy means being cognizant of its advantages as well as disadvantages so that this Earth-friendly resource is used in a safe and cost-effective manner.

Here’s an overview of geothermal energy disadvantages:

One of The Most Prominent Disadvantages of Geothermal Energy is the Initial Cost Involved

The capital cost of a geothermal power plant is usually much higher than that of a systems that run on a conventional fuel. First, identifying a capable site for a geothermal power plant necessitates a thorough analysis. The procedure entails a deep drilling to ensure there is a sufficient supply of geothermal energy in the territory. Drilling alone constitutes for over 50 percent the cost. A standard well doublet (a pumping well utilizing underground warm water) in Nevada supports 4.5 MW and costs around $10 million to drill. Enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) have particularly high capital cost of above $4 million per MW and break–even above $0.054 per kWh.  A  geothermal heat pump tends to be more expensive to install than conventional HVAC units. An ordinary geothermal home system may end up costing up to $7,500. Installing a geothermal heat pump in an existing residence involves activities such as digging as well as laying of pipes. The amount of this initial effort may be undesirable and costly for many people.

Technology is Not Developed Enough

Enhanced geothermal system (EGS) is a new and promising type of geothermal technology that does not require natural convective hydrothermal resources. Using EGS primarily increases the number of localities where geothermal sources can be used in order to produce electricity. However, many experts agree that EGS may not be ready for extensive application. The deeper wells needed for enhanced geothermal systems present problems that cannot be handled by current technologies. Compared to other geothermal wells, those needed for EGS have to be drilled into drier, hotter and harder rock. One problem associated with drilling into hard rock is that the drill bits wear out after only 50 hours of use. Technological experts are working to develop new bits using harder materials and better designs. Additionally, EGS make significant demands on the local water supply.


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