Geothermal power comes from energy stored within the earth itself to provide clean, renewable energy without contributing to climate change. It is more cost effective and scalable than wind turbines and solar panels and is much safer than nuclear fission. So when looking for an alternative to fossil fuels, give geothermal energy a chance.
Imagine a future free of fossil fuels, a world where we are not shackled by oil or polluting our atmosphere by burning coal. With geothermal energy this vision is possible today. Geothermal power works by tapping into the energy of the earth itself to produce clean, reliable power that does not exploit natural resources and will be around for future generations. Plus, unlike fossil fuel energy sources such as oil, natural gas, and coal, geothermal energy is, for the most part, carbon neutral. This makes it a very important tool in the battle against climate change.
But how does geothermal power work and what makes it any better than other forms of renewable energy like wind farms or solar plants? Well to put it simply, the earth is hot. In addition to the energy absorbed daily by the sun, the earth's core has enough energy left over from its formation and from the radioactive decay of elements to cover the entire human population's energy consumption many times over.
Geothermal plants, such as those in Southampton, harness this power by drilling deep beneath the earth's surface and pumping water down the whole. This water is then heated naturally and the energy is converted into electricity. They create serious amounts of electricity too, with 10 gigawatts produced in 2007. Though this is only a small amount of the global total, geothermal energy use is increasing daily as more and more countries switch over to sustainable sources of electricity.
Unlike nuclear power plants, geothermal wells produce no dangerous radioactive waste that needs to be transported and stored and it has benefits over other non-fossil fuel sources as well. Solar panels and wind turbines, while still excellent sources of renewable energy, are expensive and cannot be scaled up to the extent that geothermal plants can.
Geothermal pumps can range from a small unit designed to power a single home to large utility plants that can power an entire city. Plus it is a time tested technology that has been around for millennia. In fact, the Romans even relied on geothermal wells to heat their famous baths and floors such as those found in Bath in Somerset. The ancient Chinese dynasties tapped into the power of hot springs as well and took advantage of the medicinal properties that the heat provided.
As you can see, geothermal energy has a lot to offer in an increasingly sustainable society. It is completely renewable, produces very little waste, is carbon-neutral, and it is a cost effective method of producing electricity without contributing to global warming. For these reasons geothermal energy is considered a serious alternative to solar, wind, nuclear, and especially fossil fuels as an energy source.