Installing a renewable energy source in our home can be an excellent alternative if we look for a way to save on our electricity bills. In this regard, we should know several interesting options, such as solar panels, underfloor heating, and aerothermal or geothermal.
Today we come to talk about the latter and, despite being more unknown, geothermal energy has many features that can be interesting. We encourage you to read about the advantages and disadvantages of installing this type of system.
Here’s everything you need to know about geothermal energy
Today we have many renewable energy systems other than solar panels, which have been in the spotlight for the last few years. Geothermal energy is one of these options and, as you will discover below, also one of the most interesting due to its multiple characteristics.
What this system does is to extract heat from the earth to convert it into energy that we can use in our homes in multiple ways. But, if you want to know more in detail about all that it can bring you, read on to learn about its advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of geothermal energy that you should know about
As we have just mentioned, this system takes advantage of the earth’s natural resources to provide energy to power plants or buildings. Among its advantages are:
- It is clean and renewable energy. The useful life of a geothermal well can be as long as 30 years and is recovered in as little as ten years. They only need a period of rest so that the temperature is high enough to be used again as an energy source.
- It is unlimited. Like most renewable energy sources, it never runs out. We can use it as long as we have the necessary machinery to perform the extraction.
- It is available anywhere in the world. These types of wells can be created in different locations, so they can also be used in developing countries.
- Highly versatile energy. Geothermal energy allows us to have heating and generates domestic hot water and air conditioning during the summer. A way to get even more out of this type of installation.
- It is environmentally friendly. It is one of the most environmentally friendly systems because it has minimal emissions of nitrogen oxides, which tend to damage the ozone layer.
- Constant throughout the year. Unlike photovoltaic or wind power, geothermal energy works all year round, regardless of the weather.
- Highly secure technology. Finally, it is also important to highlight that it is one of the safest energy sources available today since its use involves almost no risks.
The disadvantages of geothermal energy
Despite its many positive features, geothermal energy also has certain limitations that we should be aware of. These are explained below:
- Geothermal power plants are expensive. Since we are talking about the need to drill the earth to create a well and install it, we must be aware that this is one of the renewable energies that require the greatest economic investment for its operation.
- They affect the environment, even if only slightly. These types of power plants emit CO₂, which is found in volcanic groundwater, so they are not 100% planet-friendly, although it is true that the damage is minimal.
- They produce toxic drilling mud. The problem is that they often have to be treated as special waste because hot water can contain toxic substances such as mercury, arsenic, and antimony.
- They need to be adapted for heating. In other words, the building where we will use geothermal energy must be prepared to use water heat using, for example, an underfloor heating system.
In summary, geothermal energy is a renewable energy source with a lot of potentials, but there is still a long way to go before we can adapt it to different homes for regular use.