Additional areas and uses of geothermal energy to realign the methods, products, and business practices that we use on a daily basis. Implementation of geothermal energy can replace current non-environmentally friendly options.

Uses of Geothermal Energy
Whilst many people think that geothermal is only good for home heating and cooling, there are in fact many geothermal energy uses. This is sometimes incorrectly labelled as different "types of geothermal energy." This is only one such thing - namely the heat available below the surface of the earth. The uses for geothermal energy though are far-reaching, and this alternative method of energy production could be one of the most significant within the next couple of decades.

Here are 5 of the uses of geothermal energy:

1. Aquaculture and horticulture: Geothermal renewable energy is used in aquaculture, and horticulture, in order to raise plants and marine life that require a tropical environment. The steam and heat is all supplied by geothermal energy.

2. Industry and agriculture: Geothermal power generation is playing an increasing role in industry and agriculture. Timber is dried using heat acquired from geothermal energy, and paper mills use it for all stages of processing. The potential uses of geothermal energy in industry are huge.

3. Food Processing: The earth naturally contains an endless supply of heat and steam, which can be utilized to sterilize equipment and rooms. This would put an end to the use of chemicals for this purpose. There are many potential uses of geothermal energy in food processing, but as yet, this renewable energy source has yet to be utilized to a large degree in this sector.

4. Providing heat for residential use: Geothermal renewable energy has in the last few years caught the interest of an increasing number of house owners. Geothermal power generation provides more than just heat in summer; but a complete temperature control system which enables you to cool your home in winter as well. This significantly reduces heating and cooling bills, and keeps the home at a comfortable temperature year round.

5. Electricity generation: A geothermal power station works in a very different way to the geothermal power generation that would be used in the examples above. It provides not just heat and steam, but electricity itself. Geothermal power generation is completely clean, and releases no harmful gas emissions whatsoever.

Many readers of this article will be most interested in single-home geothermal energy. As was explained, its use is limited to heating and cooling. However, indoor climate control can consume an enormous amount of energy in a big house, and by installing a geothermal heat pump this energy bill can be greatly reduced. Geothermal heat pumps move heat from below the ground into the home in winter and draw heat from your house into the ground in summer.

Most geothermal energy pumps are simple and require little maintenance. They are not, however, a full-service solution. Some systems reduce energy bills by up to 40%, so you cannot get rid of your utility company straight away. One option is to install a small solar panel system to run the pump, and in doing so make you completely self dependant. A geothermal energy pump which can supply an average home’s needs costs around $8,000, however, the drilling and installation process cost in the region of $30,000. For the original story, and further information on the uses of geothermal energy, click here

The above listed uses for geothermal energy are all developing at break-neck speed. In the last couple of years geothermal has finally been given the recognition that it deserves. It is not just because there are so many potential geothermal energy uses, but because there is so much raw power ready to tap in with geothermal technology. I look forward to writing about the advancements in this field over the next few years.

For more information, go to:
en.wikipedia.org,
geothermal-energy.org

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23 Responses to “Geothermal Energy: 5 types and the beneficial uses; updated article”

  1. 1
    mike Says:

    A US Government energy agency has estimated that the overall sum of energy that global geothermal could provide is around 15,000 times the energy that is held in all the known oil and gas reserves in the world. This of-course is somewhat of a fanciful figure on its own (it doesn’t really mean much), but it does turn heads. I truly believe that geothermal is going to be the biggest of al the green energy resources currently at our disposal.

  2. 2
    jim Says:

    Regarding negative impacts (the last comment), there is also the issue that geothermal resources are often located in remote wildneress areas. Plants require only a small amount of land, but there are issues concerning the lying of transmission lines from these remote areas to urban areas.

  3. 3
    jake Says:

    Its not all rosy for geothermal. Groundwater and surfacewater contamination is the principal pollution concern, through the disposal of wastewater. On the plus side,this is easily prevented, as long as all the fuids are colleced and re-injected.

  4. 4
    jason Says:

    Geothermal plants are viable 24 hours a day, which is a HUGE advantage over wind and solar. This eliminates the need for energy storage and makes it completly predictable, which is of great value.

  5. 5
    Home Care Nurse Says:

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  6. 6
    jake Says:

    Nevada is one of the best states for geothermal energy. There are an enormous amount of easily accessible geothermal wells there, as in the western US in general. This is the area of the country that holds most promise from householders all the way up to electricity producing plants.

  7. 7
    jon Says:

    Regarding food processing – The first one built in the US was a food hydration facility in Navada. It processes something like 2- million pounds of dried onions and garlic per year, and uses geothermal power in to help run its operations.

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  11. 11
    jason Says:

    Geothermal systems benefit greatly from economies of scale. Setting up a system to power one building is not that efficient (in terms of start up costs), but if you can disitribute the power to multiple buildings, or even communities (as is done in Iceland) it is well worth it.

  12. 12
    mike Says:

    Stats from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency say that geo-exchange systems, on avergae, cut homeowner’s heating costs from 30 to 70%, and colling costs, from 20-50%. Not particularly impressive stats me think.

  13. 13
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  16. 16
    jim Says:

    According to Wiki, in a typical sized house with average energy comsumption, current geothermal pump systems will pay themselves back within 3 to 10 year, which is better than most solar systems. Apparently, the annual growth rate for this technology is 10% so i dont agree with the last post.

  17. 17
    jon Says:

    Providing heat for residential use is just two expensive right now. Very few people are going to fork out 40,000 grand when next year the technology could change and it will cost half that amount. At present its only worth it for very big houses with very large energy consumption

  18. 18
    jake Says:

    IM not sure if this article clearly distinguished between electricity generation (via a power station), and heat generation (via a pump). They are two very different things warranting two seperate articles. It is electricity generation where geothermal has big potential.

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